There’s a lot of talk about easing travel restrictions and the question we are most often asked is: where should I go?

The sad facts are that international holidays are pretty limited this year even to those countries already identified but not locked in as Australia’s Safe Travel Zones. Recognition of Australia’s CV passports and vaccine certificates in destination markets still needs to be finalised. We still need resolution of the quarantine-at-home option. Many airlines have stopped flying into Australia until 2022 and of those still flying, seats are limited for at least the rest of this 2021 and into early 2022.

Canada is an option, as is hopefully Singapore and Japan. Air Canada is talking about starting up again to Australia from mid-December. Japan is another focus. If Fiji comes online, that’s great given its fantastic hotels, beaches and beauty and hopefully it becomes an option by Christmas.

Cruise will start coming back soon, initially with East Coast cruising and then internationally in 2022/23. Be quick because many other nations are already travelling. Demand for beds, seats and cruise spots internationally is already peaking and the European summer is hotly contested.

Warning: before you pay for anything – speak with your travel agent for advice on options, such as when to pay for your ticket so you have maximum flexibility. And make sure your passport is up to date and if there’s anything less than eight months on it, renew it now.

If you want to go outside your home state for Christmas, start booking. South Australia, Tasmania, NSW North Coast and regional Victoria are all good options but demand is booming and you will pay. Have a look at our capital cities, especially Sydney and Melbourne, where there are some great deals.

Travel insurance is essential. There are a lot of policies around, however, they’re still hamstrung by the declaration of COVID being a pandemic.

Tom Manwaring, chair of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents and a travel agent of long standing.

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