Dreams on hold: The families caught in the Covid holiday trap

family on holiday

Will your family holiday go ahead? Matt and Louise Seely, with daughters Millie and Olivia on holiday in Majorca. They really want to be able to go somewhere this year. - Credit: Louise Seely

More people from across Norfolk have come forward with tales of their dilemmas over booking holidays home and abroad.

It comes as the government has given a bleak message advising the nation to "do nothing" in terms of planning a getaway this summer.

cycling on Norfolk broads

Many families have booked a holiday either home or abroad. But will they be able to go ahead? - Credit: Archant

But for so many people, they have already booked trips, with holidays postponed from last year. And huge amounts of hard-earned cash is tied up in some of these plans, with people left confused as to what to do.

Not all trips are holidays in the sun.

Joanna and Paul Durrant are concerned over their daughter Lucie's planned school trip from Hellesdon High to Borneo in July. After raising more than £4,000 for the trip organised through Camps International, to go and provide aid for school children in deprived areas, they still do not know whether it will happen.

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Mrs Durrant said: "There are 17 children going and they had to raise the money themselves. So Lucie and her best friend Jess have done this; Lucie sold packs of kindling wood last year for £1 each.

"She then decorated some wooden boxes and sold them as planters, Jess made face masks.

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"The trip is for four weeks and they will be helping providing water supplies and going on a jungle trek. The flights were booked before Christmas and we have to pay instalments to Camps International but we just haven't heard anything.

"Lucie needs various vaccinations so we need to start preparing her. If we as parents cancel, we lose all our money, if the school cancels, it can claim on insurance but if Camps International cancels, we get all our money back.

"Or the trip could be deferred which is an option. We just need some information."

Mum Louise Seely, from Costessey, married with two daughters, 11 and nine, had a holiday booked in Italy last year postponed to this August.

This week she has also booked a holiday cottage in Filey, Yorkshire in case Italy gets cancelled again.

"Last August we managed to get a week in Butlins after Italy was cancelled. Our 'plan B' holiday to Gran Canaria was also cancelled a week before we were due to go due to a change in the travel corridors. 

"I can see both sides of the arguments for and against holidays. For my family holidays have always been a vital part of our lives and if we are allowed, we will go.

"The hospitality industry both here and abroad must be on its knees and at some point the world will have to start turning again." 

pensioners on holiday

Victor and Phyllida Scrivens. - Credit: Phyllida Scrivens

Phyllida Scrivens, a local writer, and husband Victor, a retired British Airways pilot, from Thorpe St Andrew, have also booked a holiday but ensured it can be cancelled and the most they will lose is the £100 deposit.

Mrs Scrivens said: "We are fortunate to normally have a number of holidays each year, but our last trip was to Amsterdam in November 2019.

"Desperate for something to look forward to this summer, I have booked accommodation for a road trip in late July, planning to visit Newcastle, Northumberland and spots on the Yorkshire coast, all places that feature in my family ancestry.

"My husband is 80 this year and we don’t want to miss out on yet another summer adventure together. By July we should both have had both our jabs."

pensioners on holiday

Phyllida and Victor Scrivens, pictured on holiday in Istanbul. - Credit: Phyllida Scrivens

Matt Long, from Norwich, said: "Interesting that Tui are allowing people to book holidays now for May/June with the option to move dates for free.

"But those of us who moved/booked back in 2020 are being told we have to pay £50 per person to move the date.

"No customer loyalty there given our money has helped keep them afloat."

This newspaper contacted both Camps International and Tui for comment.

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