Foreign holidays ‘not a good idea’ as holidaymakers jet off to ‘green’ list countries

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The easing of lockdown rules means that holidaymakers can travel to countries around the world adhering to the Government’s traffic light system. Countries on the “green” list require no quarantine on return while destinations on the “amber” list require a mandatory 10-day isolation period on return.

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Countries on the “green” list include Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

The Faroe Islands, Saint Helena, South Sandwich Islands and Brunei Darussalam are also on the list.

A pre-departure coronavirus test is required as well as one on return into the UK.

Countries on the “amber” list include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, India, Kenya, Peru and South Africa.

Foreign holidays ‘not a good idea’ as holidaymakers jet off to

Foreign holidays ‘not a good idea’ as holidaymakers jet off to ‘green’ list countries (Image: Getty)

The University of Oxford professor said people should visit places like Cornwall this year

The University of Oxford professor said people should visit places like Cornwall this year (Image: Getty)

Holidaymakers travelling to “amber” countries are also required to take a pre-departure test as well as one on return.

Although international travel is no longer illegal, some experts have warned against foreign holidays this year.

One leading University of Oxford professor has said that foreign holidays are “not a good idea” and people should visit places in this country like Cornwall and Bournemouth.

This was echoed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said people should not go to “amber” countries like Italy, Spain and Greece unless the visit was “absolutely necessary”.


Sir John, a member of the vaccine taskforce, said that the infection rate globally was still going up, meaning “having people flying around and coming back with whatever local variant they may get is not a good idea.

“People have to get used to the fact that Cornwall and Bournemouth [are] not that bad.”

These comments come after many have been left annoyed about the decision to leave India on the “amber” list despite the variant rapidly speaking.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning, SAGE public health expert professor Gabriel Scally also said that international travel is not a priority.

Countries on the “green” list include Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland, Singapore and Australia

Countries on the “green” list include Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland, Singapore and Australia (Image: NC)


He said: “We shouldn’t shut down the borders but what we should do is make sure that when people are coming into the UK and Ireland is that they are properly quarantined for a proper period and that’s something unfortunately we haven’t done.

“It’s something I’ve been advocating for a very long time and as a result we’ve had this Indian variant arrive, highly infectious, causing real problems in the North West of England in particular and could cause many more problems.

Speaking on Times Radio, Matt Hancock was asked if he agreed with Sir John’s comment.

The Health Secretary replied: “What I would say is that people should not travel to ‘amber’ or ‘red’ countries unless it is absolutely necessary and certainly not for holiday purposes.”

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“We should remember that we’ve only got about 50 percent of the population vaccinated at the moment.

“International travel is not a priority and is something that we should be avoiding except for essential travel.”

The comments come after many have been left annoyed about the decision to leave India on the “amber” list despite the variant rapidly spreading.

The lift on international travel saw hundreds of travellers jetting off for their holidays today with pictures showing holidaymakers queuing for flights to destinations like Portugal.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “The regulations do not say it is illegal to travel to ‘amber’ so the government should not be suggesting or imitating it is. That just leads to confusion and passengers not knowing what they can and can’t do.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, British Airways CEO, Sean Doyle reassured customers that the correct procedures were being followed with deep cleaning on aircrafts.

He also explained that the airline was launching £40 PCR tests to help make it more affordable for travellers to jet off to countries around the world.

15 Pros And Cons Of Traveling In A Van In 2022

Mobile homes might not be the most popular way to travel coming to one’s mind. Many people, though, return from RV vacations converted in some kind of road-trip super fans. Reckon that feeling?

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One could think about all the similarities between mobile homes and snails. We agree. But, largely differenced here, the car would be the one carrying all you need; not you anymore! On top of that, the speed of travel differs a lot too. Today, vans and mobile homes can experience a fair similar speed to any other vehicle.

Whenever weather forecasts announce nice and warm temperatures and not so much rain, a lot of countries see how their roads are, little by little, filled with mobile homes. Especially in these pandemic times, since this way of traveling makes social distancing easier than ever.

Pros of traveling in a van

Advantages? Surely. Otherwise, it would not be as popular!

Most countries are pretty van-friendly

Laws may vary among countries but mostly, they allow you to park your ‘home’ at a number of public and private places which makes the experience much better. Free spirits will mostly look to park their vehicle as far from civilization as possible. Nonetheless, when restrictions apply and staying anywhere overnight is impossible, private camping grounds are usually not too far away. There you can park your vehicle at an acceptable price. And, while you’re at it, empty the gray water, recharge the battery and fill the water tanks.

It gives you incredible freedom to roam

And like a car, you enjoy a kind of mobility and flexibility when choosing where next that would be very unlikely without being in charge of your own transportation. That said, it still requires planning and somewhat, a routine, to make things work.

It saves you time

Thus, mobile homes keep on increasing the list of benefits staying pretty close to where you are while on vacation; minimizing time, and maximizing the usability in terms of eating and sleeping.

It’s more cost-effective

And, last but not least, we can’t forget the clear advantage that comes to budget as sleeping and eating costs will be massively reduced compared with other kinds of travel. You have a great budgeting example on this West Portugal van trip article.

Will make you avoid having to constantly pack

Friends of road trips, you know what I’m talking about. There is nothing worse than having to unpack and pack every 24, 48, or 72 hours to keep moving forward and this method of travel ends that problem once and for all.

While enjoying the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle

With just enough food, electricity, and water to get by, a basic wardrobe, a crucial cooking setup, and essential storage for everything else; it would be safe to admit van life falls into minimalism.

The life-changing benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle are something that has already been discussed in detail around here. In any case, here it goes again: Not being a slave to material things is one of the shortcuts to happiness.

What’s more, a minimalist style is perfectly compatible with fancy and bright interior decoration. A great place to look for inspiration is the online furniture store Castlery, which has endless ideas to furnish your new tiny home.

It can be quite sustainable

Of course, unless we are talking about an electric vehicle, there will always be a carbon footprint associated with this way of traveling. In any case, today’s caravans and vans are usually quite eco-friendly when you consider other methods of transportation and accommodation. Throw in a bike or two and a bike rack to transport them and you’ll be able to explore more without any carbon footprint attached.

Here’re the main reasons why traveling in a van is more sustainable than other traveling styles:

  • Resources such as water and electricity in a van are scarce and must be used wisely
  • It is possible to avoid the unnecessary washing of sheets and towels
  • Likewise, it helps cut the excessive packaging of food and single-use plastic that surrounds the tourism industry
  • Vehicles are increasingly optimized and have systems such as solar panels to make them as sustainable as possible
  • If several people are traveling together, CO2 savings start to be significant.

It allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle

Along with being able to be as close to nature as you want at all times, with all that that entails (such as breathing fresh air and being able to exercise anywhere), traveling in a van will also allow you to prepare your own meals and healthy snacks at all times. This will help you avoid the hyper-processed food that usually populates tourist sites, often the only option available.

And keeping up with your job and hobbies on the road

As well as bringing the necessary equipment for its development. Whether they are water sports such as surfing, SUP or kayaking; Terrestrial like cycling or skating, sedentary like going through your inbox or playing some board games, or even culinary like barbecuing. Whatever it is, if you organize the space well and the caravan has enough room for it, you won’t have to do without your favorite activities while you’re traveling.

Meeting like-minded people will be easy

It is not rocket science, but the reality is that if you opt for this way of traveling, it is very likely that sooner or later you will end up meeting people with your same interests with whom you will make good friends.

It’s probably the best way to travel with pets

If you are one of those who could be seen with a digital pet portrait of your most reliable friend on your shirt – seriously guys, check how amazing the hand-drawn illustrations at vectorpets are! – it is very likely that you have already had to go through the frustration of getting a ‘no’ for an answer repeatedly when trying to go places with them.

For whatever reason, the vast majority of tourist establishments today do not allow pets and that makes owners find themselves in the dilemma of having to choose between not traveling on certain occasions or having to pay large sums of money for the care of their furry friends while traveling.

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But here comes the good news, traveling in a van makes it possible for pet owners to bring them along anywhere they go. Especially if they own the vehicle. Yay, campervan travel!

AND an ideal way to travel with children

Thinking a bit further and with family travel in mind, ask yourself: Which other means of transportation allows you to have a similar comfort while traveling with kids? Pretty much, no other.

Cons of traveling in a van

Disadvantages of van travel must be taken into account too. On top of limited privacy, the occasional accident – after all, you’re on the road! – and the need to ‘schedule’ maintenance every other day, these are other cons of van travel:

It’s not suited for people who hate driving

There’s a need of enjoying driving or at least not disliking it at all since long hours will be spent on the road.

Finding a place to park your van can be tough

Parking large vehicles might become very tricky in some city centers. Nothing that the internet and nowadays guides cannot solve with thousands of directions and references to avoid this issue.

Safety is never fully guaranteed

Unluckily, safety can get your mobile home compromised these days. A mobile home. A city. A thief! The story is not new at all. A holiday time, conceived to your relax that slowly becomes a headache to you and your family. Every day, people get more concerned about security, and all kinds of measures are improved to protect everything.

Coming down to mobile homes, taking proper insurance to make sure your stuff is covered at all times is highly recommended as this nightmare my colleague lived in Florence several years ago recalls.

He and his wife had just arrived in town following well-know travel guide steps and they wouldn’t find any parking spots available. Suddenly, a parking lot around a park near the city center showed them two other mobile homes. They could be saved! My colleague left the car and started searching for a policeman to find out whether the spot could be used to park their van. Around half a kilometer later, an agent told him that the place was pretty insecure. He ran back to the mobile home to find out he’d just been robbed! A glass window was broken and the van was left barely with the only furniture that could not be easily removed and taken away; equipment and clothes included.

Next thing he remembers? He was filling a complaint in the police office with his insurance card in hand (not lost because he was taking his wallet with him), searching for a glass repair and they could only continue traveling after a while. An unforgettable and scary travel story? Tell him about it!

7 times a travel ban changed the world for good

Botswana elephant

Travel ban. The phrase has brought no shortage of negative connotations in recent months. Now that it’s back in the news after the U.S. government’s latest executive order, it seems the impacts will stick around a while longer.

The policy has provoked far-reaching consequences for, well, much of the world. It’s clear that closing borders, separating families, and discriminating against those of a different religion results in untold upset and confusion. It also impacts the travel industry. New York City has predicted the first drop in international visitor numbers since 2008, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, travel booking sites like Kayak and Hopper have reported dramatic decreases in those searching for flights to the U.S. Not only does this threaten billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, but it sets an extremely divisive precedent for the presidency.

With ample negativity circulating online about it all, we’re here to highlight some of the good. All over the world there are incredible people, organizations and governments showcasing the power of a ban — when it’s used for good instead of evil. In recent history, implementing a ban has proven that it can, and should, be a means of creating very real, positive change. Here are seven examples of travel bans that brought positive change to our industry.

When China banned ivory sales

The dramatic decline in the elephant population over the past 50 years can be greatly attributed to the ivory trade. Even with the global ban in 1989 by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), elephants continued to be killed for their tusks (in 2015 about 20,000 elephants were killed).

A major destination for the ivory market, sourcing nearly 70% of global demand, China finally said enough was enough. At the start of the year, the Chinese government took a major stand against ivory trade by announcing a complete shut-down by the end of 2017. This was a result of the government’s 2015 promise to end its ivory market trade , followed by its 2016 commitment reaffirmed during the 2016 U.S.-China Strategic and Economic (S&ED).

The CEO of WWF-China applauded the Chinese government’s decision. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but this important stand against elephant cruelty is a step in the right direction.

When Botswana banned elephant rides

Botswana elephant

When an entire nation makes a promise to ban elephant rides, the world should rejoice. Especially when that nation is Botswana, which has the largest elephant population in all of Africa — and in December 2016 announced a countrywide ban of elephant rides.

The first commercial elephant rides in Africa started in Zimbabwe in the 1990s and the popularity spread throughout Southern Africa to meet the tourism demand. It’s the same story as anywhere else, with tourists not understanding the physical and psychological effects of the seemingly “fun and adventurous” attraction.

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Thanks to a new government policy created by their Minister of Environment TK Khama, this elephant welfare initiative was brought to life. Seeing a cause backed by political support in Botswana makes it possible for other nations to make the collective effort to protect elephants.

When Amsterdam banned fur shopping

Fur was the ultimate status symbol for women in the 1940s and 1950s. Thankfully, some designers in the fashion industry today are making positive strides, with a greater focus on sustainable practices and a departure from exotic materials that endanger animals. Even legendary designer, Giorgio Armani, announced the end of fur in his line last fall.

In the summer of 2016, 19 store owners united on the Hartenstraat in Amsterdam to ban fur from their shops. Positioned in the historic city center, this popular tourist destination became the first fur-free shopping street in Europe after working together with Bont voor Dieren, a Dutch animal protection organization.

Recently in Berkeley, California a petition gathered 1,900 online supporters to become the first city in the Bay Area to ban fur sales. Little by little, we have seen this happen with designers and shops, and the movement is catching on in tourist-heavy cities. This effort will change travel shopping destinations, helping protect animals by avoiding frivolous fashion trends in favor of the classier cruelty-free look.

When TripAdvisor banned animal attractions

Uganda gorilla

Animal attractions are a complex issue. Cruelty is glaringly obvious in a bullfight, but for over 20 years, elephant rides were seen simply as family attractions. In fall 2016 TripAdvisor made a stand by calling it quits with selling tickets to animal attractions. The only exceptions allowed were ones which provided educational and conservation value, like aquariums and zoos. TripAdvisor’s CMO Barbara Messing admitted that there is no universal standard when it comes to animal attractions in the tourism industry, and they have made a commendable effort by partnering with animal rights organizations to set a higher standard.

By banning the tickets to animal attractions, TripAdvisor is instead putting the focus on education – to encourage travelers to do the research and make educated decisions before engaging in wildlife tourism. This is an important move by a giant in the tourism industry, and will significantly decrease the revenue generation that drives a continuation of animal attractions worldwide.

When the circus banned elephant shows

What kid didn’t delight in going to the circus? Unfortunately, what seemed like a magical ring under a tent was actually a long-standing controversy. In 2011 Ringling was fined with the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), dating back to 2007. That’s why it wasn’t surprising when two years ago Ringling Bros. announced the end of a long-standing and popular tradition…elephant shows.

Groups like PETA had been working on Ringling Bros. for years, demanding their release due to poor conditions and abuse. This campaign not only opened the eyes of consumers — which affected ticket sales — it also sparked anti-circus laws in U.S. cities that prevented circuses from touring without legal ramifications.

As of last year, 17 countries have banned wild-animal circuses entirely. While we are happy to see the Ringling elephants moved to a conservation, this worldwide ban shows the circus’ days are numbered as more people rise against the archaic tradition of animals being used for entertainment.

When travel companies banned elephant rides

In 2014, Intrepid Travel became the first global tour operator to ban elephant rides. Since that day, over 100 travel companies have followed suit. When it comes to animal welfare, Intrepid vocalizes their views loud and clear.

Elephants are wild animals. Period. An elephant under human command is not being domesticated…it’s being imprisoned. While there are admirable elephant rescue operations in existence, sadly an increase in poaching elephants from the wild for the sake of tourism tells a very different story.

This evidence of cruelty prompted Intrepid to phase out elephant rides over the course of two years, until all trips were elephant-free. Recently over 160 travel companies signed World Animal Protection’s elephant-friendly pledge to ban elephant rides and shows. It’s encouraging to see other major players in the travel industry pulling together to save the elephants. Power in numbers is a real thing.

When the U.S. banned import of lion hunt trophies

South Africa lion

A century ago the lion population looked very different in South Africa, an estimated 200,000 drastically down to 20,000. Trophy hunting has been pinpointed as a main cause for this decline by animal conservationists, with the majority of lion trophies being imported into the U.S. from canned hunts and hunting tourism.

To increase the hunter’s chances of obtaining a lion trophy to bring home, a canned hunt confines the animal to a fenced-in area. Between the confinement and murder for sport, it was high time for these attractions to come to an end, and for these hunting enthusiasts to face the facts of their willing participation in a dangerous and detrimental industry.

In Fall 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a highly-anticipated ban on the import of lion hunt trophies from these canned hunts in South Africa. By no longer allowing the import, the sport loses its appeal, with hunters being unable to bring home their cruel souvenirs. This is a major step in the right direction to end the decline of the lion population.

Image credits: c/o Intrepid Travel

Feeling inspired to book a trip with a difference? Check out Intrepid’s commitment to responsible travel.




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