We all have our own idea of the perfect summer holiday. For some people, it’s sun lounger, cocktail in hand, soft white sand. Others prefer a “sightsee by day, party by night” city break. This year, coronavirus restrictions and financial uncertainty might make getting your perfect break away that bit more difficult for freelancers. But we still think it’s important to make sure you plan in some holiday over the summer – at home or abroad. You may feel safer sticking closer to home this year, or you may be counting down the hours until you can board that plane. However you’re feeling about travel, here’s Dinghy’s top tips for planning your 2021 summer break.
There is still no official word on when overseas travel will be allowed, but even when it is, some spots will likely be safer than others. As we’ve seen from last summer, the situation can change rapidly with coronavirus, and countries can be added to the “red list” at very short notice. If you simply can’t contemplate a summer without some foreign sunshine, make sure you book ahead any tests that are required so you’re not held up at the airport. If you can get vaccinated before you go, this will also help give you peace of mind.
Research your destination carefully and make sure you check the latest restrictions: will you need to quarantine? Remember to check both the regulations of the country you are visiting and those for when you arrive back in the UK. You’ll need to think through whether it will be logistically possible for you to quarantine upon your return. If you work from home, this might not be too much of an issue, but if you’re usually working out and about, you may need to give your clients a prior warning.
Take your work with you
One thing we hear a lot from our freelancers is “I’d love to take a holiday, but I can’t afford to stop working”. We get you. Freelance life can be busy, hectic, and it can be a terrifying prospect to turn down work. If it’s not possible for you to stop working altogether, could you step down to part-time hours for a week or two? You could consider a working holiday to give yourself a change of scenery. We’ve been working at home for over a year now, so the least you could do is treat yourself to doing Zoom meetings with a view of the beach or from inside a national park.
Stay in the UK
With overseas travel heavily restricted, UK vacations will be extremely popular this year, with lots of spots already booked up. If you don’t have school-age children, you might be able to take advantage of your freelance flexibility and take a term-time break where it will be quieter and cheaper – May and September are good times and still see plenty of sunshine in most areas of the UK. You might have to do a bit of research and look beyond the obvious destinations like Devon and Cornwall, but the UK has something for everyone. To get you started with some ideas, have a look at this guide to alternative destinations to popular hotspots, or discover the UK’s quietest beaches. Shhh, don’t tell anyone until you’ve booked it though!
Get out clause
We hope that Boris is right and that these lockdown easing steps are “irreversible”. However, it’s clear that no one is properly out of the woods yet, so make sure you check the cancellation terms for everything you’re booking. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the time spent reading the small print is well worth it if it means you can ensure that you can get a refund or move your booking if you can’t travel. Double-check what you’ll be entitled to if your destination country goes into lockdown, if the UK bans travel again, or if you test positive and have to self-isolate.
Take a break
If you don’t fancy straying too far from home or risking your savings on a holiday that might never happen, you could plan a staycation. We think it’s really important that freelancers make the time to have some rest, particularly after the year we’ve just had. Taking a break now will help you avoid burnout, leave you feeling less stressed and ready to take on new challenges. If a holiday isn’t on the horizon, block out your calendar for a week and spend it doing some day trips in your local area, taking advantage of the newly opened outdoor hospitality, or even just sipping G&Ts in the kids’ paddling pool.
However you decide to spend your summer break, remember that freelancers with Dinghy insurance can pause their policies while they’re on holiday, saving you money while you’re not working (do remember to keep it on if you’re working away though). We’ve designed our policies to be flexible, just like freelance life, so if you need professional indemnity insurance or public liability insurance, head to our website for a free quick quote.