NOT long now! Following last week’s announcement by Boris Johnson, the English holiday sector is on the verge of opening its doors again and, for many, it’s not a day too soon.

Of course, the overseas holiday market remains awash with ifs, buts and maybes, which will take a while to sort out, but as English hotels, B&Bs and pubs open it may be time for some of us to dust the suitcase off.

However, we still need to stay alert to the ongoing threat of Covid-19. 

Protecting deposits and other payments is vital as localised lockdowns or travel restrictions could force us to cancel our plans.

Before hitting the ‘book’ button think about…

1. Booking holiday accommodation that offers free cancellation.

2. Booking accommodation which allows a change of date.

3. Booking properties which offer payment at the property.

4. Check the travel insurance policy.  Does  it cover holiday cancellation due to Covid-19?

READ MORE: Alfresco dining while the countdown's on

Other money-saving practicalities to consider include:

1. Is parking included in the price? It's especially important for city breaks.

2. If parking isn’t included, is there a discount for advance booking?  

3. On room only accommodation check for local eateries to avoid having to use the hotel’s restaurant as these can prove to be expensive.

4. On self-catering, taking basic cooking ingredients will save time and money.

5. Avoid hotel gift shops and health spa shops etcetera, as these can be ridiculously expensive.

It’s nice to see things starting to return to a new normal, but remember to pack hand sanitiser, face masks and any other PPE as these may be expensive or hard to find at holiday destinations.

We’re not out of the woods yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Bon voyage!