Start planning something special for 2021, or even later this year, says Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays.

If lockdown is firing up your wanderlust, why not start planning something special for 2021, or even later this year, says Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays. This is what he has to say...

Two big questions when booking a holiday now are security and flexibility. Can you change your departure date without paying a fee? Will you get a refund if your trip is cancelled?

Travel companies are working around the clock with their suppliers to offer the reassurance of watertight guarantees, and keep prices as low as possible. All the tour operators we recommend at 101 Holidays are fully bonded and we trust them to look after you and your money. But ask your own questions.

We are a nation of travellers, it’s in our blood. We will return to the skies before long, and the money we spend will help support thousands of communities in need around the world. And the smiles that greet us when we finally arrive will be wider than ever.

Free holidays for NHS heroes

Simpson Travel is giving away 10 free holidays to front-line NHS and care home workers. You can nominate a worker (including yourself) and they will pick the winners randomly at the end of June. Details here.

Classic Cottages will give a £500 gift voucher to five NHS workers chosen from nominations on Instagram as part of the popular #treatournhs campaign. Details of how to nominate somebody are here.

Mahlatini is giving away a £10,000 luxury holiday for two to South Africa to one health care hero. You have until 29 April to nominate somebody. The company will decide on a shortlist of three then invite the public to vote for a winner. See the video.

TransIndus is giving away a £5,000 luxury holiday to India for two people – you can nominate any NHS worker by 31 May and the winner will be drawn at random.

33% off adventure tours in 2021

Tucan Travel is slashing 33% off the price of many of its 2021 tours and it has reduced the size of its groups from a maximum 29 to 19. One highlight is the 8-day Gorilla and Chimpanzee Experience in Rwanda and Uganda. It is reduced from £2,519 to £1,688, excluding flights. Pay a £100 deposit and you can change dates up to 60 days before departure to another date or another tour for a £50 amendment fee.

15% off boating holidays next summer

A boating holiday will be a lovely way to escape the crowds in 2021. Explore beautiful inland waterways in France, Portugal, Holland, Germany or Hungary and get a 15% early booking discount with Nicols. No previous boating experience is needed. If your holiday is affected by coronavirus, you can postpone without charge.

Let Asia inspire you

If you’re thinking about a holiday to Asia, Experience Travel Group is giving away a free card game, Travel Toppers, that will inspire the whole family. Order yours here. It has also created a series of downloadable destination guides.

Wendy Wu Tours has up to £500 off tours to Asia in 2021 with deposits of just £49. It has created a series of webinars for first-time visitors. Click here and scroll down to “Journey Round the World from your Armchair”.

26% off Madeira winter sun

Inspired Luxury Escapes is seeing a lot of interest in its heavily-discounted winter sun holidays. For example, seven nights half board at the five-star Vidamar Madeira with free room upgrade is reduced from £748 pp to £550 pp including flights departing 30 November 2020.

Safari from your sofa

If you dream of a wildlife safari, you can experience the real thing from home with Virgin Limited Edition’s series of Sofa Safaris. broadcast live every Monday. Learn about episode one at Ulusaba in Kenya here and watch the whole video on Instagram here.

In keeping with its name, the Inspiring Travel Company has created a marvellous online travel magazine packed with ideas, from recipes to binge-worthy travel shows on TV.

20% off luxury 2021 cruise

Book a luxury Silversea cruise and save 20%. The seven-night Southern Italy & The Adriatic cruise from Venice to Rome via Zadar, Hvar, Kotor, Brindisi, Naxos and Naples costs £2,639 per person and includes free business class flights, transfers, all meals, drinks and tips. Departing 12 May 2021, the Silver Spirit has just 608 passengers.

50% off Mauritius for health heroes

Front-line health workers can get 50% off a hotel stay in Mauritius until 31 May 2021 (excluding Christmas and Easter). For example, seven nights all-inclusive at Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa with flights and transfers departing the UK on 2 December costs just £1,175 pp. Book by 30 September with Beachcomber Tours (01483 445 610).

£500 free honeymoon goodies

If you’re planning to get married in the next year, check out Turquoise Holidays which has a Sapphire Package including a free collection of gifts and goodies worth over £500 if you confirm a honeymoon booking by 31 May. It has a huge collection of offers on luxury holidays in 2021 including seven nights B&B at Velassaru Maldives from £1,499 pp including flights and transfers, saving £400 per couple.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes about travel, from Mark Twain, which is arguably more relevant now than ever:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

April 2020