Holiday planner: £200 to help navigate travel restrictions: Busy mum ‘can’t keep up’

Grant Shapps warns travellers to hold off on booking travel tests

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Busy mum Katie is desperate for a holiday. But with the travel rules changing constantly, she wasn’t sure how she would be able to keep up to date long enough to book a must needed break for her family.

Undeterred, Katie took to online marketplace Airtasker UK and offered £200 to someone who could help her navigate the reality of holiday booking in Covid times.

Her online ad read: “My family and I have been dreaming of a holiday for months (much like the rest of the world), but I just can’t keep up with the latest restrictions to book a holiday.

“With the rules changing so quickly, I’m after someone who can stay across the latest travel advice and guidelines, and keep us informed if anything changes.”

Speaking to Katie about her search for a virtual holiday planner, found out what motivated the mum of two.

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Katie said: “I’m a busy mum I’ve got two children, I’m self-employed, and there’s so many changes happening that I don’t have time to keep up with everything.

“We’ve been pretty restricted going into travel agents, so I thought this is just the best and easiest way to do it.”

Travel agencies based around the family’s home in Hampshire have all been closed, and Katie really wanted a “personal touch” to help her with the family’s first holiday in two years.

“A lot of the travel agents by us are actually closed. It’s a family holiday and we haven’t been away for two years. I wanted a lot more of a personal touch, give her my information and for me to sort of forget about it and somebody to do the leg work.”

Having never done anything like this before, Katie listened to a friend’s recommendation to put an ad on Airtasker for help, as “it’s quite hard to keep up with it all”.

“I’m putting my faith in somebody to have the knowledge of what stages we’re at and what happens next. It is hard to trust somebody, but we’re paying the fee. I am putting all my trust in them to update us on everything regarding where we’re travelling to and be on top of it.”

Looking to get a bit of a break and some sun over Christmas and New Year, Katie and her family have picked a virtual holiday planner who can help them.

“The person I’m paying has found a few holidays that we are interested in but I’m just keeping on hold at the minute, because I’m so unsure if something is going to change again.

“And because me and my husband are both self-employed, we can’t take a chance. My husband works in construction and Christmas and New Year is quiet, but it picks up in January, and if he had to isolate for 10 days, if the rules change, he’d be unable to do that.”

Even with a holiday planner, Katie wasn’t 100 percent sure about her holiday plans.

“It’s so hard to know what to do. Whether to go ahead, but what if we were out there and we couldn’t get back and needed to isolate, we’d be totally stuck.”

While Katie was still “very confused” about testing requirements, especially for children, she was still “hoping to get away”.

“It’s all very confusing and conflicting I think.

“But I think we all deserve a holiday right now. We all deserve an all inclusive break in the sun. I think I will end up booking because the time is flying.”

Katie was planning on making a final decision in the next two weeks, and will still be relying on the family’s holiday planner for help.

“I’m looking at the person I’m paying to be my first call of contact [even when on holiday].” 


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