After almost two years of uncertainty and turbulence in the travel industry there is finally some good news. With the lifting of restrictions on vaccinated travellers entering the UK there appears to have been a huge surge in bookings which won't come as a surprise to any of us given the pent up demand we all knew was out there.

I've been hooked on the roller-coaster ride of trying to second guess best timings and the best countries to try and get away to over the past 9 months just to get a taste of normality. Like a lot of you, I've been desperate to pack a suitcase with 2 pairs of shorts and some polo shirts (probably says too much about me!) instead of contingency planning for the possibility of all four seasons hitting at once during my staycation.

Whilst some of the largest operators in the industry have managed to secure additional finance and adapt business models to cope with the severe impacts of Covid-19, this latest news will come as a huge shot in the arm to some of the smaller operators who have been coping with obstacle after obstacle and doing a great job of making it through the biggest peace-time challenge our economy has faced.

So, happy days right? I, like so many, have longed for the true moment of freedom to arrive where I can decide at relatively late notice that it would be good to book a cheap flight away somewhere. I'd love a City break somewhere to take in a concert or a footy match.

A question I'm asking myself though is 'have we now turned the corner?'. The answer, I fear, is 'possibly not quite yet'. I mean, at the moment I'd pretty much re-mortgage the house to get away for some sea, sun and sangria but once that initial itch to travel has been scratched what will my thought process be?

What are other countries doing? I see France has recently relaxed rules on British citizens entering the country, which is positive, but I see today that Spain is experiencing soaring cases of Omicron and may increase its restrictions. I'm married to an Italian and I know that whilst a 'super green pass' should be enough, Italy is imposing pretty severe restrictions on its own citizens and so how does that impact my holiday there? Will further variants mean that other countries still make it difficult for us to travel? Also, in the short term, children over the age of 12 will need to be fully vaccinated to avoid travel restrictions in some countries, another important consideration for families travelling abroad.

Another question I ask myself is how much inflation will rise over the course of this year? If we are all paying double what we used to pay in energy costs and day to day living costs are rising quickly, where does the family holiday abroad sit in our list of priorities? Many would say that history shows us that a holiday is not a luxury good and it every bit as important to us as our daily cost of living but inflation must still be a factor in our decision making.

Finally, given the ease of making our own plans on the internet, a lot more holidays over the years have been booked on a flight only basis with people making their own arrangements for entertainment when they arrive. Will ongoing uncertainty over what Covid-19 might bring next lead to a substantial swing back towards package holidays? It feels a lot easier to ensure you are covered if your whole holiday is booked through the tour operator. This could lead to some good news for package holiday providers whilst this uncertainty exists but potentially ongoing challenges for low cost airlines.

Anyway, just some of my thinking on the matter but the most important thing is I haven't got to pay an extra £300 for my family to go through the usual PCR testing this year and I'm feeling a whole lot more positive that I can have some sort of holiday abroad this year. Got to dash, I need to book a holiday!!