The war in Ukraine is having an impact on our holidays, with flight prices rising and booking habits changing since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The Foreign Office has added three countries and one territory to its red list, prompting tour operators to cancel holidays to those areas for 2022.
The closure of Russian airspace has had a ripple effect on flight times to the Far East, and rising jet fuel prices are expected to impact the cost of vacations in the weeks and months to come. to come.
Some destinations not involved in the war in Ukraine, but bordering Ukraine or Russia, are having their holidays canceled amid fears the war could have a wider impact on Eastern Europe in the months future.
This is how the holiday map is being redrawn due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Four countries are now banned
The Foreign Office now advises against all travel to Russia and advises anyone planning to travel there “to change their travel plans immediately”. All UK airlines are banned from flying to Russia, which means you will receive a refund from your airline if you had planned a weekend in Moscow or St Petersburg in the coming weeks or months.
Ukraine has also been redlisted by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), meaning travel to the country is not advised under any circumstances, and all UK citizens in Ukraine are invited to leave the country if they deem it safe. There is also a travel advisory against Belarus in northern Ukraine and the Transnistria region in Moldova.
This means that tour operators and cruise lines will be forced to cancel any upcoming trips to these redlisted areas. Viking Cruises has already opted to cancel all 2022 departures on its Kiev, Black Sea and Bucharest itinerary, and G Adventures has canceled all planned trips to Russia and said it will no longer accept residents. Russians on its routes.
Always check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website before traveling abroad and contact your tour operator or insurer if you have any concerns about your holiday.
People cancel holidays in the Baltic countries
Although there has been no military activity in the Baltic countries, some holidaymakers are changing their holiday plans to the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia due to the war in Ukraine.
Andrea Godfrey, Brand Manager and Ukraine Specialist at Regent Holidays, said: “We have noticed a slowdown in holiday inquiries in the Baltics and a small number of people who are due to leave in the coming months have transferred their bookings to alternative destinations. like Iceland and Scandinavia.
“We still have plenty of bookings in the region for the second half of the year and these have not been affected so far. Fortunately, demand for our other destinations, including many off-the-track countries beaten like Saudi Arabia and East Timor, is still going strong since so many Covid regulations were lifted.
The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, is only 36 km from the Belarusian border, while Latvia and Estonia share borders with Russia. However, the three Baltic countries have been members of NATO since 2004.
Hungary, Slovakia and Poland border Ukraine to the west
A number of popular EU holiday destinations border Ukraine to the west, including Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Poland. The Polish city of Krakow is only 251 km from the Ukrainian border
The FCDO does not advise against traveling to any of these countries, although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against traveling to Ukraine from these countries. Poland in particular is experiencing a large influx of Ukrainians seeking safety, estimated at over a million as of March 7.
Flights to the Far East will take up to an hour longer
Russia has closed its airspace to British carriers as well as airlines from many other European countries, and all international aviation authorities have now diverted flights from Ukrainian airspace after the Russian invasion. A quick glance at Flightradar24 shows a heavily loaded map of planes over Europe, but no flights over Ukraine and parts of northern Belarus.