Check, Change, Go: what the UK government's latest slogan means for your holiday

1 month ago

Holidaymakers will soon face higher travel insurance charges and mobile phone costs, and tougher passport controls. Thank goodness for this three-word advice …

Name: Holidays.Age: More than a thousand years.Wow! Did the Anglo-Saxons really take trips to Benidorm? Try to treat this seriously. Holiday is derived from the Old English word hāligdæg, meaning holy day. It was a day set aside for religious observance. The trips to Southend and beyond came later.And when did we stop taking them? That’s easier. In 2020, we abandoned holidays in the travel sense and went back to praying. Vacations out; vocations in.But seriously, do you think holidays are over? Well, the newspapers have pictures of the odd bikini-clad Brit sitting in splendid isolation beside a pool in Spain, but in reality people will be taking fewer foreign holidays this summer.Why? The information on which countries you can and can’t travel to without quarantining seems to change every day. Air travel is now even more unpleasant than before. And if you do manage to get to your four-star hotel in Ibiza, you’ll probably have to book for the pool and there will be no breakfast buffet.Oh well, it’ll have to be a staycation for me. That will please Boris Johnson, who says you will be doing your bit for the economy. But expect to have your temperature checked on arrival; there will be queues for the lift because numbers will be restricted; and you will be encouraged to eat in your room.Any other options? Adventurer and chief scout Bear Grylls is fronting a campaign to encourage children to camp out in their garden or a nearby park. It would at least be cheap. And I suppose you could have the breakfast buffet.OK, how much is a pop-up tent? I guess I’ll just have to wait until 2021 to go further afield. Indeed, but start planning now if you want to go anywhere in the EU. The government’s new Check, Change, Go ad campaign – how it loves those three-word slogans – is stressing the problems that will face holidaymakers after the end of the Brexit transition period in December. Such as? Higher travel insurance charges; higher mobile phone costs; tougher passport controls; long bureaucratic delays to get a pet passport.Project Fear? Project Reality!What does Check, Change, Go actually mean? It is being widely interpreted on social media. “Check what Boris Johnson said during the referendum campaign; change your plans to visit the EU; go back to the 1970s,” sums up the general mood.But I thought we were taking back control with an oven-ready deal that was going to save the NHS £350m a week and get us better terms than we ever had as members of the EU. You poor gullible fool. You need a holiday.Do say: “I hear New Malden is nice at this time of year.”

Don’t say: “It’s two weeks in the Algarve for us this August as usual.”

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