After months of lockdown, we seem to be falling into two categories - those who are still a little anxious about the realities of our brave new world, and those whose cabin fever is so strong they're getting misty-eyed for 4am trips to the airport and excess baggage fees.
If you're one of the latter, you'll likely be scanning websites for bargain flights, or watching the news for any sniff of what sun-holiday destinations the Government will add to its 'Green List' for quarantine-free travel from July 9. But as desperate as some of us are to salvage some kind of summer break this year, what would a post-pandemic package actually look like?
Luckily, some people have already been testing the waters for us. On June 15, the first group of German holidaymakers boarded a TUI flight and landed in Mallorca, kicking off a pilot scheme to open safe tourist corridors in Spain's Balearic Islands. Most guests were split between two hotels, RIU Concordia and RIU Bravo, and stayed for at least five nights with new safety protocols in place, including filling out government health forms and temperature checks on arrival.
Watching the video of guests arriving, to the applause of hotel staff lining the entrance, was strangely moving. But the sight of staff in gloves and masks, staggered at a safe distance from one another, was also a little disconcerting. That's the tension at play. While some holidaymakers would prefer not to travel in this new reality, there's no denying that the demand is there from others.
Ryanair says Irish customers have been "booking in their thousands" to summer hotspots in Spain and Portugal. Holiday search website Skyscanner says it saw a 39pc increase in Irish flight bookings between May 24 and June 21, with Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife all taking the top spots. And some travel agents have been selling packages for the end of July, ahead of quarantine orders being lifted and before official travel advice changes.
So what will our beloved package holidays feel like when we are allowed to jet off? What will change?
"The components of a holiday will be the same, with added safety measures in place," says Michael Doorley, president of the Irish Travel Agents' Association (ITAA).
"There will be new procedures to follow, both in the airports, while transferring and checking in to your accommodation, and in restaurants, bars, shops and beaches at resorts," he adds. "The normal safety measures should be observed, just as they would at home."
First things first. Distancing measures and new procedures will be in place at airports, so leave plenty of time to get through departures. There will be lots of hand sanitisation stations (over 920 in Dublin Airport alone), but do bring a little bottle for use in the air. You'll need to wear a face mask in the airport and on the plane, though children and people with certain medical conditions are usually exempt from this. Food or drink services will be limited on board (with some pre-ordered), so make sure you bring any snacks you might need in-flight.
Bear in mind that different destinations will have different protocols on arrival, too. The Canary Islands will be recommending Covid-19 tests - and offering them free for a period this summer, for example. Others, like Portugal, will have airport temperature scans. Don't forget to ask what happens if someone in your family feels sick, or has symptoms, and what the transfer will be like, too.
After a stressful journey, the hotel or holiday resort is where you want to let your hair down and finally relax. Will that be possible while Covid-19 is with us?
Reputable destinations and resorts have been working out various ways to keep guests and staff safe (check details with your travel agent). In some cases, that means reduced services and kids' activities, no breakfast buffets, restaurant tables by appointment and swimming pools only available to those who book a time slot.
"We most certainly won't be doing that," says Geraldine McFadden, who manages Costa Sal and Aqua Suites in Lanzarote. "People are on their holidays - it can't be a military operation. We're going to have to try to adopt some kind of normality." Instead, a distance of at least 1.5 metres will be kept between poolside sunbeds and swimmers will need to maintain the same distance while in the water. Some sun loungers have also been moved to the terraces, so people can stay in their own space if they prefer.
But McFadden has also delayed the reopening of both hotels until September. "There are only about 10pc of the hotels on Lanzarote opening in July and August," she says. "We don't anticipate that there will be many people travelling… I think the back end of September and October is when things will start to kick off again."
At Sani Resort in Halkidiki, Greece, two of six properties opened on July 1, with strict safety protocol in place. It includes complimentary Covid-19 testing for both guests and employees, a "tech-led touchless guest journey" and a physically distanced experience (the resort is set within a private 1,000 acre eco-reserve, which helps). They'll be emphasising private experiences too, like al fresco dining in your private garden, and there will be non-invasive temperature measuring available. All beach and sun beds are at least four metres apart, and disinfected regularly.
In Portugal, Tivoli Hotels and Resorts started a staggered reopening process on June 8. They're controlling the movements of guests in common areas to minimise contact and guarantee physical distance. That means you need to book a time slot for breakfast, dinner and loungers by the pool. Temperature checks are recommended at check-in, and the use of face masks is compulsory in closed areas like the lobby and restaurants (though not when you're at the table).
How have guests responded to the new measures? "We have had very different reactions," says Tivoli's regional director Jorge Beldade. "Some guests are more anxious and want to know all the measures we are taking in detail - what kind of disinfection products we are using and so on. Others are very much relaxed and just want to enjoy their days in the best way possible."
In a world where even going to the supermarket can feel like an ordeal, we're under no illusions that if you do get to go on holiday in 2020, it will feel different. So while the deals are out there, is anyone actually booking?
"Bookings aren't at 2019 levels, but there is still great interest in travelling this year, mostly for the October to Christmas period," says Michael Dooley. "There is a pent-up demand and this is reflected in the enquiries that agents are processing. Irish people love their island, but they also love travelling abroad… as an island, it's in our DNA to travel."
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Bring your own face masks, both for the flight and for anywhere it's needed at your destination. It's probably a good idea to get kids used to wearing them before you jet off. It's also wise to bring gloves, hand sanitiser and maybe a thermometer.
Cassidy has five nights' self-catering in Lanzarote from €232pp (Dec 8; cassidytravel.ie). ClickAndGo.com has seven nights in Lanzarote from €1,553 for a family of four (Oct 14).
Oroko Travel has seven nights in Porto Sani, including fast-track and private transfers from €989pp based on two adults and two kids, for travel in 2021. orokotravel.ie
Sunway has seven nights' B&B in the five-star Tivoli Carvoeiro from €655pp, departing October 14. sunway.ie NB: All prices subject to change and availability.
NB: At the time of publication, the Government had not yet published its 'Green List' of countries for which travel is allowed. See dfa.ie/travel for latest advice.