The travel bug has been itching so much it’s turned into a full-blown rash. Not only did we miss a proper summer last year because of the bushfires, a certain you-know-what decided to throw all of our 2020 holidays plans into the trash, too. But if we get this thing under control, and keep doing the right thing, it’s likely we’ll be able to have some semblance of a summer holiday here in Victoria by the end of the year. 

Of course, there are many variables that we must contend with to get to that point. However, if regional Victoria is anything to go by, we could be considering day trips and overnight stays across Victoria relatively soon. So, that begs the question… is it too soon to book?

It’s nice to have something to look forward to, so we’ve gathered some frequently asked questions about summer travel together and tried our best to provide up-to-date information about your possibilities. But please remember: it’s up to us to keep doing the right thing and staying home so that we can enjoy ourselves when summer arrives. We’ve done such a great job so far and we’re so close. You’ve got this, Melbourne. 

When can metro Melbourne travel again?

Currently, those living within metropolitan Melbourne under step two of the roadmap can only leave their houses for four reasons (you know them). Holiday travel is not one of those reasons. For regional Victorians in step three of the roadmap, there are no restrictions on when you can leave your home, so you are able to stay overnight at holiday accommodation. 

Metropolitan Melbourne is expected to move to step three of the roadmap by October 19. There is still a big question mark over whether this will mean metropolitan Melbourne will be able to move into the exact same step three restrictions as regional Victoria, so we will have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. But fingers are crossed for the 19th. 

Is Airbnb taking bookings right now? 

Yes, they are. But if you live in metro Melbourne you cannot currently stay in holiday accommodation. Airbnbs are advertising, as they normally do, so you can browse for future dates. Airbnb has strict cancellation policies, but more on that below. 

Is it too soon to book an Airbnb for the Christmas holidays?

This is completely up to you. It’s looking likely that we will be able to travel around the Christmas period IF we stay the course and work hard to flatten the curve now. At this stage you should probably only consider accommodation in Victoria and not interstate. More on that below. 

If a third wave hits and we go back into lockdown, will I get my money back?

This depends on where you book and whom you book with. If you’re looking to book an Airbnb, the booking platform recommends finding listings with a flexible cancellation policy (you can search this with a filter on the site so you can only see those bookings). If it’s a campground, caravan park, motel, hotel or otherwise, definitely check with the venue before you confirm your booking. 

Can I book a campground in regional Victoria if I live in metro Melbourne? 

Currently, those in metro Melbourne cannot stay overnight in tourist accommodation. As such, only regional Victorians can book campsites for stays up until December 19. Parks Victoria says this is subject to availability and may change. Summer ballots for popular campgrounds haven’t been released yet but you can sign up to updates on Parks Victoria’s website.

Regional Victorians can currently book accommodation with the people you live with, your intimate partner, or the household that is part of your bubble. For more information from Parks Victoria, check the website.

Can I go interstate?

At the moment, no. The border to NSW is currently closed to all Victorians (though you can apply for a permit to cross for reasons mentioned here). All other states have closed their borders to Victorians, though some have begun to announce reopening dates like the Northern Territory. More on this will be revealed as we move through the roadmap. 

Can I go overseas?

No, sadly, this one seems even more unlikely. We’ll be sticking to Australian holidays for the remainder of 2020. 

What about New Zealand?

The first stage of the trans-Tasman travel bubble we’ve heard so much about includes New Zealanders being able to travel to NSW and the NT from October 16. Travellers won’t need to quarantine upon entry in Australia. At this stage, there hasn’t been anything announced about when Australians can travel to New Zealand. 

Can I have family over for Christmas?

If we stick to the low case numbers we’re seeing now, hopefully, yes. This is obviously the goal we’re all working towards so depending on what’s announced in the next couple of weeks, this could be a possibility. 

Is there a limit on how far I can travel to go to the beach?

Beach holidays are part and parcel of living in Melbourne. We escape the city to head either (south)east or west towards Victoria’s plethora of beaches. Right now, if you’re in metro Melbourne, you must stick to your 5km bubble. If that bubble includes a beach, you are very lucky. When restrictions ease, it’s likely we’ll be able to visit some of Melbourne’s best beaches again. But, as we’ve said before, it all depends on what is announced in the coming weeks. 

After the year we’ve all had, we’re all so eager to enjoy this summer the best we can. For now, please do your part, stay home and be safe.

Any other questions? Head to the Vic Gov website for up-to-date information about Victoria’s roadmap out of restrictions.

Melbourne’s lockdown rules explained – what you can and can’t do right now.