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Mount Williams, Grampians National Park
Photograph: Matt Donovan

What you need to know about booking a holiday this summer in Victoria

Can I book an Airbnb? Your questions about summer travel in Victoria, answered

Rebecca Russo

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. As announced by premier Dan Andrews, it looks like from November 8, if we continue driving case numbers down, accommodation will open for those in metro Melbourne.

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?

From October 27, the four reasons to leave home will be removed for metropolitan Melbourne. Then, on November 9, the 25km limit will be removed, as will the border between metro Melbourne and regional Victoria. From this date, hotel accommodation will be able to reopen, which means you can start booking a well-deserved break.

When can metro Melbourne travel to regional Victoria?

The border between metro and regional is expected to come down on November 9.

Can regional Victorians visit Melbourne?

Currently, you can only travel into metropolitan Melbourne unless it's for: essential supplies and services; medial, care or compassionate reasons; or for permitted work or study. From November 9, there will no longer be a border. 

Is Airbnb taking bookings right now? 

Yes. 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. 

You can now, with a little more confidence, start to book accommodation from November 9. 

Can I book accommodation with friends who I don't live with?

According to the rules, group bookings from November 9 will be restricted to:

- only members of a single household, OR
- only intimate partners, OR
- only members of a single household and two adults and any of their dependent children or dependents

There is a note that members of separately booked groups can't share bedrooms at a facility. 

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 make sure we don't see a third wave.

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, 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?

"Not yet," says premier Daniel Andrews. The federal government has announced a plan to get the majority of Australia's states and territories open by Christmas – so there are no new updates on when Victorians can go interstate but stay tuned. It's likely this will be announced soon.

Can I go overseas?

No, sadly, this one seems very 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 Australia 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, we hope the answer is 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?

Right now, if one of metro Melbourne's beaches is in your 25km bubble, you are allowed to travel to it. But as for the beaches down the coast, you will have to wait until after November 9 to visit them. 

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 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

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