Over a year ago, travel was put on hold around the world due to COVID-19. After months in lockdown, many people are now fully vaccinated and travel restrictions are starting to ease. If you’re vaccinated, will you feel comfortable going ahead with anticipated vacation plans that you had to cancel last year?
It’s been over a year since nonessential travel was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with more and more people getting vaccinated and covid numbers beginning to drop, restrictions are starting to ease and some countries are slowly opening to tourists. World famous tourist sites, museums and attractions as well as hotels, restaurants and bars are once again welcoming guests, although many with restrictions.
Everyone is eager to enjoy a summer vacation but widespread confusion continues as to what is required whether flying overseas, cruising the Caribbean or even visiting a tourist attraction such as Disney World. If you are fully vaccinated and the type of person who is willing to accept the unexpected challenges that might occur while traveling, then perhaps you will you feel safe planning a summer or fall vacation. Just remember that travel requirements, rules and restrictions are evolving almost daily. Whether you are thinking about a short weekend away or a weeks long adventure overseas, planning is a must. If you are hoping to visit one of the national parks in the US, know that many hotels and park lodges are already full until the middle of August so be flexible with your dates. Even something as simple as restaurant reservations are no longer a given as many restaurants have gone out of business or now have uncertain schedules.
The US is still closed to international travelers regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. While many countries are about ready to reopen their borders to foreign visitors, we need to remember that they all may have different entry requirements and could change their rules and regulations at a moments notice depending on Covid numbers. As things stand now, by July 1, all citizens of the EU will be allowed to travel freely within the EU using an upcoming vaccine certificate program. It would show whether a traveler has been vaccinated, recently tested negative or prove they recovered from Covid and developed a natural immunity.
If you are thinking about travel outside the US, we are still under a Level 4 Do Not Travel Advisory at the present time. Plans to allow vaccinated travelers from outside the EU to travel in Europe is in the works but not finalized as yet. Travelers will have to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated but it’s not clear yet how that will happen. With no common system available for Americans to prove that they’ve been vaccinated, some airlines are developing digital health apps that their customers can use. They will show what documentation is needed to enter the country they are going to and a way to upload the needed documentation. Some US airlines are creating direct, Covid free flights from certain airports and expanding flights to Europe.
If you are thinking about booking a cruise or trip overseas, I suggest looking into trip insurance. Be aware that if you are planning on buying a travel insurance policy to protect you from problems that might arise from Covid, most insurers and medical evacuation providers are treating Covid as a “known event.” That means if you put in a Covid related claim, it will probably be turned down unless you’ve bought a “cancel for any reason” plan.
If you have been stuck at home and eager for a change of scenery, you are not alone. While many people are beginning to feel comfortable enough to think about making travel plans for summer and beyond there are others that are concerned about whether people should be traveling anywhere. Consider all the pros and cons before you decide to book a trip. Airlines and cruise ships as well as hotels have been lenient as far as cancellations are concerned but make sure what their policies are before making a booking. If your plans include overseas travel, you might want to choose a country that has a reputation for good health facilities and protocols in place in dealing with Covid-19.
I believe that if you are willing to accept the unforeseen requirements that might arise and can easily adapt to changes, you will probably end up having a nice vacation. While you may have to deal with restrictions and uncertainties, taking a little holiday will do a lot to improve your spirits. We just need to remember that our world has changed and may never get back to what we considered normal hassle free travel. Now I know what you want to know, have I made any summer travel plans…not yet, have you?