Travel has seen a big return over the last year compared to what we saw in 2020, but things are still far from normal in a lot of ways. If you're considering traveling soon, here are our 5 top tips!
First of all, you want to plan ahead of time. This is something we recommended even in pre-pandemic times, but it's still true now. Sometimes our clients are surprised - why do I still need to plan far ahead? Aren't hotels and resorts hungry for guests? The truth is that a combination of capacity restrictions, labor and supply chain issues, and travelers postponing their trips to late 2021 and 2022, means that many destinations have limited availability. This is true for the rest of 2021 and early 2022, and we're starting to see it as late as summer of next year. If you want to travel in 2022, especially in the spring, it's best to book soon.
Next, we always recommend getting travel insurance for any trip you take, and now we recommend it more strongly than ever. Not only can insurance offer coverage in case someone gets ill while traveling, or if you need to cancel last-minute (for a covered reason), but it also offers coverage in case of travel delays. Learn more about what travel insurance can do here.
Speaking of travel delays, you'll need to keep an eye out for flight changes. Airlines have experienced a lot of schedule changes as they try to keep up with renewed demand, and we've seen a large number of flight changes over the last several months. Always double-check your flight schedule before your trip to make sure that you're showing up at the airport at the right time for your flight. If your flight schedule does change to something that doesn't work for your trip, make sure that you (or your travel agent) contacts the airlines right away to look at alternatives.
If you're traveling out of the country, make sure that check (and double check) testing or vaccination requirements. Nearly all international destinations have requirements to either present a negative COVID-19 test, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or both. Requirements vary widely in regards to what tests are accepted and the required timeframe for testing, and some may have additional requirements such as testing upon arrival, quarantine, temperature checks, or other health checks. These requirements also change frequently, sometimes with little notice, so be sure to consult with your travel agent about the most up-to-date requirements.
Lastly, one of the most important tips when traveling right now is to be patient and flexible. Things are still not normal, things are still continually changing, and you may encounter additional restrictions and longer wait times than you may be used to.
If you're feeling overwhelmed or confused by current travel requirements, then be sure to work with an expert that can help you with all of this! Contact our Travel Pros to get started.