Traveling in a Covid World

People are traveling

It is 2022! Happy new year. We were all hopeful that Covid-19 would be behind us now, but it is not. We are in a new “normal” for travel. The good news is that people are traveling. I had clients take successful trips in 2021 to Europe and to Tahiti. Ireland is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers and the UK has loosened its entry requirements and testing.

Western Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher

To reduce the stress of traveling into the unknown, I would suggest traveling with a tour group, cruise or keep your itinerary to one country only. The benefits of traveling this way for 2022 are many. Staying in one country lowers your risk of having the border restrictions change mid-trip. If you are with a tour group, your tour manager will be able to navigate any changes, illness or disruptions for you. The same thoughts apply to river cruises, small ship ocean cruises and barge trips. These ships have protocols in place for sanitation, port calls and touring options. I have plans to escort clients on a 12-day Highlights of Ireland and Scotland tour in May. There is still space available if you’d like to join me.

Be flexible

When packing your bags, be sure to pack your patience and humor. Be prepared to have possible flight cancellations. If you test positive before traveling home, be prepared to work remotely, by packing your laptop, if possible. Your itinerary may need to flex, if a museum is closed or an attraction has met its maximum numbers for the day. Booking a timed entry for many locations is mandatory. Dinner reservations are strongly suggested, as the number of diners is limited to provide social distancing. You may be asked to show your vaccination card to enter restaurants in certain countries or cities.

View of the Eiffel Tower from Notre Dame ( 2018)

Having been through and still going through the uncertainty of travel, I am here to tell you that it is possible, but you must plan and have a backup plan for your backup plan.

My outlook for the return of tourism is cautiously optimistic for 2022 and I have many clients that are agreeing with me and booking travel. . We must all consider our own risk factors when traveling, as we each bring something different to the table.

Some destinations are welcoming guests

As I mentioned above, Ireland is ready to welcome you with open arms and borders. If you’d like to stay in the US but would still like some sunshine, consider Puerto Rico. There are many hotels both in San Juan and further out that have great beaches, hiking and adventure activities such as zip-lining and kayaking. Old town Saan Juan offers night life, fine dining and a great history in its city.

Plan for the worst

Make sure that you have enough extra time built into your trip to be able to absorb any delays or illnesses that you may experience while you are away from home. Make sure you have extra medications packed in case your trip is unexpectedly extended as ours has been. If your prescription is written by a US doctor, a local pharmacy should be able to provide an emergency refill for you.

Don’t leave it to the last minute

Many companies are offering refundable deposits or future credit vouchers if travel is not possible. If it is still unsafe to travel, many companies offer refunds provided they are the ones to cancel a tour. For this reason, small group tours, river cruises, and ocean cruises offer the best guarantees for your money. Independent travel would have a lot more moving parts that are potentially non-refundable. Make sure you know which parts of your trip are refundable and which parts will be replaced with a credit for future travel.

Is your passport up to date?

Whether you are thinking of traveling domestically or internationally, please remember that the Real-ID is slated to go into effect in October 2021. From that date forward you will need to have a passport or other acceptable form of ID to fly. You can read more here. Passports are taking longer than usual to process. They must not expire earlier than 6 months after your return date to be considered valid for travel.

Travel with me!

Here is how I am hoping for the future. I have three trips that I am currently booked for with a group or on my own. I plan to go until I am turned back. You are welcome to join me for any or all.

  • 04 May 2022 – Cosmos Tour of Ireland and Scotland, 12 days
  • 05 September 2022 – Celebrity Cruise Venice, Turkey and the Greek Islands, 10 nights

Other thoughts 2022

  • Rocky Mountaineer Train Voyages in Canada
  • Mississippi River Cruise – Memphis Music Theme
  • Columbia River Cruise – Wine Theme
  • Puerto Rico (US territory)
  • Ireland
  • Italy (choose a destination that is less traveled)
  • Croatia and Slovenia – There are many outdoor options for travel

Long Weekend Getaways or Work Remotely Trips:

  • New Orleans
  • Savannah
  • Nashville
  • Memphis
  • Charleston

I am looking forward to partnering with you for your future travel plans. 2022 and 2023 are ready to book. Let’ get out there and travel.

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