Over the past year, when you asked someone what they are most looking forward to after things get back to normal, one of the top responses has been, “to travel again.”
Now that vaccine distribution is well underway, normal feels closer than ever. And that means that folks are chomping at the bit to hit the road. However, while things are starting to loosen up, we are still far from 2019 when it comes to travel levels and easing of restrictions.
If you’re ready to start traveling again, read the following to figure out your options and the best places for you to go right now:
Are Others Ready to Travel Too?
Most definitely. A recent survey conducted by STR shows that not only do people want to travel, 75% of those surveyed have actually made plans to travel away from home for pleasure sometime in 2021. All of these are at least overnight trips. And many of them will be “long-haul” travels.
At least right now, such long-haul travels look to be primarily domestic. U.S. shores may not technically be as far away. But for many tired, land-locked Americans, they feel as far away as they need to be. Struggling airlines are planning accordingly by scheduling out more flights to popular U.S. travel destinations in Florida and California.
Where Can I Travel Right Now?
Experts expect domestic travel to come back sooner than international. This is due to the simple fact that domestic travel is just easier than international travel, which is true even during the best of times. And now with COVID lingering all around the world, international travel has become that much more complicated.
Some countries are open to international travelers right now. But certain restrictions still apply on a case-by-case basis. Some countries require a recent negative COVID test, while others still require quarantining for a period of time. And there are others that are still closed to foreign travelers entirely, except for citizens coming home.
In addition to being different for different countries, travel restrictions tend to be quite fluid these days in general. They are ever-changing as the virus ebbs and flows. It can be hard to keep up from one day to the next. Fortunately, you can keep an eye on travel restrictions and stay up-to-date on them by visiting sites like Sherpa or using travel planner apps like TripIt or Hopper.
Are There Any Basics I Should Keep in Mind?
There are some things that you can take for granted wherever you travel, domestic or international.
If you plan to fly, take a bus, or use some other form of non-private transportation, you and your family need to have a mask with you at all times. And, no matter how you get there, you should plan to have a mask with you once you reach your destination.
Beyond that, you need to be prepared to show that you have tested negative for COVID-19. Or that you have been vaccinated against it. This is true of heading out as well as coming back home.
And prepare. If you are normally a fly by the seat of your pants kind of traveler, you definitely need to keep in mind the importance of planning these days. Access to lodging, food, and sights may or may not be available on the spur-of-the-moment.
What is a Vaccine Passport?
A vaccine passport is a theoretical document or app that proves you have been successfully vaccinated against COVID-19. Official vaccine passports don’t exist right now. And the U.S. federal government has stated that it will not directly develop one.
But state and local governments and businesses are discussing it, especially when it comes to things like travel, in-person shopping, attending concerts, etc. When or if a formal vaccine passport is actually created, the proof of vaccination you get from official vaccination centers should be sufficient to prove that you’re covered until then.
Months of being cooped up have left so many of us feeling stir crazy and eager to see something other than our backyard. It’s no wonder that so many are ready to get back out there and see the world.
Thankfully, it looks like you can. It’s not quite back to normal yet. But by keeping a few precautions in mind, you should see your options to travel opening up more and more everyday.
For more tips and other information about how to travel safely, read more on the PeopleFinders Blog.
Photo credit: Song_about_summer – www.shutterstock.com