To Travel or Not to Travel
5 tips you need to make your travel decisions
Does anyone, besides me, find the travel world pretty crazy and hard to follow? One day we can’t travel to a certain country. The next day we can but we need a negative COVID test. The next day, the country is closed again.
OR have you had the scenario where you booked a cruise in 2020 that was cancelled. You took the generous credit and rebooked only to have the new cruise cancel as well. You hear “cruising has opened” but the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a “no sail” from US ports. Maybe it will be OK in July. So, now what?
Even as a travel advisor, it is challenge keeping up with the ever-changing travel openings, closings and restrictions. Let me share with you five tips I use with my travel clients to help them with the decision to travel or not to travel.
- Determine your comfort level with health risk
There is talk that the senior population will be the leaders in opening the world of travel. Why? They were first to be vaccinated. Of course, there is never NO risk. On a scale of 1-10, where are you on taking the risk of exposure to COVID? One is “I’m not going to leave my house. Ten is “I have no concerns.” Your score determines when and how you want to resume travel. Low scores may want to consider US travel and stay closer to home. High scores may be ready to book the cruise or travel overseas as the opportunities arise.
- Know the safety and travel restrictions
The CDD and State Department updated their travel advisory list on 4/19/2021 to include 80% of the countries worldwide that are now included in the Level 4 travel advisory. Level 4 is the “Do Not Travel Advisory”. However, the reasons for each country vary. We also have the European Union (EU) saying on 4/26/2021 that they expect the EU countries to be open mid-summer 2021 for individuals who are vaccinated. HOWEVER, on May 1 Greece opened to US tourists that are vaccinated or have a negative COVID test. You can see why going with general information does not give you the details you need to make an informed decision. Once you know where you want to go, you will need guidance and research to help you decide. You can do that on your own OR use a travel advisor. I am answering questions like this every day as more and more individuals are preparing to travel.
- Be clear on the cancellation and payment policies
The travel companies used to be very strict in their cancellation and payment policies. Pre-COVID, did you ever try to change an airline ticket and have NO charge for doing so? Flexibility is the new norm. Airlines were known for their high re-booking or flight change fees. Not anymore. Zero to minimal fees have been the new policy. How long will this last? Anyone’s guess but you need to be clear before you move forward with your travel plans.
- Travel insurance is a must
Flight cancellations or delays, medical issues and resort changes are just a few of the reasons to have travel insurance. A recent client was staying at a lovely all-inclusive in Cabo. The husband became ill with a bowel obstruction and was in the hospital for 2 days. Thankfully, he recovered well and was able to return to the resort. They needed to add 2 days to their stay to allow him to rest in order to fly home. Travel insurance covered the $4000 hospital bill and the additional resort stay. Of course, you always hope you don’t need it, but it is a safety blanket for those unexpected things that can happen while you are away.
The decision to travel or not is always up to you. Having a travel partner to assist you with knowledge and resources can take the stress out of the joy of travel. Why use a travel advisor? Here is my commitment to my clients:
- I will save you time and ensures you get the information you need.
- You have a REAL person that knows your needs and concerns.
- You do not pay me as your travel advisor. The vendors pay the fees. You have nothing to lose by asking questions or getting my advice.