Monkey on Our Backs: What It’s Like to Travel Now
As we enter year 3 of the Covid-19 pandemic with Omicron on the down-slope (though still raging all around us), some people are stepping out defiantly to claim activities we used to love. One of those activities is travel.
What’s it like to travel now? Reports are coming in from across the globe about people having wonderful adventures in spite of restrictions and requirements. Yes, many favorite destinations like France, Italy, and even the US have extremely high case numbers. And, yes travelers are having to be vigilant about taking PCR tests, filling out online forms, registering their vaccination cards, and staying calm when flights are cancelled. Still, if you're willing to put up with today’s travel environment, the pleasures of getting to and enjoying your dream destinations are sweeter than ever.
But, if you opt to travel now, how will you a) keep track of all the regulations and requirements and b) keep yourself and your family safe? The easiest answer to those questions is to find yourself an expert travel planner. A great travel planner who is organizing trips daily is keeping up-to- the-minute track of Covid regulations and spread.
I’ve got at least 8 continuously updated sources of information for every country’s requirements and I check them constantly. When I offer trips to clients, with every option, I include a detailed description of both the Covid-19 regulations for their destination and the specific cancellation and registration policies for each trip operator.
I then monitor these policies from the time of booking all the way up to Final Document time when I include a detailed document outlining just what my travelers should expect. I then check and recheck those regulations right up until clients arrive at the airport for their flight. And even when they’re on their trip, I am constantly updating them via Wild Nectar’s fantastic 24/7 phone app.
One development in the travel world that’s helping more and more people brave Covid restrictions is some home PCR tests which can fulfill your pre-boarding requirements. (Check with me for the correct ones.) Some tests also have phone app versions that you can use during your trip. Luxury hotels and tour operators are also making the PCR test requirements easier to handle by providing tests.
Another idea for staying as safe as possible is to travel on a “bubble trip.” These private trips keep you insulated from other travelers. Ask me about destinations and operators that take this bubble approach. Here are the destinations we are currently recommending for travel whether or not you are in a bubble.
My strongest recommendation for travelers heading out now is to purchase travel insurance, especially Cancel for Any Reason insurance or "CFAR". With CFAR, you’ll still need to cancel 48 hours before a trip to get your 75% of trip cost back, yet every other oddball Covid reason would be covered including things like not being able to get an approved test. Wild Nectar offers these fantastic Wanderwell policies and they both have CFAR options. Even if you don’t opt for CFAR, travel insurance can help you with so many Covid-related issues as in paying for accommodations if you get quarantined (up to a certain amount) or paying for an unused part of your trip if your trip gets interrupted.
So what’s traveling like now? It’s just as exciting, enlivening, inspiring, informative, and rejuvenating as it ever was–-maybe even more so because we’re treasuring it so much more. If you have an expert travel planner on your side, you’ll breeze through the requirements and policies with ease and still get to have your trip of a lifetime.