Since the pandemic shut down most countries across the world, most Americans have had planned trips canceled or postponed for the year. We know that holiday travel is on your minds and that a lot of you really just want to travel again. With places in the Caribbean and Africa opening up to Americans, the thought of getting away to someplace warm and exotic is very appealing. As travel experts, who have assisted MANY passengers with postponed/canceled trips in the past six months, there are many factors to consider when booking a holiday trip. First and foremost, you need to feel comfortable getting on a plane and staying in a hotel/accommodation. Your comfort level is a priority, as you need to feel confident in your own health and safety practices to travel confidently.
Airlines and hotels worldwide have put stringent safety and cleaning protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of their guests. And our selected tour companies have put social distancing protocols in place.
But here are some things to consider:
- If the country/destination to which you would like to travel (or have already booked) or your place of residence becomes unsafe, you need to make sure you understand the full cancellation policies and the possibility of transferring the trip to a later date.
- Travel insurance is a MUST during these times to cover you. And if you want the most flexible coverage, you should consider purchasing a cancel for any reason policy.
- If a destination is still OPEN (or has opened) to international passengers, but you feel uneasy or unsafe traveling there, this MAY not be a covered reason for basic travel insurance and likely not covered in hotel cancellation policies. So please make sure to ask all of these questions when booking a trip.
- Most destinations are requiring a negative COVID test upon arrival, and some require additional testing on the ground. You will need to feel comfortable with this and be OK with paying for extra tests sometimes. Many countries require the test anywhere from 72-96 hours prior to departure from your home country/state. Therefore, you will need to time the testing appropriately. Additionally, you should consult a travel expert to assist with planning the logistics of further on-the-ground testing if needed.
- As COVID has caused the closures of many businesses, you will also need to consider the possibility that some touring options, airport clubs, and restaurants won’t be open or available while you are traveling.
- Airline routes and flights are being changed/canceled regularly, so you will need to be flexible with times and dates as flights can change drastically, which will certainly alter the traveler’s plans. Most airlines are VERY flexible, so you won’t need to worry about fees with these changes.
- You should consider consulting a travel expert prior to booking a trip to ensure you have considered all issues surrounding travel now. As requirements are changing daily and your travel expert will have access to the best information.
All that being said, now is a great time to travel as there are NO crowds! Imagine witnessing a pride of lions in Africa where you are the only vehicle at the sighting—or sitting on a beach where there is NO ONE else around. If you are willing to take a few extra steps for travel now, there are some fabulous experiences out there. Call us at Down Under Endeavours today!