2021 was not the travel year most of us hoped for, but hopefully 2022 will be a year filled with new travel experiences. Vacations256 has already planned some spectacular vacations for our clients and ourselves and are looking forward to creating some incredible new memories.
Although Omicron kept 2022 from starting out as we expected, one thing we keep hearing from clients and suppliers is that the time has come to learn to live with this virus. We are definitely hearing that people are ready to plan vacations. During the last two years there have been birthdays, anniversaries, and many other milestones that couldn't be celebrated, and people are ready to make up for lost time.
Many travelers, myself included, are ready for international travel again. This brings up the question- How will things be different when planning international travel for 2022? Here are some of the main things to keep in mind when trying to travel internationally this year.
This is really important these days. In this new Covid environment, there are many cancellations, delays, schedule changes, etc. Lines are longer and phone hold times sometimes take hours due to short staffing. Every thing is going to take longer. Knowing that you may be forced to postpone your trip is a possibility. So plan the vacation, but stay flexible.
Know the Cancellation Policies
It is critical that you know the cancellation policy for every service you book. Hotels, tours, transportation, flights… you need to know how they will handle a cancellation in the event borders close or countries institute lockdowns. When working with us, we provide you with all of this information. And, in the event your trip needs to be postponed, we handle all that for you for you.
Masks are Needed
Be prepared to wear masks at the airports, for the duration of your flights, and anywhere else they may be required.
Vaccination and Boosters will Open the World
Countries are starting to require travelers to not only be vaccinated, but also have the booster shot. In many places domestically and around the world, you will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, museums, etc.
Be Ready to take COVID Tests
In addition to vaccine requirements, some countries will require a negative COVID test to enter. The US also requires a negative COVID test before returning home. The test must be taken within one day of the flight’s departure to the U.S.
Protect Yourself with Travel Insurance To safeguard yourself against financial losses, I highly recommend travel insurance that will refund your trip in the event of a cancellation or unforeseen circumstance. There are different types of policies, and understanding the differences can be tricky, but an experienced travel advisor can help you select the one that will cover you for Covid related reason. Be aware that most basic policies don't cover this. Even if you purchase a “cancel for any reason” policy, options may not offer a full refund. It’s very important to understand a policy’s specific conditions before buying. Travelers should also consider airfare and hotel options that allow for refunds, travel credits or changes, even if those options cost a little more.
Have a Local Contact
We ensure clients have the most up to date guidelines and COVID testing requirements for each country they are visiting. Most of our hotel partners offer testing onsite or we assist by providing clients with information on where to get tested. We partner with local travel suppliers that are available to assist clients if any assistance is needed for a longer stay (should you test positive before coming home), or any other matters.
By continuing to work with our preferred partners around the world, our clients are taken care of every step of the way. These times have certainly made traveling a bit more complicated, but we have adapted and adjusted to this new normal. Our clients are still traveling safely and creating unforgettable memories!