By Wally De La Rosa | Money.com
Although it’s been a while since we were last able to brandish our passports at the airport or take out our nice luggage for a spin, increased vaccinations and a slowly-rebuilding economy is putting travel points, destinations, and travel hacks back on the map for many Americans.
After what feels like living a few years below ground, COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown measures are finally easing up as more people get vaccinated across the country, and nations begin to explicitly open up their borders for leisure travel.
It makes you wonder: Am I ready to start traveling?
To help you decide, we’ve gathered three short questions to help you determine the best approach to retake your anticipated travel plans.
Quite surprisingly, the U.S. predicts around 53% of their population will be vaccinated at least once by early July, but many Americans continue to have doubts about the safety of the vaccines.
Meanwhile, the CDC recommends delaying all unnecessary travel, including leisure and business travel, and to take full precautions when traveling due to reasons outside your control until you are fully vaccinated. The same is true for travelers bound to or from Europe.
COVID-19 has disrupted the way we go about our business, from commuting to grocery shopping, having dinner, and traveling. This just to say: Businesses are doing their best to adapt to a very fragile and complicated public health situation and we should try to understand that.
Yes—it sucks that it’s been so long since we last set foot on foreign land, but we’re okay. We’ve made it. Now it’s just a matter of asking ourselves:
Do you know where you want to go? Before choosing a destination and setting a date for your adventures, do some research, and read up on any official COVID-19 response statements emitted by the country’s government to ensure a smooth entry with little to no setbacks.
Over the course of the pandemic, almost half of people worldwide have put their travel plans on hold, and a similar amount have outrightly cancelled their trips and asked for rain checks for fear of catching the virus in the air. Airlines have continuously reassured us that properly ventilated airplanes pose a minimal risk to passengers as long as they are fully-vaccinated, wear masks, and keep a safe distance from other passengers, although traveling is not 100% safe still.
While most of us have no problem with staying put a little while longer until things get better, many people have a necessity to travel due to business, health, or family emergencies.
Though the outlook isn’t very clear, having a solid backup strategy is essential during this period.
Diving back into travel after such a long time doesn’t just feel like a lot, it is!
There are many questions on traveler’s minds right now, and a lot of the uncertainty brought on by COVID has made people hesitant to travel if they can agree to wait a little longer—which means a lot of us have been putting it off for a few months, too many!
But waiting can actually have a positive effect on your overall trip, since you’ll have more time and money to go through with it in the end.
For those who want to take a few extra months to save up for their trips, now might be a good time to start clearing off items from your credit report, so that when the time comes, you can use a rewards card to make the most of your expenses abroad.
A few extra months of waiting can also help you save an additional couple hundred dollars to play with when you finally set sail, and that extra time can be put to good use by researching your destination fully and finding the best green alternatives to enjoy on your travels.
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Agoda or Aviasales / Jetradar. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels and also Hotellook
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and equal to cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are: