We’ve missed you these past many months. We’ve missed making your travel dreams come true, and we’ve missed our own travels. While we at CTTW have been reluctant to take on any new trip bookings since March, we realize that some of you might be ready to or have to venture away from home – whether to a hotel across town, across the country, or possibly across an ocean. If so, you may benefit from our tips for travel in the time of COVID.
Do your homework. Not all airlines are created equal (we like Delta), and not all destinations are smart choices on any given day. Because border and quarantine regulations can change unexpectedly, it’s a good idea to check local infection rates and entry rules during the planning process and again just prior to departure. Delta has a helpful search tool for checking rules, but the most reliable intel will come from foreign embassies and the US State Dept.
If a COVID test is required, make sure you get the right one at the right time, or risk getting no farther than the airport check-in desk. The PCR is the preferred COVID test that is often required.
Ask about hotel restrictions. Getting there is only half the battle. What safety measures has the hotel adopted? Is the spa open? Are there dining limitations? If you’re not comfortable with their COVID policy or if the guest experience will be dramatically altered, you may want to pick another hotel or wait for a better time. If you do decide to make a reservation…
Be aware of cancellation terms. Can you get a refund or a credit for postponing if not able to travel as planned? If not, ask if they will extend the cancellation deadline to 24 hours before arrival. Many hotels are being flexible.
Consider insurance coverage. While COVID isn’t typically covered by a standard policy, many of life’s other downers – accidents, non-pandemic illnesses, work complications, etc. – are. Evacuation insurance through Medjet is also worth considering, though not applicable for COVID evacuations in all places.
Pack Accordingly. Carry-on essentials have taken on a new meaning. Sure, it’s nice to have warm socks and an extra charger, but what you really need are a good face mask, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and alcohol-based wipes for the airport and plane. Don’t leave home without those three essentials.
Realize that travel will be different for the foreseeable future. If you can adjust your expectations and remain flexible, travel can be gratifying – even in this crazy time. It’s an opportunity to slow down, to go somewhere you might not have considered before, and to give a much-needed boost to an ailing industry filled with nice people.
If you aren’t comfortable leaving home yet, that’s ok. You can still use this precious time wisely to prepare for travel: learn a new language, apply for Global Entry, update your passport, read about far-off places, and dream to travel. Get ready. The day is coming.
Caroline Travels the World (someday soon)…and So Will You.