OMG! It’s back. Planes are in the sky, airports are open and us travel enthusiasts are booking our summer, fall and winter vacations like they are flying off the rack/going out of style/like our last YOLO moment. We are all dying to explore, lay on beaches and escape our realities for a bit with a little vacation. Summer travel season is going to be nuts! So hang on to your sunglasses.
Europe is open, well some of it, and the US is getting back to the real normal, say goodby to the NEW normal. Bookings of hotels, flights and tours and filling up and vacation goers are booking now for summer 2022.
More than ever, more millennials are working remote as employers adopt remote working as a practice rather than an expectation for work standards. Digital nomads are searching destinations that are catering to working remote and looking for coworking spaces and filing up long term stays.
But if you have tried to travel this past June, you know that NORMAL isn’t really back yet. We traveled to Greece in June, and while the rules for COVID testing or proof of vaccination to fly into Greece are fairly clear, COVID testing for taking the ferries are not. We found out 24 hours before our ferry that we needed a rapid test. After combing through the web, we read that we could get a self-administered rapid test from the pharmacy. But how do we show or document our results and submit them to authorities before taking the ferry? No where on the web or blogs did it say clearly, what to do. There was a health form that we completed before boarding the ferry where we marked we had a negative self-administered test.
Our friend from North Carolian, Doug, also had a bit of mess flying into Europe. His plan was to fly into the Netherlands, head to Portugal for a visit, and then Germany to visit friends. He asked Wander to check out the travel restrictions to see what was required to enter. Ummmm, we have an issue! The day before he flew into the EU, Portugal just opened their borders to US citizens, complication avoided. But as he checked into his flight in NYC, they wouldn’t let him board the plane since the Netherlands wasn’t allowing US citizens in. He had to buy new tickets and reroute his trip to fly to France, Portugal, France and then train it to the Netherlands.
Needless to say shit is complicated. Confusion is an euphemism to describe this. Cluster X would be more appropriate. Websites on rules and restrictions contradict themselves as rules are changing rapidly and over periods of days not weeks. Flight boarding staff are confused about what immigration documents and COVID tests/vaccination cards to check, pharmacists are confused about the testing procedures, hotel staff are confused about what common spaces to open to the public, and public health officials in small tourist towns are the last to know and implement new strategies.
But don’t fear! Wander Like Me understands these frustrating travel conundrums because we have lived it the past two years. Travel did halt, but not for our CEO who was stuck in Bahamas when COVID hit, sailed the ocean with her husband to be allowed to enter Spain (her husband is Spanish), and was routed through Germany, France before finally getting home to Canada- where she had to take 4 COVID tests in 24 hours and quarantine 14 days (3 in a hotel). Yeah so we know the cluster XXX of COVID travel.
And who did she rely on during her travels? All the locals for Wander Like Me. She chatted with Wander’s locals to get the truth of what was really happening on the ground. And you can too! Check out Wander Like Me (www.wanderlikeme.com) to learn more about how you can DM our locals for all the facts about traveling this summer.
Below are our top tips to traveling now that COVID is simmering down and travel is picking up.
Pros and Cons of traveling during COVID
We dive deeper into the pros and cons of traveling in today’s world
Pro: Cheaper flights
although prices are starting to increase due to travel picking up again, there are still good deals to fly anywhere in the world in a safe environment
Pro: Filtered air on planes
Filtered air on planes is the best way to ensure there are no contaminants in the air which makes flights that much safer
Pro: Vaccinated People are pretty much free to do anything they want
From attending shows, to live sporting events, to nightclubs. People with the vaccination are essentially free and clear to go wherever no matter how many people are gathered in an area.
Con: Places may still close early
Some places are still in the process of transitioning back to a safe, yet open environment. Although this may still be a problem, it is very exciting to see new places open up every single day!
Some places such as Hawaii, are still requiring quarantine after arrival. Although this can be seen as a problem to tourism, the quarantine can be avoided by providing Covid PCR tests prior to flying.