During the last half a year, Coronavirus has devastated the world. Millions have gotten sick, thousands have lost their lives, and entire economies have already been shut down. In a matter of weeks, entire countries completely locked themselves down and closed their borders to visitors.
For the very first time since probably World War II, travel — a business that depends on human movement and employs 10% of the global workforce — completely stopped.
Now, as COVID-19 recedes occasionally, many countries are slowly needs to reopen to tourists.
While Personally, i think it’s still better to wait just a little longer before taking a global trip, that doesn’t mean we can’t begin looking at the existing situation to obtain a sense of how exactly we can best plan our future trips.
There are a great number of variables and everything continues to be changing.
And that creates a whole lot of questions.
How would you know which countries are open? Just how do we find out new visitation rules? Will travel cover apply through the pandemic? What’s flying going to end up like? Are hotels and hostels safe? What attractions are open?
To assist you figure out how to proceed and how to locate information, I created this post to find the ball rolling. (Note: This post will be continuously updated as more info becomes available.)
What Destinations are Open?
The set of countries that are opening in the coming weeks and months grows each day. Some are opening for all international visitors, while some are opening limited to neighboring countries. Some countries, just like the US and Indonesia and Australia, have bans on visitors from certain countries. Tahiti is making people show a poor test result within 72 hours of their flight. Same for Austria (unless you’re in one of 30 approved Europe). However, Cambodia wants a $3,000 deposit to cover any potential COVID expenses.
In a nutshell, there’s a whole lot of varying rules to evaluate.
Which means you’ll should do specific research predicated on where you intend to go if you would like to travel come early july or fall. Luckily, here are a few websites which will make that research straightforward.
First, this is a helpful (however, not user-friendly) map from the International Air Transport Association showing you which countries are allowing flights.
Second, The Points Guy and Travel Off Path have breakdowns on the existing travel rules for just about any country on the globe.
If you’re from the united states, Skyscanner also offers a handy set of state-by-state restrictions and restrictions by country and flight cancelation policies/information.
Also you can download the travel planning app App in the Air for ongoing travel restriction updates. Their app is pretty awesome since it enables you to sort airlines with what their policies, tells you what airports are doing, and has information on health checks too.
Additionally, if you’re going to Europe, this official map from europe enables you to know which countries are open.
Third, check the state government’s Foreign Office or tourism board because they could have the most up-to-date information.
If you’re uncertain where to find those websites, simply Google “(country name) foreign office” or “(country name) official tourism board.” Additionally, “(country name) COVID travel update” are certain to get you a good set of official websites too. They’ll have the very best information on potential quarantine rules, test requirements, and other restrictions.
Where MAY I Find the MOST UP TO DATE Case Count Information?
If you would like to start to see the current status of a destination’s number of active cases, this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University is kept up-to-date. However, I favor Worldometers because it’s a little more user friendly and you will parse down the info a little more.
What exactly are Airlines Doing?
Flying for the near future will probably be a whole lot different. Currently, most airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks, though enforcement is inconsistent. The boarding process in addition has changed to lessen interactions and support physical distancing.
Some airlines (such as for example Southwest) aren’t booking any middle seats to keep up a safer distance between passengers. Don’t assume all airline does that, though, even though most flights remain under-booked, I’ve seen images of some rather full flights.
Here’s a post with an increase of information from The Points Guy if you wish to learn more.
For cleaning, many airlines are majorly disinfecting planes among every flight. For current policies, here’s a listing of the major airlines and their current procedures:
- American Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- British Airways
- Air Canada
- Air France
When you are flying or elsewhere traveling alongside other folks, here’s some important hygiene advise:
- Wash the hands frequently (or consider wearing latex gloves).
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid touching that person.
- Wipe down your seat or seating area with disinfectant wipes (because folks are gross and are also planes).
On the plus side, many airlines have changed their cancelation policies, therefore you could change your flights without penalty now aswell (check your unique airline to see if that’s a choice before you book). I doubt that may last a considerably long time but, as airlines make an effort to get people in seats, they’ll make changing your flight easier in an effort to do so!
What exactly are Hotels, Hostels, and Airbnb Doing?
Accommodations in lots of cities have already been closed or forced to use at reduced capacity. Almost all of the major chains that are open (or reopening) have focused on enhanced cleaning routines. A few of the key changes hotels are embracing are:
- Temperature/health checks of guests on arrival.
- Enhanced disinfection and cleaning of the check-in counter and common areas (pools, fitness gyms, etc.).
- Adjustments to common areas to keep up social distancing.
- Extra disinfection for the most-used items in resort rooms (door handles, remotes, light switches, etc.).
Most hotels also have changed their cancelation policy to create bookings more flexible because the situation is indeed fluid. Listed below are statements and policies from the major hotel chains to help you review their changes and commitments for yourself:
- InterContinental Hotel Group
And if you’re seeking to find out about Airbnb and how it really is giving an answer to the existing situation, here’s their Coronavirus policy and update page.
For hostels, there’s so many that it’s hard to state what all of the hostels on earth are doing. There’s no hostel association where members need to abide by certain guidelines like in other industries. But here are some policies from a number of the larger hostel chains to provide you with a feeling of the industry at this time:
- HI Hostels
- Generator Hostels
- St. Christopher’s Hostels
Make sure you get in touch with the hostels directly because they will be best positioned to reply to your questions.
HOW ABOUT Tour Companies?
Many tour companies aren’t even selling tours at this time so you’ll have to check ahead to see what companies remain offering tours throughout your travel dates. Here are several travel updates and policy changes from the best tour companies:
- Take Walks
- Fat Tire Tours
- Intrepid Travel
Make sure you double-check the company’s cancelation and refund policies in the event they start selling tours again but need to quickly shut down in the event of another update. You don’t wish to be stuck without money.
For everyday activities in a city, simply check the neighborhood tourism office. They have up-to-date information on what attractions are doing in addition to information on changes to public transportation.
Will TRAVEL COVER Cover Me?
Most travel cover does not apply throughout a pandemic. This is also true if your government has issued warnings never to visit specific regions or countries. Actually, some travel cover companies aren’t even selling insurance at this time in light of the problem. Eventually, as travel restarts, that may change. If you would like to ensure you’re covered, here’s what I would recommend:
- Purchase “cancel for just about any reason” plans or plans that include comprehensive trip interruption and cancelation coverage.
- Make every purchase on a travel credit card that also offers insurance as a backup.
- Visit only destinations that don’t have any government warnings.
- Contact the insurance provider before you book and talk with someone directly about their COVID exclusions.
IMAGINE IF I Can’t Quarantine for 14 days?
Many destinations are requiring people to quarantine on arrival. Contact the foreign office to find out more to make sure you aren’t likely to spend your complete vacation in lockdown (travelers already are learning about quarantine rules too late).
The problem is changing and, in the event that you end through to a flight with a person who tests positive, the united states could force you to quarantine. It’s a genuine risk. I’d say that in case you are unable to quarantine for 14 days during or after your trip, don’t go international. Stay local.
When Do You Recommend Booking?
As I update this on 7/20, the Bahamas just restricted their travel (after re-opening too early). Croatia changed its rules the other day again. In short, the problem changes quickly — and sometimes with no warning.
If you need to travel, I’d book everything within one or two weeks before departure. Monitor case counts and, if cases remain low where you intend to go, you ought to be fine. If cases are rising, you run the chance of new restrictions happening at a moment’s notice.
Additionally, I wouldn’t go anywhere in the event that you can’t get yourself a COVID test within 72 hours of your departure. Proof being COVID negative may be suddenly required of you!
It’s nice the world is needs to start again but, personally, I believe it’s best to concentrate on travel inside your own borders at this time before international situation becomes a bit better organized, guidelines are clearer, and we start to see the clearer ramifications of reopening on destinations. I’m traveling domestically but internationally? I’m quite definitely in the “wait and see” camp.
But, with guidelines developing associated with COVID and travel, you can at least begin to understand rules and what things to expect for when you do begin to travel!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s, because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know no stone has been left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the biggest inventory. If you need to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com, because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget TRAVEL COVER Travel cover will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in the event anything goes wrong. I never embark on a trip without it, as I’ve had to utilize it many times previously. I’ve been using World Nomads for a decade. My favorite companies offering the very best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for all those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to get the best companies to use when you travel! I list those I take advantage of —