If you are a traveler like me, you are itching to travel as soon as the quarantine is over. But what does travel look like post Corona Virus? Will we be afraid to travel due to the fear of the virus spreading again? Will prices be ridiculous due to companies trying to bounce back from the money they have lost? Will we be afraid to interact with one another?
The truth is none of us know what we will face when the world opens back up. Yes, the world, because the entire world has shut down. What we can do is take precautions and learn from our mistakes.
Listen to Travel Advisories
If there is a real threat to the safety and well-being of people, a travel advisory will be issued. Not only will a travel advisory be issued on American government sites, you will also need to check the tourism board for your travel destination. Do not be the person to say, “well I’m going to go anyway,” or you will be the person stuck in another country like a lot of people were this time around. Please listen to travel advisories.
Social media is not your travel advisory! Please see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for accurate travel advisory information from the government.
This can be a whole blog within itself. As a travel advisor, I see so many people deny travel insurance because it’s viewed as an unnecessary extra charge. Travel insurance is always necessary. Now, you will need to read the fine print, because most insurances do not cover pandemics. However, there is an insurance called, “Cancel for any reason.” “Cancel for any reason” is normally a higher cost plan depending on the company from whom you’re purchasing, but it’s a CYA. Even with “cancel for any reason” travel insurance, you must read the fine print.
Example: Three of my clients purchased “cancel for any reason” insurance with their travel packages. Once COVID 19 hit and they were traveling in the month of March, I was able to cancel their trip with no restriction and get the refund minus the cost of the insurance. My other client who did not purchase insurance was given many restrictions on how and when they could rebook their trip. The company eventually let me cancel and get them a refund.
In most cases, and if you have been paying attention to headlines and articles, most companies were not refunding if you did not have insurance until they were forced to issue refunds by the government.
Let’s bust another myth, travel insurance is only for canceling your trip. This is incorrect. While there are travel insurance plans just for cancellations, there are also plans to cover everything from flights and baggage only, to medical expenses. Some travel insurance will even cover air lift back to the United States for medical treatment. Contact your travel agent for more details on travel insurance plans.
I do believe we will see an increase in Sanitize Stations, companies disinfecting more often, and possible crowd control at popular tourist attractions. We will most definitely see more people wearing masks and carrying disinfecting wipes and sprays. People will be more proactive about washing their hands and keeping their hands out of their faces. (This should not be a new thing, but here we are.)
Health Screening and Restrictions
Some countries including the USA, started checking temperatures upon entering the country. I believe this restriction will stick around for a while, but not forever.
I also believe travel will not go back to normal right away. There may be some countries with strict restrictions on who can and cant enter their country. At this point its kind of expected, unfortunately.
The STEP Program
The STEP Program stands for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This is a free program for US citizens traveling and living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest US embassy or US Consulate.
Updates to the country’s Travel Advisory.
Messages about U.S. embassy events and services, such as town hall meetings, voting information, federal benefits, and U.S. citizens’ legal obligations (taxes, selective service registration, etc.).
In all, I think travel will gradually make its way back to some normalcy. There will be some people who choose not to travel until next year and I completely understand why. For travelers like me, I will be more cautious when I travel. I cannot say I will travel right away once travel opens back up, but I will probably travel by the fall.
*These are opinions not facts*