Sep 1, 2021
COVID-19 cases are falling and people are starting to talk about vacations. Optimism about travel is hitting record highs. And just try to say "travel" without prefacing it with "pent-up demand."
I tried, but I'm not sure if I can. There's so much pent-up demand for travel.
But the pandemic is not over yet, leaving many would-be vacationers to wonder how they can stay safe when they travel.
How do you determine which destinations are safe? You could consult a site like Sherpa, which lists the countries that are open to U.S. travelers. The site publishes a color-coded map, with open countries in green and restricted ones in peach. Sherpa also lists the policies travelers need to know, including COVID-19 testing, quarantine measures, masking guidelines, and in-destination testing locations.
But it's a little more complicated than that because each trip is different, and every traveler is different. For example, I've had the vaccine, and I'm ready to return to Europe. If you're at risk and unvaccinated, perhaps you aren't. My nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, which helps travelers have better trips, has been inundated with travel safety questions lately.
The safety tips during COVID-19 start with carefully considering whether you're OK to travel. If you are, you'll want to consult a travel pro, carefully vet your destination, buy a watertight travel insurance policy, know how to avoid dangerous places when you're there, and always be alert.
"This is a new era of travel," says Silvana Frappier, owner of North Star Destinations, a full-service travel agency in Boston. "Ensure you know all safety procedures of the places you are traveling to and what's needed."
How can you keep yourself safe while traveling at a time like this?