Making Travel Plans? A Travel Expert Gives Us Her Tips
After a long year (and counting) of dealing with Covid, many of us have been itching to get out of the house and back out into the world. We’re ready to buy those plane tickets, make those hotel reservations, and feel normal again.
But while we’re ready to get things back to the way they used to be, the travel industry is taking things a little slower.
For this blog, I asked travel expert Deb Clark with Premiere Travel Planners to tell us what travel is like in a Covid world and what we should look out for as we make our plans.
What are things that people should be aware of as they think about traveling now?
People should be aware that travel rules are changing quickly. You should plan your trip based on the current travel restrictions and guidelines but check to see if they have changed, as your travel date gets closer.
What are some examples of Covid precautions that other countries are implementing?
Many countries are only allowing vaccinated travelers in and others such, as Italy and France, are requiring what they call Pass Sanitaire to dine in restaurants, go to museums, and access many public places and activities. To get the pass, you need to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid test less than 48 hours old. This means on a 10-day trip, you would have to be tested five times if you are not vaccinated .
And remember that testing can get expensive. I had a family of six that recently went to Egypt and Jordan. They spent about $2,000 just on Covid tests. They had to take one to get into Egypt, two to get into Jordan, and another to get home.
How far in advance should I plan my trip?
For any international travel, I recommend planning 12-18 months in advance. Due to pent up demand, things are selling out faster than ever and waiting until closer to your desired travel dates will only end up costing you more.
Are there refund/cancelation policies that people should be aware of? Travel insurance?
One thing that we have learned from the pandemic is how important it is to be aware of the terms and conditions for the supplier you use for a trip. Our agency did not have any clients lose their money when canceling trips but many people that booked their trips online, lost all or a lot of what they had paid. Travel insurance is very important, and we strongly recommend it. But it’s also important to be aware of what if covers and doesn’t cover.
Are there any trips you WOULDN’T take right now?
I’m an avid traveler, so my immediate answer is, “No!” However, it really depends on an individual’s risk tolerance. Because I can work from anywhere with Wi-Fi, I don’t have the same concern about possibly getting quarantined and delayed in getting home. Personally, I would not get on a large cruise ship right now unless the cruise line is requiring all passengers to be vaccinated.
How can working with a travel professional help you navigate traveling right now?
A good travel professional will stay abreast of the current information for traveling to your destination. We will save you hours if not days of research time and help you navigate the ever-changing policies. We will ensure that the supplier(s) we work with are well vetted and have good cancelation and change policies. Most of all, we are with you every step of the way to assist with any unforeseen problems.
Deb Clark founded Premiere Travel Planners when she decided she wanted to do travel planning her way. After working for a travel agency, she realized that as an independent business owner she could work in the best interest of her clients and not the franchise she was affiliated with. Deb is able to combine her passion for travel with years of business ownership experience including personal training and in-home senior care. She brings great discipline, the ability to work with different types of clients, and knowledge of the importance of good processes.
When not researching (traveling), Deb enjoys cycling, hiking, kayaking, cooking, reading, and loving on her rescue dogs. Her favorite parts of travel are exploring new places, local cooking classes, and meeting new people. Deb especially loves travel to Antarctica, Iceland and Europe but her favorite trip is usually the one she’s just returned from!
Cecilia Beach Brown is a registered representative offering investment and advisory services through Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, Member SIPC. Advisory Services are offered to residents of Maryland. LFS and its representatives do not offer tax or legal advice. Please see your tax or legal professional regarding individual circumstances. C Beach Brown, LLC, Pilot Financial Advisors and Lincoln Financial Securities are separate entities. LFS3713158-081121