As vaccinations are gradually administered around the world, people are beginning to look at the possibility of travelling again. While taking off on an international trip is still not recommended (and in some cases completely banned), it is difficult to know exactly how things will look towards the end of 2021 and beyond. One thing is for certain: the way we travel is forever changed. Even with vaccines, we will likely need to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing for the foreseeable future. This year, some people may choose to travel abroad for personal or business reasons, but most will likely stay in their home country. In the meantime, we’ve put together some travel guidelines that you can reference should you choose to travel locally or internationally.
Keep it Close to Home
As we saw in 2020, many people are choosing to stay local when it comes to vacations. Driving to your next adventure means you’ll be exposed to less people than you would on planes and in airports. With meticulous cleaning protocols now the norm, and the knowledge that the virus is most commonly spread through the air rather than on surfaces, even renting a car is a very safe option. When it comes to who you’re travelling with, it is currently recommended that you hit the road only with members of your household. This is best practice as you will be confined in the small space of a vehicle together for many hours.
As safety-conscious people are now choosing cars over planes, we are also seeing a preference for private rentals over hotels. Using a service such as Airbnb to book your accommodation is a great way to reduce the number of people you will come into contact with. And if you’re looking for the safest and healthiest accommodation experience, choose a location where you can reconnect with nature. In the great outdoors, you can do things like swim, fish, bike, ski, hike, or go boating … all the while getting exercise, fresh air, and the space to enjoy yourself safely. If you do end up somewhere more crowded, remember to practice social distancing and wear masks when necessary.
Take Advantage of the Situation
Surprisingly, there are some advantages to travel planning right now. If you now work from home, you can work from anywhere! This means that the line between work and vacation is more blurred than ever. You may now have the option to take a trip from Vancouver to somewhere close by like Whistler during the work week. As long as you have a dedicated workstation and a solid wifi connection, you’re set! Some hotels are even offering special “work-from-hotel” packages.
For anyone who finds themselves needing to travel internationally this year, there is also an opportunity to take advantage of promotions offered by many booking agencies and hotels. When you do book, make sure to read the fine print on their cancellation policies. Due to the pandemic, many cancellation policy restrictions have been relaxed, but you should always read the fine print. If you don’t need to travel by plane just yet, but are considering a later date, keep an eye out for travel promotions being offered at the end of 2021 and into 2022, you might just find an amazing deal!
Make a Plan for the Future
Travel comes with a lot of responsibility right now. As vigilant about taking precautions as you may be, but there is no guarantee of being 100% safe. Things may feel uncertain right now, but eventually travel will return, stronger than ever before. If you still have a dream vacation in mind, start planning for it now. Do some research, make a vision board, and start a vacation fund! Allow yourself to have fun getting excited and prepared for future travel.
Leaving on a Jet Plane? Be Prepared.
Know before you go. It is not recommended to travel internationally right now, as previously mentioned. However, life happens and some people may find themselves in a situation where they need to. International travel always takes a fair amount of planning, but you now need to be more prepared than ever. Take a look at the impact COVID-19 has made on the region you plan to travel to. You’ll need to know if heading there is even a possibility, due to travel bans and quarantine requirements that you may not have the extra time to fulfill. This COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination guide from the CDC is a useful tool for finding travel requirements for each country. Next, you will need a travel insurance plan that includes pandemic-related occurences (check the fine print!). When booking, make sure that you can get a refund or at least a partial refund if it turns out that you need to cancel. Again, you will need to check in with the health requirements necessary to enter the country you plan to go to. Do you need a negative COVID test result before leaving? A mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival? These are important details to be aware of. Now, if all this planning seems overwhelming to you, read on!
Before You Go, Hire a Pro
If you must leave the country, and this feels too overwhelming to organize yourself, consult a travel professional. It is their job to know and inform you of travel restrictions and help you get your documentation in order. Travel is complicated now, and things are unpredictable. If you have to travel internationally, the best thing you can do is to be prepared. Remember, it won’t be this way forever, and we will all travel again!
The Future of Travel
The future is uncertain, but there are always lessons to be learned from the past. If you’re curious about what the future of travel may look like beyond the pandemic, join us for our upcoming webinar info session. CTC Tourism instructors Alwyn and Jeff will be discussing the challenges and triumphs they have experienced in the past as tourism professionals and help you get an understanding of why the tourism industry is so resilient and will undoubtedly recover again post-pandemic. Register at: https://bit.ly/39tmuEK