Travel in an Uncertain World – Part II
June 4, 2020
Slowly, but surely, the world is starting to reopen once again. When everything first started shutting down three months ago, we weren’t sure what travel was going to look like after the pandemic. Obviously, it is still early days, but there are some hopeful signs ahead. We have tentatively rescheduled our trip to Turkey to October with the hope that travel becomes more stable and there isn’t a second wave of the virus. People have different reactions to the reopening of travel once again and there is no right or wrong response. Some people do not want to travel for a while as they are concerned about how safe it will be even with some of the safeguards that countries are trying to put in place. Others, like ourselves, are looking forward to traveling as soon as we are able and the places that we want to visit aren’t locked down.
Some countries are requiring health certificates that prove that you don’t have any symptoms at the time that you are traveling. Many places are requiring people to self-quarantine upon arrival, which doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you are going to be in country for a long period of time. The checking of temperatures and requiring masks is pretty common, but it isn’t consistent. For now, airlines seem willing to keep middle seats open or try to ensure that there is an empty seat between passengers, but we don’t expect that to last for long as they try to maximize revenue for the various flights. It is also important to not only understand what restrictions that you might face in the location where you are traveling, but it is important to understand if there are any conditions for returning from travel in your location of origin.
At this point, it is too soon for us to consider traveling outside of the United States, but we are considering trying to take a trip within the country. As we make our decision, there are several factors that we are weighing. First is cost as the lack of demand doesn’t necessarily mean that airline tickets, hotels, or other travel associated items are discounted and in some cases they may even be higher in order to make up for the lack of customers. Second is the ability to go to restaurants, visit tourist sites, and other restrictions that might be in place. We use a couple of sites to help us determine what restrictions are in place, but you have to check frequently as the restrictions or lack there of can change on a weekly basis. For travel within the United States, we go to the state specific websites as the restrictions not only vary by state, but they can vary by county and city as well. For traveling outside of the United States, when that time comes, we are paying attention to the US Department of State site that tracks the restrictions by country.
As the world begins to reopen and countries allow international travel once again, what are your travel plans? Do you have specific concerns about traveling yourself or are you worried about visitors from other countries coming into your country?