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Planning to Travel in 2021
With better days on the horizon as COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, some have begun to travel again. Are you itching to explore the world this year? If so, it’s important to plan ahead. Consider the following planning tips as you prepare to jetset now and in the future.
Check COVID-19 Restrictions
We’re all aware of the many restrictions that have been set in place over the past year due to the pandemic. Of course, restrictions vary across regions significantly, and nothing could be worse than arriving at your destination only to find that you’ll be spending the majority of your trip in your hotel room. Don’t assume that conditions at your desired destination will be the same or similar to those at home. Some locations have controlled the virus enough to allow enjoyable travel, while other locations may be a bit more risky. You may have a specific destination in mind, but be sure to look into COVID-19 restrictions before booking your trip. Rest assured that there are several desirable destinations that you should have on your radar, including Fiji, New Zealand, and the Cayman Islands to name a few. While these destinations are considered lower risk, the CDC does encourage travelers to “wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay at least 6 feet from people who are not traveling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness”.
Count the Cost
While traveling in 2021 and beyond will certainly have it’s differences, one thing that will not change is the importance of financial planning prior to your trip. Despite unprecedented flight costs and cheap hotel rooms due to the pandemic, traveling can still be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are things you can do to afford the trip of your dreams, including starting a traveling fund, picking up an extra job, using a credit card or even considering a small personal loan for a large family vacation. Any of these methods can be used to pay for flights, lodging, or insurance and spending money. In order to count the costs effectively, try making a list of travel expenses based on your intended destination. Be realistic about the overall cost and how much you can pay out of pocket. Consider costs saving measures that you can take, such as cooking some meals in your hotel room and taking advantage of public transportation. You can have just as much fun without breaking the bank and you may even be able to experience the location more authentically.
Even if your intended destination is relatively safe, we’re not out of the woods with COVID-19. Be sure to take proper precautions while traveling, including regular hand washing and not traveling while you are sick. No matter where you are planning on traveling, it’s wise to have some items on hand, including masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and gloves. At this point, it may be second nature for you to carry these items with you in your daily life. However, being on vacation is anything but everyday life. For instance, you take pictures and carry out monetary transactions more frequently. Have you thought about how you will navigate these activities while traveling during a pandemic? Normally, you’d probably ask a passerby to snap a photo of you, but do you really want a stranger handling your phone? Probably not. To overcome this new challenge, consider purchasing a selfie stick or a portable phone stand that will allow you to use your camera’s self timer. As for making purchases, consider setting up Apple Pay or applying for a contactless credit card. This will allow you to buy things without having to touch a machine or handle cash.
Have a backup plan
We know that things can change quickly, especially during a pandemic. So it’s important to have a backup plan in the event that circumstances change for you personally or otherwise. What might a backup plan include? Well, you may consider purchasing traveler’s insurance. Travel insurance often covers things, like flight delays and cancellations, medical emergencies, and trip cancellations, among other things.
In addition, because COVID-19 cases vary day to day, you have to anticipate lockdowns before and even during your trip. You should think about what you can do to still enjoy the vacation under these conditions. Furthermore, if you test positive for COVID-19 while you are vacationing, you will likely be required to quarantine. If that happens, does your job allow you to work remotely? Does your lodging place have the things you will need in order to work remotely temporarily? These are just a few of the situations that will require a backup plan while traveling during a pandemic. To avoid stress and anxiety, don’t leave them to chance.
If this pandemic has taught us nothing else, we’ve learned the importance of seizing the moment. The past year has been challenging for many of us for various reasons. Enjoying ourselves while staying safe has been difficult. With the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, many of us are hopeful for the future and that things will return to normal. Traveling safely may be a way of seeking a bit or normalcy. If that’s the case for you, try to enjoy it to the fullest! Yes, things are different. Between navigating restrictions and keeping yourself safe, you may be wondering if it’s even worth it to travel, but you can make the most of the trip by taking advantage of shorter lines, fewer crowds and lower prices. Most importantly, you can view your travel plans as an opportunity to create memories like never before.
We’ve learned that things can change in an instant. Traveling right now will definitely heighten your appreciation for all that the world has to offer. Though your trip to any of the low risk destinations will be different than times passed, you can still enjoy yourself if you take these tips into consideration.