Enjoy This Post? Share the Love!
Travel-Getting Started Again: Updated as of Jan.9, 2021:
In combination with other health measures, travel restrictions to and from abroad have been moving back and forth as new coronavirus variants appear. As a result of the Omicron variant spike in December through January 2022, travel restrictions are continuing to change.
Updates: Heard Through the Grapevine:
- Uncertainty abounds: While your final destination has set entry rules, what happens if intermediate transfers are through another country? This week an outbound passenger to Eastern Europe was set to transfer planes in Zurich. With five days remaining, what would Switzerland require by the departure date? If it conflicts with the ultimate destination, what results?
- US travelers returning home from Costa Rica tested negative for COVID-19. However, within a few days of return, they became symptomatic and tested positive for the coronavirus. What exposure was there for their fellow passengers or others during their travels?
- With such uncertainty, travel insurance is key with delays for COVID-19 illnesses and regulations compounded by winter weather in the northern hemiphere.
March 11, 2021 marked the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus was a pandemic. For one-year much of the world’s commerce and travel came to a halt. However, as COVID-19 vaccinations within the United States and abroad have become widespread, summer vacation 2021 came back, albeit, at a lesser level than past years. It is time now to move ahead to avoid being “home alone for the holidays”, and grab no single supplement deals for 2022. (For more cheap solo travel deals, go to our free, unique solo search tool, the SoloTravelPricingTracker.net.) If you feel like you are out of practice when it comes to solo travel, check out our 8 Top Tips for Better Travel Alone.
Entry rules are complex and change quickly. Look at it two ways. First, entry is based on where you come from as a resident or in transit. If you are taking an international flight, be careful to check the rules that apply if you are changing planes or traveling through another country to reach your destination.
Secondly, the restrictions are set by the place where you are going. On a positive note, more countries are allowing tourists. If you plan to travel with a child, look carefully at what you need to do, especially how the entry rules are set up based on age.
Local and national entry requirements have included:
- Quarantines-These can be highly restrictive as to where and how you quarantine at your own expense. This may be at a government designated facility not the hotel of your choice! If you are on a solo travel vacation package, you face: (i) additional lodging and other costs without the benefit of no single supplement pricing and (ii) unlike quarantined couples or families, a real experience of going it completely alone.
- Vaccination passports (If less than two weeks since being vaccinated, some extra restrictions may apply.)
- Different rules for unvaccinated children
- Tests within 72 hours of arrival/second test on arrival
- Proof of prior COVID-19 infection and recovery
- Evidence of health insurance
- Creation of dedicated zones between countries or in-country for select pre-approved travelers
- Certified hotels that meet specific health standards
- Tourist sites open only to those in pre-approved “Bubbles”.
Travel 2021-2022: Restart:
For more country-specific tours, see Kayak.
Travel 2021-2022: Getting Started Again:
Practical Advice – Know before you go:
Read the fine print: “Open to foreign tourists” can mean many things: (i) negative COVID-19 tests required, (ii) proof of vaccination, (iii) quarantine on arrival and/or (iv) special COVID-19 surcharges. For example, on the latter, Cambodia was charging an entry fee of $2,000 to cover the tourist’s potential cost for medical services. Beyond COVID-19, researching local and national regulations can be eye opening. For example, can you name the popular destinations where it is illegal to: (i) drive without an international driver’s license? (ii) bring with you certain personal prescription drugs legal at home? (iii) take photos of individuals without permission (excepting unrecognizable ones or crowded street scenes)?
No vacancies: For cheap solo travel deals, check out off-season offerings in national parks if they are already filled to capacity for this summer.
Major attractions: Even though many are reopening, still find out if a reservation or ticket is needed. This can also apply to museums and other venues even where there is no charge.
Choose a tour or cruise: That way you can leave it to the travel provider to track the constantly changing country restrictions. For cheap solo travel deals, book now while there are unheard of solo travel vacation deals with no single supplement and other budget single traveler deals.
Going abroad: Book a single-country destination to skip being caught between shifting national restrictions.
Travel 2021-22: Getting Started Again: Plan B:
Not very stumbling block is a disaster. But once you are away, things can go wrong. So consider having a backup or alternate destination in case your first choice destination falls through. For example, if your first choice is abroad, find one at home or closer to home.
Looking ahead to 2022: If you vacation plans werestill on hold for 2021, take advantage of great 2022 deals being offered now.
If you choose a solo road trip for your next vacation, take a look at our tips for the ultimate road trip now. (Are you the member of an automobile club? Alternatively, are you prepared to change a tire on a remote byway?)
Consider travel by train both in North America and Europe. In the US, Amtrak Vacations include long-haul coast-to-coast journeys in style with private sleepers. See also our America Train – Solo Travel Adventures. In Europe, take a look at Great Rail Journeys.
Join a small ship cruise in the US to Alaska or a luxury oceanliner by plane or rail to major ports. As long popular in Europe, local train services offer the most flexibility and can whisk you from an international flight to Europe’s top river cruises.
With the EU and many other countries looking to vaccination passports, get vaccinated if you have not already. While some drug stores were giving a free service to laminate vaccination cards, I created my own plastic cover which could easily be reopened. Besides hanging on carefully to your certificate, scan a copy on your computer, photograph it on your phone and have your doctor make a copy as well.
Travel-Getting Started Again: Use our free search tool, the Solo Travel Pricing Tracker, and find a way to celebrate the holidays from solo adventure tours to singles cruises and holiday markets.