BY: Jennifer Brown with Vagablonde Travel
With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, countries and destinations have started re-opening their borders to more than just essential travelers. Now more than ever clients have been asking where it is okay for them to travel both now and in the future. August 6th the US State Department lifted their global coronavirus travel advisory and said they would be going back to their system of country specific travel advice. Lifting the global advisory was welcome news for those that are ready to travel, but even before this was lifted, Vagablonde Travel had proudly sent over 150 travelers to Mexico, since the end of June.
A vacation isn’t meant for you to be cooped up in a room at a hotel, resort, or hostel. It’s about immersing yourself in the destination and culture. During a pandemic, it’s not quite as easy to capture the full essence of the destination but at Vagablonde Travel we are trying to stay on top of this ever-changing information so we can give you the best advice for your travel planning. As it’s been no easy task to keep track of all the rules and regulations put in place by each country, we constantly refer to the country specific tourism board or health department.
As an agency we answer those questions you have:
• Is testing required to visit your destination and will you need to test and get results with in 48 hours, 72 hours, or 5-10 days?
• Are the activities and services you’re interested in available?
• Does the hotel or resort you’re interested in have any new cleaning protocols?
• Will all the amenities at your hotel or resort be available like the spa?
• Is there a country-wide curfew that will prevent you from experiencing what you want to?
• Is it possible to have a destination wedding and have a large gathering? What measures are in place to provide safety for all involved?
So, with all these extras hoops we are jumping we also understand our clients might desire something more intimate and domestic! Americans want to vacation close to home. After months of sheltering in place, we’re desperate to travel again, but nervous about social distancing and shared spaces. According to a Travel & Leisure article posted on July 1, “Data shows travelers are opting for mountainous, rural destinations like the Adirondacks and Catskills in New York, northern Minnesota, and more.” Vacation Rentals have been gaining in popularity for more space, more privacy, and bigger value, so we are excited to share that we’ve now partnered with VRBO! From condos to villas and even castles, we have the best of the VRBO collection! Just request a trip inquiry on our website: www.vagablondetravel.com/tripinquiry
Below are some additional resources that we have found very helpful during our travel planning process for our clients:
• IATA Travel Regulations Map – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed an interactive map that gives a rundown of travel restrictions by country. The map is a great resource but should be used in conjunction with other sites such as tourism board and health department websites for a more complete picture.
• Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization – for the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak.
• US State Department – for country specific travel advisory information.
• FDA Coronavirus Testing Information – to learn more about the types of tests available and the steps involved.
• WTTC Safe Travels Stamp – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has developed a Global Safety Stamp which allows travelers to recognize governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.
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