The pandemic has impacted our travel industry like little else in our lifetime yet travel always comes back. It’s not purely a luxury ‘item’ anymore – it’s a way of life to stay connected to family, friends and our sanity. There is something extraordinary about travel. Exploring new places and sharing new experiences together help brings us closer. Though most cruise lines have decided to pause sailings until at least Sep 15, a lot of destinations have opened up to tourism again. Let me share here what it’s like for some of these destinations. You know the beach is calling you!
Mexico. Although you may hear Mexico still has a large number of virus cases, their beach towns have kept things under control and has been welcoming travelers since June 1. They have achieved seal of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council as a safe destination by following straight global protocol guidelines.
This is a great option with a short direct flight from most US cities. No Covid testing is required to go. Just a health form. Of course, anyone not feeling well should stay home. There will be health screenings and temperature scans at airports. Regular precautions like face masks and frequent hand washing will be the new normal. I’ve attended many trainings of different resorts and with the tourism board of Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta area and I feel most confident of this destination. Hotels & resorts have elevated their cleaning measures to meet our even higher expectations now. They are also required to have only 30% occupancy now. Dining and pool areas will be less dense. Buffet serving formats will be changed if it’s available. Occupancy will slowly increase as things improve. There are many amazing resorts here. You can have hotel rooms to suites to villa style stay. Lots of space to spread out. In the Fall, there is also the turtle nesting season if you want to observe it.
Caribbean. Many islands are also beginning to open up. Some islands require a negative Covid-19 test or quarantine. Some also require travel insurance and a travel declaration form submitted prior to arrival. Lots of variations here, so best to consult your friendly travel advisor.
Tahiti. Opening July 15. Again, a negative Covid-19 test within 3 days of arrival is required. Officials can conduct random tests a few days after arrival. Some resorts are not opening right away. Since there are already limited number of hotels here and not every hotel is open, expect limited availability. Flight schedules are also limited. The nonstop flights from SFO is now gone. But still have nonstop from LAX.
Hawaii. Hawaii was never closed, but it was requiring a 14day quarantine upon arrival. Beginning Aug 1, that requirement has lifted. Travelers will need a negative Covid-19 test within 3 days of arrival. Once you get there, it’s paradise! I also have lots of lodging options that can align with your comfort level.
So, what does all these mean? What if someone reserves a trip and then as it gets closer to vacation, got tested positive for Covid-19? Well, just like all other times, you should have travel insurance. A few travel suppliers I work with have now implemented flexible cancellation policy as well as good insurance coverage options. I will not let you leave home without one as I will always watch out for your safety and travel investment.
COVID-19 virus testing differs by location. Many testing locations require an appointment and a doctor’s order while some Urgent Care locations permit walk-in or drive-thru testing. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has partnered with several pharmacy and retail locations to accelerate testing in more communities across the country. HHS provides links for testing locations.
If you’re feeling ready, flights and hotels are ready to give you that nice vacation you know you so want to have. Please reach out to me to discuss your options and get further clarity on different entry requirements or how to travel safely. Start Planning!