Though many of us have traveled as necessary during the pandemic, there’s still a lot of pent-up wanderlust in our country right now! As vaccination rates continue to climb and destinations become more and more open to tourists, travel for pleasure will pick up. But through much of the balance of 2021, it still will be prudent to exercise a level of caution regarding health and other issues while traveling.
Health experts probably aren’t quite as excited about the prospect of travel for pleasure as the rest of us, so they have a few important words of caution.
Listen to the experts – Keep in mind that even as of mid-March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly discouraged people from traveling – even those who are fully vaccinated. While the CDC has recently stated it’s not necessary for vaccinated travelers to test and self-quarantine pre-and post-travel, these travelers should still monitor themselves for symptoms and practice safe personal interaction practices. Be sure to talk with your health care provider if you have any questions about personal safety related to the coronavirus.
Wait for maximum vaccination effectiveness – Vaccinations are a big part of life getting back to normal. Remember, though, that vaccines don’t provide maximum coverage until at least two weeks after the final dose is administered (or the single dose in the case of some vaccines).
Remember what vaccines do … and don’t do – Health professionals assure us that vaccines provide incredible levels of protection from being hospitalized if we contract the virus, but they’re not a shield to prevent us from contracting it. Additionally, a vaccinated person is less likely to spread the virus if they contract it, but it still can happen. In the end, that means that until vaccination rates are significantly higher, travelers will still need to practice caution.
Do your homework – As you plan your trip and look at destinations, research the local requirements for quarantining and vaccinations. Also, review the hotel or resort’s requirements and determine if the amenities and attractions you hope to enjoy in the area are open and accessible.
Consider insuring the experience – As in most risk-related aspects of our lives, there’s an insurance solution that can provide a level of peace of mind regarding travel during the COVID era. New insurance products offer trip protection and medical cost coverage in case COVID disrupts travel plans or the trip itself.
If you see travel in your future later in 2021, don’t wait too long to book. Industry experts have seen a tremendous increase in reservations and trip planning since the first of the year. Initial interest is in U.S. domestic travel and to Mexico and the Caribbean, but the more far-flung destinations are filling up as well.