The NEW Traveler's Toolkit for 2021

The rules around travel keep changing. Some changes are big. Some are small. Some are temporary. Some are permanent. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with it all, don’t worry. We’re here to help you stay on top of what you need to know.

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BEFORE YOU START PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRIP

1. Give extra thought to WHERE you want to go.

Undertourism in 2020 had a huge global impact. Just think of all the workers around the world affected by the halt of travel. Imagine all the conservation programs, funded by tourism, that are struggling. Then consider where your travel dollars can have the biggest impact—both domestically and internationally. If you're not sure where to go, we can help by recommending destinations where your travel dreams and your desire to make a difference overlap.

 

2. Check your passport.

If your passport will expire within six months, we suggest you renew it as soon as you're able. As of this writing, passport processing times have improved compared to the beginning of the pandemic, but it still takes 10-12 weeks. For up-to-date information, check Travel.State.Gov's processing times.

 

3. Understand the safety protocols where you're going.
For updated alerts and entry and exit requirements, go to the Country Information page on Travel.State.Gov and type in the country you'd like to visit. Also, please know that, as travel advisors, we have partners all over the world. When you work with us, we tap into our network to get the latest real-life information and share it with you so you can make the best decisions for you.

 

4. Start planning early.

With so many travel plans delayed, availability for mid/late 2021 and 2022 is already dwindling. To make sure you get the travel experience you really want, we recommend planning now. Of course, with so much uncertainty still lingering around travel, it's important to protect your travel investment. (See below.)

 

5. Protect your travel investment.

These days, flexible booking terms are the norm, making it easier than ever to cancel or postpone travel plans when necessary. In addition, we recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason coverage. NOTE: Be sure to read the fine print! We can help facilitate this process for you as well ... in addition to recommending travel providers that offer the most flexibility with the best terms.

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THE REALITIES OF TRAVEL IN 2021

 

Air Travel

Did you know that, when it comes to COVID, flying is supposedly safer than grocery shopping? At least according to this Harvard report. Of course, everyone on the flight and in the airport must follow the safety protocols for this to be true.

 

If you're not yet comfortable with traditional air travel, consider hiring a private jet instead (and participating in a carbon-offsetting program).

 

One thing is certain: Expect to see more and more innovative ways to make air travel safer.

Hotel Stays

Resorts and hotels have made many changes in the past year to reduce risk. Here's a quick list of what you can expect to encounter in most locations:

  • Social distancing and masks required in public areas

  • Reduced guest capacity

  • Housekeeping by request only

  • Increased in-room dining

  • Outdoor-only dining

  • Contactless technology, like QR codes for dining menus 

  • In-room amenity kits that include hand sanitizer, masks and gloves

Gyms and Spas

If you’d like to incorporate wellness into your next trip, be sure to check each property's restrictions and requirements before booking your stay. (We can help you with this.) Depending on where you're traveling, the experience could be quite different. Look for resorts that offer innovative solutions like private virtual workout instruction.

 

Bubble Travel

For people who prefer to travel within their own bubble of friends/family, many options are available, like villa rentals and private guided tours. Whether your small group wants to visit national parks in the States or go gorilla trekking in Uganda, we can help you plan something special and safe.

 

Cruising
The cruise industry was hit hard in 2020 and has been working even harder to come back safely. When it does, here are some things you can expect:

  • Shorter itineraries

  • Reduced capacity

  • Social distancing everywhere onboard

  • Masks required for crew and passengers

  • No more self-service buffets

  • Upgraded cleaning systems

  • Upgraded medical facilities

  • Restrictions on shore excursions designed to keep local populations and guests safe

  • Sailing on smaller vessels will become more popular

Returning Home

Whether or not testing and/or quarantining is required the next time you travel, it's still smarter and kinder to stay away from others and monitor yourself for COVID symptoms for 10 days after your trip.

 

We all want to get back out into the world as soon as possible, so it's up to everyone to behave responsibly.

 

READY TO GET STARTED?

Schedule a time to chat with us. We're here to support you in whatever way we can.

Travel That Matters is an independent affiliate of Gifted Travel Network, a Virtuoso member

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