Do you have Cabin Fever after almost two years of not being able to travel the world, or even your own country, as freely as before?
Travel is therapy for many of us and there is nothing better than a new destination or relaxing by the ocean listening to the waves lap on the shore to remind us that everything will be OK.
Here are 6 things to consider while making your plans.
1. Use a Professional Travel Advisor & book through a reputable tour operator
Gone are the days of “Have Passport, will Travel”. Planning travel used to be fairly simple for the avid traveller. You decide where you want to go, you research it, book it, pack your clothes and head to the airport. Well it’s a whole new ballgame now! Travel Advisors like myself have spent the past 19 months managing changes and cancellations, dealing with new restrictions, safety protocols and so much more. We’re well equipped, through industry contacts, to guide you through your next adventure, whether it be recommending hotels that offer complimentary Covid-19 testing and quarantine accommodations, to what documentation you need to transit through multiple countries enroute to visit a relative in a foreign country halfway around the globe. We’ll be there for you through the entire process of planning, during travel, and right up to your return home, should you have any issues along the way. We’re your advocate and your lifeline in adverse situations.
2. Check the Entry Requirements for the country you are visiting
Entry requirements are constantly changing, so be sure to use a reliable source of information to check the requirements for entry to the country you are visiting. Do you need a negative Covid-19 test for entry – Antigen or PCR? There is a difference. Is the lab providing the testing an authorized and accredited provider by the country? This is a big consideration, especially for travel to Hawaii. Do you need to fill out any pre-arrival forms? How many hours prior to arrival do they have to be completed? Do they need to be uploaded or submitted to the authorities prior to arrival and do you just bring them along with you? Do you have a plan in place for if you test positive for Covid while at the destination? Some resorts are offering up to 14 days of free quarantine accommodations and even a replacement vacation if yours is interrupted by Covid. Your Travel Advisor has the inside scoop!
3. Are you fully vaccinated against Covid-19?
Effective October 30, 2021 proof of full vaccination is required for all rail, ship and air travel from any Canadian departure point for both domestic and international travel. Be sure to carry copies (both printed and digital) to show for proof. Most Canadian provinces have developed some type of digital certificate or vaccine passport system accessible via an app on your phone. You’ll need to have this all figured out well before your trip in case you have trouble setting it up.
4. Does your booking allow flexible change and cancellation terms?
Never before has it been so important to know and understand the terms and conditions of your travel booking. Most airlines will allow free changes if your travel plans change. Tour operators and hotels allow greater flexibility to change travel dates, destinations, hotels for little or no extra cost. This flexibility doesn’t mean that travel insurance isn’t necessary, but it adds a bit more peace of mind, knowing that you can safely plan that trip you’ve been dreaming about for two years, and can still change it at the last minute, should the situation warrant it.
5. Don’t leave home without travel insurance and especially Covid-19 Emergency Medical insurance.
Did you know that most standard travel insurance plans will not cover Covid-19 as a reason for cancellation? Because it is now a known event since March 11, 2020 if you book a trip and then get cold feet because of the Covid situation, your claim would likely be denied. That being said, IF you personally contract Covid-19 prior to departure and need to cancel, this is an insurable risk, the same as other illnesses, and would be covered. If your insurance provider offers a policy that allows Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR), this is what you need to purchase for the greatest flexibility. These types of policies allow you to cancel for any reason, usually outside a set period (ie 7 days before departure), allowing you to claim for a refund, sometimes up to 75% of the non-refundable prepaid cost of your trip. In addition to cancellation coverage, it’s important to be covered for Covid-19 related medical and quarantine costs if you happen to contract Covid-19 while in the destination. You may be spending more days than planned on your vacation – do you have a plan that will cover this? Again, this is a topic that your Travel Advisor will be well versed on and can guide you through the process ensuring you are adequately covered for the unexpected.
6. Consider a trip within Canada to ease back in slowly.
Are you still unsure about travelling during the current situation and constantly changing landscape? Maybe a domestic trip within Canada is the best option for you. I just returned from an exhilarating fall trip to Newfoundland with my husband and two other couples. The island had been closed, even to other Canadians, right through to July 1, 2021 so they were very welcoming and their Covid numbers were very low. Prior to departure, we submitted a Travel Form showing proof of vaccination along with some other required information about our trip, and these were the only restrictions we faced. Of course, masks were mandatory in many public indoor places such as restaurants and retail businesses, but we barely noticed, as we were so happy to be traveling again. We wore masks on the plane and felt very safe with the safety protocols in place in airports and businesses. None of us had ever visited this part of Canada and we had an amazing time. The province is stunningly beautiful and there is so much to explore, especially outdoors and on the water, where we spent a lot of our time.
A travel advisor can assist with domestic travel plans as well. Please visit www.fentontravel.ca or email Kathylynne@fentontravel.ca to schedule a complimentary travel consultation today!