Ready to take a trip? 12 tips for successfully getting back to travel
As more people become vaccinated, and borders begin to open once again, the option to travel is finally on the horizon.
If you are like many, both anxious and excited about returning to a more travel-friendly world, these tips can help you get back into travel:
1. Book early
Many travelers have already gotten a jump start on making travel purchases like transportation, lodging, and more. As travel prices begin to climb thanks to the new demand, it’s best to book as soon as possible.
2. Read the fine print
Many aspects of travel have changed in the last year, which is why it's now more important to make sure you read the fine print when it comes to booking flights, choosing hotels, and planning tours and excursions. Check on things like cancellation and rebooking terms, how you would be refunded or credited, and other important information that you’ll need to know before making your purchases.
3. Consider travel insurance
Travel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage based on what type of plan purchased. Ask a lot of questions, and always read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s not. Is travel insurance right for you? Click here to learn more.
4. Pay with a credit card
Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if something should go wrong with the travel reservation.
5. Be alert for travel scams
Watch out for phone calls or letters claiming a 'free trip' or websites offering prices that appear too good to be true. It’s easy to extend questionable offers like these, but the vast majority of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo – and out money. Learn more about travel scams here.
6. Check health requirements
No destination is the same, and it’s likely that their requirements for entrance may not be the same either. Many countries have established their own guidelines for visitors coming in, like vaccine confirmations, proof of health insurance, and more. Similarly, some U.S. states have put requirements in place, so it’s best to research any destination to be sure you’re prepared and can enter smoothly and safely. Check out U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the recommendations.
7. Keep your health in mind
Remember, your health should always be your highest priority while you’re traveling. Stay hygienic to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy by regularly washing your hands, sanitizing, practicing social distancing when necessary, masking up when it’s required, and following all health guidelines in the places where you’re vacationing or traveling through. The CDC has travel recommendations per destination, take a look here.
What precautions should travelers take against COVID-19 this summer? Here's what Dr. Sharon Nachman has to say:
8. Stay charged
A charged phone was always a necessity when traveling, and this is truer today than ever before. For those flying, many airlines prefer you to have your boarding pass loaded on your phone. Plus, many restaurants and theme parks ask that visitors use their phones to view menus, place orders, check in, make "ride reservations," and more. Not to mention, your phone is a great resource for staying updated on travel plans, which can change on the turn of a dime. Stay charged and ready so you can get the best experience while you travel.
9. Start slow
As you begin traveling again, it’s tempting to plan extensive trips with multiple stops or detailed itineraries. However, this isn’t quite the time for these kinds of trips. Start small instead, with shorter trips that focus on one destination, so you can get reacclimated to traveling at a slower pace.
10. Stay off the beaten track
Often when you travel through popular tourist destinations, you’ll come across restaurants and shops designed with tourists in mind, meaning higher prices, often for less quality! Follow the classic advice and get off the beaten track to avoid spending more on food, souvenirs, and more.
11. Pack the essentials
When you travel, fill up your reusable water bottle and pack snacks and other essentials like sunscreen and a hat so you don’t end up paying exorbitant prices for things you’ve already got at home.
12. Make a budget
Prior to traveling, decide how much you’re comfortable spending on your trip and review your budget often throughout your vacation to ensure you’re keeping your finances in check.