With COVID-19 vaccine distribution underway around the world and many countries slated to reopen their borders soon, travelers anxious to hit the road again finally have reason to hope. U.S. domestic travel is expected to pick up in late summer, coinciding with the Biden administration’s timeline to complete vaccine distribution nationwide. And hope is on the horizon for travelers in the UK, too. Stay-at-home orders are expected to lift in April and the UK might be open to international travel some time in May. But when we finally do pack our bags, what will travel post-pandemic look like?
Travel insurance will be essential
As countries cautiously reopen, travelers face new rules and requirements for entry. With all these new changes and regulations you may be asking, ‘is travel insurance required?’ Well, many countries already require travel insurance. If the trend continues, insurance will soon be a staple for global travels, right up there with passports and currency.
Travel insurance helps defray costs associated with injuries and other illnesses that occur during your trip, and this includes COVID-19-related medical events, like required quarantine, screening, and hospitalizations.
The Rise of CFAR benefits
The pandemic has taught travelers to plan for the unexpected. What if COVID cases suddenly surge in your destination country? What if you’re not feeling well the day before your departure? What if you just don’t want to miss your niece’s first birthday party? When you purchase travel insurance add a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option to handle all the “what ifs” associated with travel. Flights get cancelled, planes get delayed, connections are missed. These days, protecting your investment with CFAR makes more sense than ever.
Masks are here to stay
While masks restrictions start to relax in some places, it’s not likely that mask-wearing while traveling will go away any time soon. According to the Centers for Disease Control CDC, “if two people are both wearing surgical masks that are knotted and tucked flush to the face — or if both are wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask — exposure to viral particles is cut by more than 95%.” These findings should be incentive enough for you to keep your masks on while traveling in close quarters.
A Vaccine passport, also known as a COVID-19 Immunity passport, may be required for international travel. This would provide border entry officials with digital proof that a traveler has received the COVID-19 vaccination.
While the U.S., the UK and the European Union are all considering some type of digital verification of immunization, it’s far from a done deal. Proponents say that a certification system could help revitalize tourism and the economy more rapidly. But the possibility of digital immunity passports raise particular concerns for rights advocates that argue the requirement will leave travelers from countries with limited access to the vaccines behind.
Domestic travel will bounce back
It’s time for U.S. travelers in the landlock Midwest to start ‘California Dreamin’. Travel industry experts predict that domestic travel will experience a late summer surge in 2021. Traveling within the borders of your home country drastically reduces the threat of health concerns like COVID-19 and doesn’t require the stiff safety and security measures of international travel. But restrictions can vary city-by-city so be sure to keep up to date with the latest from your home city and your destination.
Though domestic travelers should be covered by medical insurance purchased in their country, there may be rare exceptions. States, for instance, may not accept insurance from certain carriers. Be sure you know what your insurance covers for before you leave on your trip. Buying trip insurance, which can cover things like lost baggage and certain prepaid expenses due to trip delays or changes, is a smart option even when traveling domestically.
The Summer of the Home Vacation Rental
As of March 2021, Vrbo, a vacation rental booking site, reports that more than half of its hot-spot rentals are already booked for July. A similar site in the UK, cottages.com, reported record-breaking domestic bookings almost immediately after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the stay-at-home order should be lifted in April.
This aligns with expected surge in domestic travel and makes perfect sense given the anxieties and safety concerns many vacation-goers may have, even as the pandemic wanes. Here are some major benefits of renting vacation homes as the world transitions to its new normal.
- Vacation home rentals allow you and your travel companions to stay socially distant to other travelers, and reduces your risk of infection
- Vacation homes are great for longer stays, and that means a lower guest turnover rate than your average hotel or motel. Fewer guests means fewer germs
- Vacation rentals give travelers a home away from home without all the chores. Not having to worry about all the household to-dos is a vacation just by itself
International travel will follow domestic
Once domestic travel hits full swing, international travel will start up again. It may take a little while but international travel will bounce back. The shift will come as COVID cases decline and vaccines are distributed globally. When the virus becomes more manageable country by country, safety protocols will be put in place and borders will reopen to international tourism. We’ve already seen this happening in travel hot spots like Costa Rica and Aruba. But if travel insurance is a good idea for domestic travel, it’s vital for international travel.
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