How to Plan Your First Post-Pandemic Trip
After a long stretch of shelter-in-place, our travel planning skills may be rusty, and our suitcases covered in cobwebs, but we’ve got post-pandemic vacations on our minds all the same! Thanks to the continued decline in US COVID cases, widely available vaccines, and the re-opening of major attractions, many people are looking forward to digging out their travel gear and hitting the open road…or sky!
After more than a year of quarantine, cabin fever may have you raring to get out of the house for a few days, but planning a trip right now can also be stressful, in large part due to changing guidelines and safety advice.
In order to help navigate travel planning this summer, we’ve compiled some practical advice to consider as you start thinking about your next trip. Stay safe and have a great vacation with these tips for planning your first post-pandemic trip!
- Think about what kind of traveling you want to do — you may want to start small, with a weekend road trip close to San Diego. Or, maybe you’re ready to travel out of state to visit friends and family that you haven’t gotten to hug in all too long! Perhaps one of your takeaways from 2020 was to live life to the fullest while you can, and so you want to finally plan that extravagant trip you’ve always dreamed about. Write down your ideas, and start researching the possibilities.
- Enjoy the exciting anticipation of having a trip to look forward to, but be mentally prepared in case things don’t go as planned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines could change, airlines and hotels could update their policies, or your dream destination may change their reopening plans. It’s important to stay flexible and be ok with any last minute changes. Visit the CDC website for the latest information.
- Find out what rules your destination has, and check again before you go. Ask questions such as if they are open to visitors, if vaccines are required, or if there is any kind of mandatory quarantine.
- Since guidelines for staying safe are fluid, look for fares and hotels that are either fully refundable or don’t charge penalties if you change your reservation.
- Investing in travel Insurance can be a smart option — while this may seem like an extra expense, it will help recoup your vacation investment should something go wrong, such as an accident or sudden illness. Plans may offer things like travel delay benefits, baggage delay benefits, and cover overseas medical emergencies. Research the various options to find one right for you.
- Budget carefully. While airlines are offering relatively low fares right now to encourage travel, a lot of hotels and Airbnbs are priced higher than usual in order to recoup losses. Many rental car agencies sold their cars during the pandemic resulting in a rental car shortage and increased fees. Alternative transportation options have also been affected by the pandemic — according to this article by The Washington Post, Uber and Lyft are both suffering massive driver shortages, leading to longer wait times and increased fares.
- Pack your masks! While many places are relaxing their mask mandates, you’ll still need to wear one while flying or taking public transportation. Be sure to self-monitor for any COVID-like symptoms and get tested if you have any.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, be sure to follow the local guidelines in order to have a fun, safe, vacation!