Is it Safe to Travel Again? How to Book Flights Safely For the Future In the Time of Coronavirus
I think we can all agree that when this time of quarantine ends, we ALL deserve a vacation. And, with the flights and travel deals as low as they are right now, it can be tempting to start booking and planning travel while you’re relaxing at home and scrolling Pinterest for travel ideas. But how soon is too soon to travel? Is it safe to travel right now? Where CAN we travel right now? And when will it be safe to travel everywhere again after coronavirus? These are the questions I’ve been getting a lot from you guys on Instagram, so I figured I’d answer with this post.
Here are my travel tips to keep in mind while booking any travel for later this summer, later this year, and even into 2021:
1. Right now, domestic travel is open up for safe, cautious travel. As far as international travel goes, depending on the location, I would only recommend booking travel for later this fall and onward, knowing that even that might be a long-shot – so make sure you’re only booking fully refundable. As far as domestic travel destinations for after COVID go, check out my recommendations at the end of this post – there is so much to explore right here in the USA and my feeling is that will be a big travel trend of late 2020/2021.
2. Only book with trusted airlines that have great change and cancel policies. Do not book ANYTHING non-refundable. For airlines, stick to big airlines you know, not a random airline you’ve never heard of. If that airline goes under, you will not get your money back.
3. For hotels, I like using Booking for hotel bookings since they always have full-refund cancellation policies available. Southwest is one of my favorite domestic airlines because they never charge change fees. United is now also offering free flight changes through the end of the year for flights purchased now, American is offering free changes if booked before April 30, as are many other airlines.
4. Consider the destination you’re traveling to and what their status with the CDC is like. Here is the CDC’s map of risk, with travel notices for each destination. I personally will not be booking any travel to any COVID hot-bed in 2020.
5. If you’re booking a bigger trip like a honeymoon, get travel insurance. You can read more about my picks for travel insurance here and how to make sure your trip is protected from COVID-19.
6. In general, stay flexible. This virus and global impact is unprecedented and affecting absolutely everyone, so keep your plans flexible and consider alternatives. Have a plan B.
7. Get a good travel face mask. They are REQUIRED for flying – and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So whether you’re planning future travel or need to fly somewhere this summer, you’re going to want a chic face mask to travel (I have a ton of cute face mask recommendations here)
What questions do you guys have about planning travel in the time of coronavirus? I’ll do a Q&A here and continue to add to it as the situation evolves:
Q: Is there any place abroad that’s safe to travel right now?
A: It depends on how you look at it – The coronavirus has spread to more than 100 countries and every continent except for Antarctica. The U.S. State Department issued its sternest warning against international travel, citing a “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning. Mexico and the Caribbean are open to US tourists right now, but that’s about it.
Q: What measures can we take to travel safer when we can travel again?
A: Prepare, prepare, prepare. For one, read up on how to disinfect a hotel room when you check in. These easy steps to clean a hotel room and things to be aware of when traveling will help keep you safe and sanitized on your next trip – whenever that is.
Q: Where are some domestic US travel destinations for after lockdown that we can go?
A: For a fun, easy post-lockdown getaway, look into places like Charleston, Key West, Big Sur, Napa Valley, Palm Springs, Cabo san Lucas, and of course Hawaii – which just announced they are opening up for tourists again with COVID-testing. Depending on where you are in the US, a road trip to a national park (once they open again) is always a great option too (I’m personally dying to get to Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park). If you’re looking for somewhere that’s allowing international travel right now from the USA and looking to escape, look into these resorts in Mexico.
Also, consider basing from somewhere new for a month or two for a working vacation! Since we’re all working remotely right now, I rounded up the Best Airbnb’s in the US to Work Remote from This Year. After all, for about what you’re probably paying in rent in the same place you’ve been for the last 4 months, you can get out and experience a whole new area, or live by the beach!
Where is your first trip going to be when this is all over? Let me know in the comments!
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