Are you concerned about how to travel in 2020? To be sure, 2020 will be remembered as the year of canceled travel. In fact, since March 2020, practically all travel was canceled. Hotels, flights, cruises, and car rental were put on halt. Planes were grounded. Cruise ships had a terrible time disembarking passengers and crew. Hotels have suffered massive cancellations and forced to close down.
After more than two months of lockdown, most countries are slowly reopening, and travel will resume soon. There are few things to consider before booking travel safely for the next few months.
Check Your Government Website Before Booking Travel in 2021
Before deciding to book a trip for 2020, always checks your local government website for the latest travel advisory. Not every country will be able to accept tourists, and some countries will require a quarantine period upon arrival. For this reason, to avoid surprises, always check what your government suggests for travelers. It is also an excellent idea to check the country of destination tourist board to be sure that you can visit.
Some countries will require a COVID-19 test upon arrival or before departure. You can find out if you’ll need to do this on the destination tourist board website. Make sure you read and understand all the requirements before departure.
Consider Domestic / Local Travel
Domestic travel might be the best option for summer 2020. Every country has beautiful places to visit and discover, and this year could be the time to do so. For example, we live in Italy, and we will visit several Italian destinations this summer that will be less crowded with tourists. Places like Venice, Florence, Rome, or Naples will have fewer visitors, and this will allow us to enjoy these cities without being too crowded.
Traveling locally will also serve a few purposes such as:
- It Will be safer, no quarantine will be required.
- There are fewer chances of a canceled flight.
- There is no risk of being stranded in a foreign country in case a lockdown is put in place again.
- It minimizes the risk of not being covered by travel insurance.
- Finally, it will support the local travel industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
In 2021, Book Flexible and Refundable Travel!
This is probably the most essential thing to consider when booking any travel in the next few months. Make sure that your booking is refundable and flexible. Most airlines nowadays let you book and cancel or rebook a flight without applying any penalty.
Cruise lines have implemented a similar booking strategy, and most bookings for 2020 are cancellable and refundable up to 48 hours before departure. The major cruise lines offer a cash refund or a future cruise credit for the amount of the canceled cruise with some added bonuses (The number of bonuses varies between cruise lines). It’s always advisable to book a cruise with a travel agent specialized in cruises. By doing so, they can help you explain the different refund options in the case should you need to cancel your trip. If you decide to cruise in 2020, consider a cruise near home if possible. This will have the same advantages we discussed in the previous paragraph.
Check the Fine Print
When booking a hotel, always check the cancelation policy. For the next few months, book a cancellable rate, even though it might be a bit more expensive. Don’t prepay for your hotel but choose the “Pay at the property” option. That way, you will not have to deal with refunds in case you need to cancel your reservation. Another essential tip when booking hotels is to search the hotels on a booking site but then contact the hotel reservation directly, either by phone or email. This will ensure that the hotel is actually open and able to take guests. Secondly, you might be able to get a better deal, because you will avoid the middle man.
If you are planning to spend your holiday at a beach destination, consider renting a condo. This will make it easier to avoid crowds and to keep social distancing. In fact, in a big resort, it will be much easier to get near fellow guests, making it easier to spread the virus. In a condo, the risk is much more limited.
In 2021, Buy Travel Insurance
It is imperative to be sure that your travel insurance will cover you if you have any problems. To be sure, many insurance companies have specific exclusions clauses for a pandemic. Read your policy very carefully and ask your insurance company what is covered and what is not before traveling. Also, make sure you have an answer in writing. If you call your insurance company with questions, ask to have the answer emailed to you. In case of a dispute, you need to have the answer in writing.
Do Your Research On The Destination Before Travel
If you are planning to visit a particular attraction in a destination, make sure that the attraction is open before departure. Also, consider buying the tickets in advance to secure a spot. Due to social distancing, many museums or attractions can only take a limited amount of people. For that reason, you might encounter huge lines or even worst risking the attraction to be sold out. Making a reservation in advance will ensure you have a spot and maybe also skip the line. Indeed, this is particularly important if you travel overseas to visit a specific place. Can you imagine how disappointing it would be to travel all the way to Rome to visit the Sistine Chapel just to find out that it is sold out?
We hope that these few tips will help you plan your traveling in 2020. We really believe this year will be full of opportunities. Opportunity to score fantastic travel deals, opportunities to visit destinations usually packed with tourists with way fewer people, and finally, the chance to explore your own country safely. Until things go back to normal, we will have to travel smart, but we will still be able to enjoy visiting and exploring.
Is now a good time to buy airline tickets?
Airline tickets, both domestic and international, are currently hovering a little on the low side. I think this trend might continue for a few months, but once there is confidence again, I expect prices to soar. As a result, my recommendation would be to consider the destinations you might want to visit in the next year to year and a half. Then, book the tickets you can afford, all while making sure that there is the flexibility to cancel, change, or obtain a refund.
How far can you book a holiday in advance?
In general, you can book a holiday for about 18 months in advance. Some airlines or hotels might take a reservation further out, but 18 months is about as far out as you can go. In a post covid 19 world, booking flexible and refundable travel is critical. And, when not possible, book only with money that you are prepared to lose if the worst case happened.
When Will It Be Safe To Travel Again
While there are always risks when traveling, the key is to understand the risks, and then decide. For example, if you are younger and in good health, you might feel safer when traveling sooner than say, a senior with underlying health conditions.
Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
Before traveling, be sure to check if there are any travel restrictions at your destination. For example, you might check with your federal government or with the government of the country you are going to visit. In the United States, you might check with the State Department for travel advisories. Also, you might consider contacting the airline, cruise line, or hotel at your destination for further information. In the end, knowledge is critical. Stay informed about the latest travel restrictions before traveling in 2020.
Coronavirus Travel Advice in 2021
Travel in 2020 after the coronavirus will be different from before. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask in public when social distancing isn’t possible. Use reusable gloves, and hand sanitiser when out in public. If you feel comfortable, travel, but stay alert.
Stay safe and enjoy
Andrea was born and raised in Northern Italy. At the age of 30, he moved to Vancouver Canada. Over the years he traveled extensively in North America, Europe, Central America, and Asia. He is passionate about traveling, cruising, and travel photography. He likes to write about his traveling and shows his travel photos.