After 2 plus years of COVID, the pandemic has taught us that travel or attending an event is a privilege and not a right. Travel is more challenging than it was a few years ago and advance planning Is now required.
The only sure thing is there is not a sure thing. When we fondly look back on the “Good Ole Days of Pre-Covid Travel,” it is with a new reality that they may never come back in the same way. but life goes on.
However, I am personally excited about traveling more in 2022 and exploring this "in between time" as the pandemic slowly evolves into an endemic.
Read on for my 2022 Travel predictions and advice including my bonus of popular travel destinations in 2022.
1) Vaccination requirements are not going away: The world of travel is skewing towards being fully vaccinated as more destinations, cruise lines, attractions, venues and activities are requiring proof of vaccination prior to entry to maintain safety and increase consumer confidence. Showing proof of vaccination when traveling will be like having a 2nd passport just for health.
2) Mask wearing is here to stay – invest in comfortable one and keep handy:
I personally dislike wearing a mask, but elect to do so if required to travel on a plane, attend a concert, festival, conference, show, attraction, etc. instead of staying at home and missing another meaningful life event... my choice
3) Testing Policies for International Travel Need Revising: With the easy transmission of Omicron along with the less severe effects of this variant, it does not make sense to restrict a fully vaccinated USA citizen from flying back to the USA if they test positive for COVID when there are no similar restrictions enforced domestically once they arrive back into the USA.
Fortunately, as a front-line travel advisor, I haven't seen too many clients test positive and get stuck in quarantine lately, but I have also canceled most of our international trips recently as travelers don't want to take a chance on getting stuck in a foreign country and not be able to fly home.
I don't blame them at all and feel the same way. These rules are too restrictive and ought to be changed accordingly.
4) Personal responsibility and accountability required:
Everyone, please don’t travel or attend events if you're sick and risk spreading your illness to others… Be proactive and respectful of others as you would want them to be around you. If not feeling well, self-test, take recommended treatment, isolate, wear a mask, social distance, wash hands and /or just stay at home to minimize risks of spreading your infection.
5) Pack your patience: The labor shortage in the hospitality and travel industry is not going away soon so schedule more time and find your "Zen" when on hold or waiting for any type of customer service on the phone or in person. Use mobile apps, online websites or technology whenever possible for faster service
6) Decline of “Full-Service” Hotels: With the decrease in overall hotel services, hotel standards such as room service, daily housekeeping, bellman and car valet service, fully operating food outlets, spas and health clubs should now be considered extra amenities and rising guest room rates reflect this.
Always call ahead to see what is open and operating during your stay. Never assume everything is open and working so you'll not be surprised.
7) Flexibility: Travel policies and Restrictions can change overnight not to mention an unprecedented amount of airline cancellations disrupting the best laid travel plans. Be prepared by having a backup plan, have your travel advisor on standby, pack for any occasion and weather, keep your phone charged, pay attention and be ready to go with the flow.
8) Add a Travel Advisor To Your Team: Vacations can be a huge investment in time and money, and you only get one chance to do it right. Just like hiring a financial or tax professional to manage your cash and protect your interests, why would you NOT hire a travel advisor to manage your vacation investment and insure you always travel safely and smoothly?
The internet is for looking but too much information is confusing and overwhelming. Hiring a travel advisor from the start will save you lots of money, aggravation and instantly up your travel game so have time to experience those "Aha" moments with no stress. Best thing is once you have an ongoing relationship, your travel advisor will know your travel preferences, so you'll always enjoy smooth travels.
9) Festivals and gatherings are coming back: Humans are a heard species and crave interaction. Zoom and AI have improved and have their merits to connect people but keeping us physically isolated for so long has not worked well on many levels.
I am just starting attend some in-person gatherings and events again it has been a pleasure and thrill to “share the air together” again and actually see expressions and smiles on people without masks. If you have not gotten out yet, go try it.
10) 2022 will be the year of celebrating reunions and milestone events: We can’t keep postponing weddings, significant anniversaries, birthdays, occasions, etc., indefinitely or will lose this time and opportunities forever. Events can be held safely now so hold and enjoy these life celebrations before it is too late. Make someday today.
Bonus: Popular travel destinations for 2022 include: Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Egypt have been less restrictive than most of Europe. Ireland also just lifted COVID restrictions so is a great time to visit these countries this year with good pricing and minimal crowds
Closer to home, the Caribbean and Mexico continue to be popular for All-Inclusive resorts and private villa rentals and Costa Rica is always fun for eco-tourism.
Domestically in the USA, beach, desert, lake, mountain and theme park resort destinations continue to be popular than cities due to more activities and attractions open without masks. National parks and renting RV's are also on the favorite list for family vacations.
Insider Tip: Book early to lock in your vacation as pent-up travel demand is real and families want to make up for lost time.
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