Tips for summer travel – The Washington Post

 Tips for summer travel – The Washington Post

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Traveling can be complicated this summer.

More Americans are likely to travel than at any time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economics project that domestic travel spending will reach more than $ 1.1 trillion for the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by about 11 per cent.

“All the signs suggest that things will go back to pre-pandemic time for travel this summer,” said Mahmood Khan, a professor in the hospitality and tourism management department at Virginia Tech.

But Khan said the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising gas prices have added to the uncertainty in the travel scene, making it more likely that those who don’t practice vacations will make mistakes.

“Travelers are creating a less expensive approach to travel as covid bans are slowing down,” said Manny Fernandez, vice president of global operations at FocusPoint International, a global assistance company for travelers. “They don’t pay attention to the basics of travel preparation like they did before the pandemic.”

I will be with you this summer: I plan to travel to Turkey, Greece, Ireland and Britain. I wish I hadn’t embarrassed myself. Here’s how you – and I – can avoid the biggest travel pitfalls of the summer of 2022.

Too long waiting to be booked. “Some mistakes people make today,” said Amy Jones, a travel consultant based in Rock Hill, SC “They don’t plan and reserve accommodations or buy flights right now, and they’re waiting until last minute for that deal. “

But Jones said the deal won’t come this summer. Most hotel rooms and vacation rentals are about to be sold in areas with high demand. Even if you are thinking of postponing your vacation until October or November, you will find a high level of occupancy.

Failure to research security. “Now, more than ever, security is an important issue,” said Carrie Pasquarello, chief executive of Global Secure Resources, a security consulting firm. Coronavirus remains a major concern in many areas, and some countries have pandemic bans and area testing requirements.

Pasquarello said anyone traveling this summer should take a deep dive into the health and safety of their destination. That includes research on crime, risk of contracting coronavirus, and other potential risks. He recommends starting by finding your destination on the State Department’s Travel Advisories page and checking out Sherpa’s coronavirus testing requirements, a database of travel restrictions.

Forget the basics of travel. For many Americans, it’s been a long time since their last vacation. And that means they’re pretty much out of practice when traveling.

Rani Cheema, chief executive of Cheema’s Travel, a culinary travel agency, says the basics are simple. Make sure you have at least six months of validity left in your passport. “If your passport expires within six months of your departure, you need to renew it immediately,” he said. And “always” check your trips, paying close attention to any emails or text messages you receive from your airline. “There’s a long time that your flight has been changed due to a lack of crew, pilots or even seats being sold,” he said.

To assume that your plans will not change. “Travel regulations, along with plane schedules and events, are constantly changing,” warns Kimberly Greulich, founder of KG Travel Club, a luxury travel agency. Covid bans may feel like they’re over, but the effects are still upon us.

Greulich also says you don’t have to think that every amenity at an airport or hotel will be available this summer. Job shortages could mean that restaurants are operating with reduced hours. Hotel housekeeping may not be available. If there is something you trust in your destination, ask before you arrive.

Ignore insurance. Travelers often assume that their travel insurance or medical evacuation membership will cover whatever happens to them. But it may not-and it’s not the summer to find out. For example, earlier this year, Covac Global, a company that offers coverage for travelers infected with the coronavirus while they are away, added a new evacuation requirement to its list: The company must consider evacuation to be “medically vigilant to avoid hospitalization..”

If you rent a car, here are some expert advice: Talk to your insurance company before you leave. Christopher Seabrook, an insurance agent for Country Financial in Atlanta, says travelers often ignore the details of their auto policies, especially if they have roadside assistance covered. “Generally, your car policy should apply to renting a car while driving within the United States, including your deductible,” he said. “Always read the contract carefully, and ask the rental agent to explain anything if you are unsure.”

Avoiding Europe. Kate McCulley, a travel blogger who lives in Prague, says Americans don’t need to worry about security in central Europe. “Often, I get messages from Americans saying things along the lines of,‘ We’re not going to central Europe because of the unrest right now, ’” he said.

Just one problem: “No chaos. Zero. Prague, Budapest, Krakow [in Poland] and many other towns are functioning normally, with lots of yellow-and-blue flags hanging on the windows, ”he said. It can be a place where deals are still available, so you can miss out on a chance to save money.

Visiting the wrong place. If you’re not sure where to go this summer, try an area that has just opened for tourism. That’s the advice of Carlos Grider, a remote employment expert who publishes a blog about being a digital nomad. He recommends going to places like Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia, which have recently reopened, rather than destinations like Mexico, which have a lot of lax pandemic regulations.

“Use the once in a lifetime opportunity this summer to focus on classic destinations that have just opened,” Grider said. “You can experience them in a pleasant, uncluttered, welcoming and inexpensive environment that is unlikely to happen again.”

Potential travelers should consider local and national public health directives regarding pandemic before planning any trips. Travel health notice information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interactive map that displays travel recommendations by destination and on the CDC’s travel health notice webpage.

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