Summer Travel Tips – The Washington Post | Gmx Pharm


Traveling is getting complicated this summer.

More Americans are likely to be traveling than at any time since the coronavirus pandemic began. The World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economics expect domestic travel spending for the year to reach more than $1.1 trillion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by about 11 percent.

“All indications are that things will revert to the pre-pandemic era for travel this summer,” said Mahmood Khan, a professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

But Khan says the war in Ukraine, high inflation and soaring petrol prices have unsettled the travel landscape and make untrained holidaymakers more likely to make mistakes.

“Travellers are taking a lax approach to travel as Covid restrictions ease,” said Manny Fernandez, vice president of global operations for FocusPoint International, a global traveler assistance firm. “They’re not paying attention to the basics of travel preparation like they were before the pandemic.”

I’ll be traveling with you this summer: I’m planning trips to Turkey, Greece, Ireland and the UK. I hope I’m not embarrassing myself. Here’s how you – and I – can avoid the biggest travel pitfalls of summer 2022.

Waiting too long to book. “Some mistakes people are making right now,” says Amy Jones, a travel consultant from Rock Hill, SC, “They’re not planning and reserving lodging or buying flights now, and they’re waiting until the last minute for that deal.”

But Jones says the deal isn’t coming this summer. Most hotel rooms and vacation rentals in high-demand areas are about to sell out. Even if you consider moving your vacation to October or November, you’ll still find high occupancy rates.

Don’t research security. “Security is a key issue now more than ever,” said Carrie Pasquarello, managing director of Global Secure Resources, a security consulting firm. The coronavirus remains a major concern in many places, and some countries still have pandemic restrictions and testing requirements in place.

Pasquarello says anyone traveling this summer needs to take a deep dive into health and safety at their destination. These include research into crime, the risk of contracting the coronavirus, and other potential dangers. She recommends first checking the State Department’s travel advisories page for your travel destination and checking coronavirus testing requirements in Sherpa, a travel restrictions database.

Forget the basics of travel. For many Americans, it’s been a while since their last vacation. And that means they’re a little out of practice when it comes to travel.

Rani Cheema, managing director of Cheema’s Travel, a culinary travel agency, says the basics are simple. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months. “If your passport expires within six months of your departure, you must renew it immediately,” she says. And “continuously” check your flights and pay close attention to any emails or text messages you receive from your airline. “There’s a high probability that your flight has changed because of a lack of crew, pilots or even sold seats,” she says.

Assuming your plans don’t change. “The travel regulations as well as the flight schedules and event schedules are still in flux,” warns Kimberly Greulich, founder of luxury travel agency KG Travel Club. The Covid restrictions may feel like they are over, but the effects are still with us.

Greulich also says that one should not assume that all the amenities of an airport or hotel will be available this summer. Labor shortages can cause restaurants to operate with reduced hours. Hotel housekeeping may not be available. If you’re counting on something at your destination, ask before you arrive.

ignore insurance. Travelers often assume that their travel insurance or medical evacuation membership will cover whatever might happen to them. But maybe not — and this isn’t the summer to find out. For example, earlier this year, Covac Global, a company that provides insurance coverage for travelers who contract the coronavirus while away, added a new evacuation requirement to its list: The company must consider the evacuation “medically reasonable” in order to avoid one to avoid hospitalization.”

When renting a car, here are some expert tips: Talk to your insurance company before you leave. Christopher Seabrook, an insurance agent for Country Financial in Atlanta, says travelers often overlook the specifics of their auto policies, particularly whether they have roadside assistance insurance. “In general, your automobile policy should cover the rental vehicle while driving within the United States, including your excess,” he says. “Always read the contract carefully and ask the landlord to explain something if you’re not sure.”

avoid Europe. Kate McCulley, a Prague-based travel blogger, says Americans are unnecessarily concerned about security in Central Europe. “I keep getting messages from Americans saying things like, ‘We’re not going to Central Europe because of the riots,'” she says.

Just one problem: “There is zero unrest. zero. Prague, Budapest, Kraków [in Poland] and numerous other cities are functioning normally, only with more yellow and blue flags hanging from the windows,” she says. This might be the only area where deals are still available, so you might be missing out on an opportunity to save money.

Wrong place visit. If you’re still not sure where to go this summer, try a place that has just reopened to tourism. That’s the advice of Carlos Grider, a remote work expert who blogs about life as a digital nomad. He recommends heading to places like Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia, which have recently reopened, rather than destinations like Mexico, which had more lax pandemic regulations.

“Take this summer’s golden opportunity to look for classic destinations that have only recently opened,” says Grider. “You can experience them in a comfortable, uncrowded, welcoming and inexpensive state that is unlikely to happen again.”

Prospective travelers should consider local and national health guidelines regarding the pandemic before planning a trip. For travel health advice information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interactive map of travel advice by destination and the CDC’s travel health advice website.

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