COVID-19 Travel Experience in Q4 2021

I thought a short blog might be due to share some thoughts on what travel may look like in the remaining months of 2021. The Delta variant is causing havoc around the world, so many of us are still wondering what countries and locations will be open…or not in 2021 or early 2022.

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This posting is a little out of date, but this link keeps updated on the status of all countries quite regularly. I recommend bookmarking it.

Masks

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Many locations and countries may remain open, but the TSA has extended the mask rule for airline passengers until at least 2022. We need to get use to wearing masks for a long time. I do not think this is going away any time soon.

The other bug question is what will be the experience on both airlines and in hotels?

Airlines

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I am pleased to say that food and drink service is slowly returning. It may not be full 5-star in first or business class yet, but this updated online summary is looking promising.

Hotels

Now, lets look at hotels. I think this is a mixed story across the chains and the status of the hotel.

As US News and World Reports highlights, many changes are occurring and we need to get used to much more utilitarian service and less luxury perks for the foreseeable future.

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Will hotels start offering room service again?

The WSJ had a good article that some hotels are starting to charge fees for the pool, gym or even cleaning services. Is this the new trend and only business travels will expense these services when they return?

Attractions

The most complicated topic is attractions, landmarks and activities.

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I think the best practice and rule of thumb is you need to research carefully before you plan and travel. Every state, every city, every location is a little different. One example is Florida. And they can and could change quite quickly or dynamically.

Restaurants, Car Rentals and Tours

Similar to the above, it is likely to be a mixed story. Look ahead to see if you can even get into a restaurant before you make a flight reservation. Many are trying to go to places like Hawaii which no longer require quarantine if you are vaccinated, but you may have limitations in some of the services like car rental which are very hard to find. This article has some good recommendations to think about.

Vaccinations

Here is what I recommend plan and perform before considering travel anywhere:

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  1. Get vaccinated
  2. Make sure you have a physical and electronic copy of your vaccination
  3. Assume you need to wear a mask
  4. Plan to get a booster vaccine when they time comes

Business Insider has a good chart on how effective your vaccine can be against the variants.

Do you have any tips to share? Please send them my way and I will add to this posting.

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