Travel has become increasingly appealing to lots of people around the world with increasingly time spent in a pandemic, and vaccination processes easier than ever. While national travel is exciting for some, international travel this summer is a hope for many more. The problem is that many countries are prohibiting citizens from certain countries like the United States from entering into their country.
For several countries, this is solved by a seven to ten day quarantine period once entering the country, or various negative covid tests. Within the US, The CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) recently updated travel guidelines explain that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to be tested before or after their travel and do not need to quarantine either.
Regarding international travel, the CDC recommends not traveling between countries without the full FDA approved vaccine and activation time. Countries such as Germany and Spain are not allowing US citizens within their borders, and this is unlikely to change before this summer. However, destinations including the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Africa only require proof of a negative covid test in order to enter.
France recently unveiled their plan to loosen travel restrictions for fully vaccinated American citizens, even though the country is still in the midst of a major lockdown that French President Emmanuel Macron says will be lifted by May. Macron says officials are now “finalizing the technical discussions” about a special certificate or passport for American travelers that would allow them to travel in between European countries safely. This certificate would show proof of vaccination, antibodies or a negative PCR covid test.
Greece recently adopted the same international travel protocol as France, announcing travelers only need proof of a negative PCR covid test or proof of the vaccine to enter the frequently visited mediterranean islands. Unlike some other countries, Greece is allowing for vaccinated American citizens traveling in the country to skip the quarantine and go straight to enjoying the beauty of the islands. While they are in a lockdown at the moment, the Greek Prime Minister announced restaurants and cafes will open outdoors on May 3, and tourism services will open May 15 as well.
As for the United Kingdom, due to their increasing covid-rates the United States has just raised the travel advisory for travel to the UK to the highest level; a level four, meaning US citizens should not travel to the UK.
The Carribean is set to be a popular destination with many Americans currently booking flights to Turks and Caicos, Aruba, and the Bahamas as well as several other popular Caribbean destinations.
The United States requires a negative Covid test for all US citizens including those who are fully vaccinated before boarding the flight back to their home country. This worries lots of people who would otherwise be planning to travel internationally. The CDC, however, still recommends testing 3-5 days after you have traveled. Experts anticipate the current protocol followed will still be in effect this summer which include airport faculty wearing gloves and masks as well as sanitization.
Tripadvisor, a popular travel booking app, conducted a survey on their site asking American travelers about their thoughts on traveling and this summer. The survey found that 67% of Americans are planning to travel between June first to August 31, what many would consider their summer vacation. Tripadvisor also found that hotel searches have increased by 65% from the first week in January as well as searches for travel experiences, which have gone up by 78%.
The survey also found that only 13% of the 67% traveling this summer are aiming to travel internationally. The most desired and popular travel period is expected to be just before Independence Day, around June 21 to June 28.
Many travel agents and advisors have seen an increase in travel bookings across the nation and world which shows many people are becoming more ready to return to semi-normal life.
Some people, though, are not as willing to make this leap to travel on airplanes. The Tripadvisor survey found that 43% of Americans traveling still plan to drive and avoid flying, many of them taking a break from their screens and road-tripping to see family and friends nearby.
Similar to the past couple of years before the pandemic, warm, sunny, and beachy destinations are very popular. This includes Florida and Mexico which are popular especially for people in the United States who are uncomfortable with long-distance or international travel.
According to a study by Allianz, which looked at 985,000 flight itineraries specifically focusing on trips lasting five to eight days, the top ten travel destinations included four locations in the state of Hawaii, two in Florida, and the rest were mostly cities.
The study conducted also discovered the top ten international destinations this summer. Expectedly, they were all coastal areas including the top three in order, Cancun, Mexico, Aruba, and San Juan.
This summer is looking pretty promising for people wishing to travel just to get away from the Zoom-headaches and confines of their home-offices, and although international travel may not be a possibility, there are thankfully plenty of other destinations for us to visit.