The lines between what's still considered to be 'safe' travel and 'unsafe' travel are still a little blurred, even in a world where many countries are now administering as many vaccines as possible. Vaccinated travel does mean that travel is 'safer' but that doesn't mean every trip comes without its risks. That's why the CDC has now put out new guidelines - along with a safety level chart - indicating, with numbers one to four, how safe a country is in terms of international travel. While a country might be rated as a level one, that doesn't mean all guidelines are thrown to the wayside and travelers can forget about the practice they've had over the last year, though.
Some would say that traveling is even more stressful now that some international borders have opened. According to NerdWallet, travelers are finding out very quickly that a vaccine doesn't necessarily grant them access to everything with no holds barred. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test to leave and come back, change fees appearing with certain airlines and hotels once again, and fearmongering headlines can do a lot to increase travel anxieties. Luckily, there are some ways that travelers can take back control of their wanderlust and scratch the travel bug itch.
Stick With Domestic Travel
It feels like everyone has been stuck in their own houses, let alone countries, for what feels like years. An entire year is a long time to see the same place every single day and it's all the more disheartening when people realize that although there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it's still not yet within complete reach. There were reschedule trips to Italy, plans to take road trips across the border, and European backpacking trips that many were hoping to take in 2021, among other things.
This isn't the time to allow anything to break our house-ridden, cabin fever hearts, though. It's disappointing that jumping on a plane and jet setting to an exotic island isn't necessarily an option at this time of writing but vaccine proof and negative tests still count for something. Instead of the Bahamas, consider Hawaii. Rather than heading to the Swiss Alps, go to Glacier National Park instead. Rather than backpacking across Europe, start with cross-country trails in the U.S. If nothing else, this will prepare travelers for full-on international travel. Rediscovering the country a person resides in has been the upward trend in travel, anyway - so why not take the road less traveled?
Avoid Change Fees And General Plane Anxiety With Other Methods Of Travel
Change fees have grown to become the bane of everyone's existence lately. Many companies have done without them and have yet to bring them back but that doesn't mean they don't still exist. It's important to read the fine print but if the stress of negative tests, going to a new place, and being uncertain of another state's guidelines is too much, consider the alternatives. Rather than taking a place, invest in renting a car (which is often cheaper, anyway) or take your own. Renting RVs or another form of long-distance luxury travel mode is a great option as well. It doesn't mean that these won't have cancellation or change fees but it does mean more control in the hands of the traveler.
Consult With A Travel Agent And Let Them Figure Things Out
For example, traveling to Disney World now requires reservations in order to control the number of people in the park. If there's more than one destination on a traveler's vacation itinerary, it might be easier to allow a travel agent to take over. Many people might not think of it because vacations are relatively easy to plan and take in these days but the pandemic has set us back quite a bit in that regard.
Travel agents are once again being utilized in order to ease travelers back into travel by handling things such as plane bookings, CDC guidelines, requirements, and accommodations. Guidance from someone who is experienced with the current rules and regulations can eliminate tons of stress from the travel party.
Accept The Fact That Travel Also Has A Timeline
This is temporary. It's important to remember that travel has a timeline just like everything else. It will ebb and flow before things return to normal, or as normal as they can be following a pandemic. Anything that feels frustrating now is only frustrating at the moment, and the best we can do, as travelers, is to explore all of our options and continue to celebrate the little victories.