Should you postpone your International travel to 2021?
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Short Answer: YES!
Long Answer (but worth the read): I wish I could have a crystal ball and know that in a month the world will be back to normal, but I don't, and it certainly will not be. The world will not be ready for international travel in the next 2 or 3 months and maybe even another 6 months yet.
My vision for you, my client, is to bring you an amazing vacation getaway, and right now, the entire experience will not be anything like you had dreamed of. I believe vacations should be about creating beautiful memories to be cherished for a lifetime. A trip right now won't be the perfect getaway that it should be, and it likely won't be for a few more months.
So yes, I am suggesting something that I would have never thought I would, and that is not to travel now; at least not for the next 5 - 6 months. Let the world heal.
And let's not forget the very likely probability of a second wave hitting and things getting shut down again.
Europe has opened up its borders to other countries and so there has been a lot more interest in travelling to those countries, but there are a number of things to consider.
Canada still has a Level 3 Advisory - Avoid all non-essential travel.
What does this mean for Canadians wanting to travel?
There is still a threat to our wellbeing.
You likely will not be covered by travel insurance as you have been warned by our country not to travel. This means no trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance, BUT most important no medical coverage. If you happen to be ill with COVID, you will not be covered.
You must quarantine when you return to Canada for 14 days even if you do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as the Emergency Order was extended to August 31st. The deadline could be extended again, so if you are planning on travelling in September through to the end of the year, be prepared that you will likely be asked to quarantine at home when you return to Canada. Do they really check? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: After talking to many travel agent colleagues, travellers have been called at home by municipal, provincial, and/or federal offices. I have even been told about By-Law officers showing up at your home, and the fines are hefty if you don't comply.
You may experience flight schedule changes as airlines are trying to find new normals. For example, AirCanada has recently cancelled a number of routes and airport destinations in Canada.
You will be required to wear masks - a lot. You will be asked to wear masks in airports, including shuttles and monorails, and for the ENTIRE duration of the flight.
It will take significantly longer to get through the airport, security checks, etc. You will have to complete questionnaires and temperature checks.
What does this mean for Canadians arriving at destination?
A number of things can happen:
The European Union has agreed to let Canadians in, but it does not mean European Union countries are letting Canadians in.
Italy announced on July 1st that they will not be allowing any non-EU citizen in their country. Yes, they are aware that people could travel by car, and rail and they will be checking your place of residence. No sneaking in. Italy had such a bad experience, that they want to make sure they stay in the clear. There is no word on when they will lift this ban.
La Sagrada Familia in Spain is only open to Health Care Workers.
Iceland requires you to quarantine, or take a COVID test upon arrival which you will have to pay out of pocket ($100USD per person).
In the UK, they have designated a number of hotels for Essential workers only, and therefore additional checks will be made and require 14-day quarantine.
Switzerland has also extended its border restrictions to the end of July.
Every country will have its own set of questionnaires, temperature checks, that you must comply with. If you are connecting, this may cause delays or additional questioning based on the country of arrival.
Some countries have been requesting copies of negative COVID tests within 7 days of travel.
You may be required to install a tracking App while in destination, for contact tracing.
While out sightseeing, you will very much likely be asked to wear masks in public places and tourist sites - museums, churches, high traffic areas, excursions, or just out walking.
One of the things that is not talked too much about is, what happens if you end up with a high temperature or a false positive? Well, you will be treated as if you had COVID. If it happens at home, you will be turned away at the airport, and your trip will not carry on. If it happens abroad, you may be taken to a quarantine facility at your expense, and because the Government has the Level 3 advisory in place and you chose to travel anyway, they will not be able to assist you in getting you back to Canada, and your trip will not carry on.
SO, WHAT NOW?
Postpone those dream getaways to 2021, but don't delay. I encourage you to postpone that trip to 2021 to get the experience you dreamed of and deserve. Wait until next year to go on your dream getaway, but let’s start planning now.
There is a pent-up need to travel, and when things look brighter, people will want to leave. Millions of travellers have cancelled trips, and they are all itching to re-book. If you are thinking of a certain location, or want to re-book a trip, let's get working on it now to make sure things don't sell out.
I was supposed to be in Prague mid-July, and even though the country is now celebrating the end of the shutdown, I won't be travelling there until next year. For a girl that travels multiple times a year, being grounded for 2020 has been very odd, but I know it's for the best, and I'm already looking into Spring 2021 for my trip.
Email me if you have any questions about this article, want to postpone your trip, or want to start planning for next year. I’m here to help.