With all the news about Europe and other nations opening up for summer travel to revive their economies, there are obvious things to remember – it won’t be tourism as usual, and if you’re planning that summer travel then pay close attention to the rules and safety regulations of those countries.
There are some pretty good examples out there showing how safe and responsible travel can be this summer. The prime example being Iceland, which will welcome travelers beginning June 15. The country is nearly coronavirus-free and has developed a comprehensive safety rules – every tourist will be tested upon arrival at the airport and has to download and use a tracing app.
Then there are some countries that got pretty well through the crisis so far and are planning to open up, especially because they are highly dependent on tourism money. This includes Georgia, Balkans, Greece and Croatia. Most of them are opening up beginning July and we hope they will have good safety measurements in place. Summer travel will be very different from the usual experience – no bars, no nightlife, no parties and perhaps many rules for restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.
If the destination country has some good system and rules in place then there’s no reason to be entirely against traveling. However, lots of things will be different and there’s certainly a risk of some inconvenient situations you might face. As soon as people start moving, there might be some outbreaks in certain regions that could lead to those places being put under quarantine lockdown.
Then there’s the risk of you getting tested positive on arrival resulting in decline-to-enter or a mandatory quarantine for 14 days if it’s too risky to send you back.
Here are some tips if you consider traveling in the next few months:
1. Be Spontaneous
Don’t plan far in advance. Your destination country might not have the situation under control and may not welcome travelers. Things can change fast, so make sure you either book your vacation spontaneously or have the option to cancel last minute. Try not to make any bookings more than 1-2 weeks ahead.
2. Be Flexible
Things could go wrong while you’re on your holiday. Maybe there’s an outbreak at your hotel and you’ll be quarantined, maybe the region you’re in will be put under lockdown again, maybe you’ll test positive and you won’t be able to fly home until you fully recover. Make sure you have enough time, patience and budget for any unforeseeable inconveniences.
3. Be Cautious
Pay very close attention to the destination country. Do they actually have the situation under control or do they only open up for economic reasons in order to save their tourism industry?
Every country has to balance health vs. economy – it’s a very difficult decision and there’s no right or wrong. There’ll always be a risk, but it also depends on your individual situation. If you’re older and/or part of the high-risk group, you should be extra cautious and think twice if you can.
4. Lower Expectations
Traveling will be different than what you’re used to. Ask yourself what your priority is – if you wanna go hiking in the nature or relax on the beach, you’ll probably still have a good time. If you wanna go to a party island in Spain or Greece, keep in mind that there might not be any parties, possibly bars and clubs will be entirely closed, you might need to wear a mask and maybe even access to some tourist attractions and sights will be limited. Dependent on your priorities, ask yourself if this trip will be worth your time and money?
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