Travel in 2021: Where, When, & How
Updated: Mar 9
If there is one word to describe travel in 2021, it is change. Constant change. The daily reports of borders opening, borders closed, country-specific entry requirements, transportation restrictions, immigration procedures, are all about change. Anything published one afternoon will be outdated the next morning. Still, in the global effort to restart travel, trends are emerging, and some countries are leading the way forward.
How we will be traveling in 2021? Here is what you need to know, now.
Expect the Creation of a Digital Travel Covid Pass
A negative Covid test is required for entry into many countries, as well as to join at least one major tour operator (Globus). With the rollout of effective vaccines, look for proof of vaccination as a condition to travel in 2021 to become the norm. All the major cruise lines have indicated their crew members will be vaccinated, and as of February 2021, three cruise lines (Saga, American Steamboat, Crystal Cruises) also require that of passengers. One international air carrier—Qantas—is requiring passengers to be vaccinated. Talks are ongoing at major regulatory agencies (IATA, International Air Transport Association, for example) to create a uniform digital pass system across all travel networks and countries.
Expect Enhanced Contact Tracing
Voluntary at present, airlines will increase accumulation of information for contact tracing in the event a passenger develops Covid. Expect to provide information about your travel plans before boarding a plane. Expect to see travel companies developing apps to keep in touch with their clients.
Cruises Will Soon Set Sail Again
Initially, cruises will operate as special travel bubbles with enhanced safety protocols. Crew will be vaccinated, and passengers screened multiple times: before, during, and after boarding. Initially masking anywhere outside one’s stateroom will be required. Buffets will exist—but not as self-service. Shows will observe social distancing, possibly with reservations required. Shore excursions will be handled by the ship to keep everyone in the bubble, which means no wandering around town on your own. Social distancing won’t be too much of a problem, as cruises will initially be sailing at 50% capacity.
Prices Will Increase…and Increase
Look for airfares to go up. Keeping those middle seats open, as Delta has done, costs money, as does the special air filtration system and state of the art disinfecting equipment. Cruise fares will also increase. These price hikes are largely due to supply and demand. The demand for cruises is increasing at unprecedented levels—Oceania’s 2023 Round the World cruise sold out in just one day. Add in the cost of sailing at 50% capacity, increased medical staff, and ship renovations, those bargain cruise fares of a few years ago could become as scarce as crowded indoor dining is currently.
Where to Travel in 2021
Part of anticipating what travel in 2021 will look like is recognizing our options are pretty limited as to where we can travel. So where can we travel? Here's a global view.
For that break from winter, the sunny Caribbean is open, if you have a negative Covid test result. Resorts are reopening daily, both on the islands and in Mexico. With over two dozen island nations plus Mexico each constantly updating their entry requirements, it’s best to check the tourism website before booking your flights. Remember, they want you to come. Tourism is the backbone of their local economy. So many resorts are offering Covid tests, often for free.
It's time to rejoice! European travel is coming! Many countries are opening their borders to Covid-vaccinated travelers. Cyprus and Romania lead the initiative, with Greece and Croatia close behind. Italy is pushing forward with its own mass vaccination plans, and we all hope that means the country on everyone’s bucket list will open by the summer.
A romantic exotic ocean paradise, offering over the water bungalows where rainbow-colored fish swim beneath your feet and spectacular sunsets bathe your porch. Present a negative COVID test or, preferably, a vaccination certificate, and the beautiful Seychelles has the welcome mat out. Airfare is still a problem, as it may go through a country currently closed to US travelers, but this Indian Ocean paradise is available while we wait for Tahiti and the South Pacific to reopen.
There are reasons millions of overseas visitors flock to the US every year. We have the largest variety of National Parks, open spaces, unique cities, and varied coastlines of any place on this planet. Think San Francisco instead of Sydney, New York instead of London, skiing in Colorado or Lake Tahoe instead of Switzerland. Explore the culture of the ancient pueblos in New Mexico, instead of the caves in France or Spain. Hike portions of the Pacific Crest Trail across the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountains, or trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s all right here, in your own backyard, and no passport is required.
Rely on Dream Maker Destinations to Stay Up-to-Date on the Changing Travel Requirements
Travel restrictions are being lifted and modified daily, making it difficult for the average traveler to keep up. We recommend all travelers stay current by regularly checking with local tourist bureaus as well as your favorite travel professional who gets updates daily. When planning a trip, Dream Maker Destinations is here for you to not only plan the adventure of your dreams, but also to keep you updated on the ever-changing post-Covid travel requirements. It's time to dust off those suitcases and start dreaming. Contact us today!