Dear TravelAnne Explorers A Real Summer!
Updated: Jul 16
Many Americans are traveling! Even more are planning longer trips in the Fall, over the holidays and especially for next year. Europe is VERY popular, even for last minute get-aways. Read this carefully to pick up some essential pointers on travel in the present environment. I am here to assist!
By Anne Heintz
Itching to get back on the road?
A lot of you are traveling this summer. Even more of you are planning trips for the Fall, festive season and 2022. Right now, Europe is a popular choice. I’ve already sent a number of you there, so we’re dedicating a fair amount of editorial capital on that part of the world.
The biggest question is about the requirements to enter and leave. The answer is somewhat of a moving target because everything is constantly changing.
To give you some guidance, we’re making this edition of TravelAnne a “nuts & bolts” edition of European travel. Our staff writers put in a ton of work piecing together the current requirements for each European country.
Use this as a resource but not a Bible. The requirements change constantly. We will be updating this material on a regular basis but it’s always best to work with a talented Travel Advisor… like me!
As for Europe…. I have already had people travel to France, Croatia and Greece and they are back and full of new experiences as well as revisiting some from the past. In the next few months I have more trips planned for clients to Italy, Greece, Holland, France, Croatia and the UK. We are keeping our fingers crossed about Great Britain as conflicting information continues to trickle out! There is a lot of pressure from not only the tourism sector but the business community to get the quarantine requirements lifted!
Aside of dealing with the various COVID requirements, there are a couple of other issues to keep in mind as you rejoin the traveling public. The key is patience!
The airlines are kind of a hot mess right now. I suspect there are more people traveling than they expected. This not only has an impact on airfares, but on service as well. Delays and even cancellations are more common that in the past. It is even more important now to have a current TSA/Global Entry number and CLEAR as lines can be long otherwise.
Speaking of TSA, they’re still staffing up as well. Reports of long lines at the airport security checks are coming from most major airports. The best advice is to plan for delays. Take the recommended arrival time of 2-hour prior to departure seriously!
Please check your passports and make sure they haven’t expired. There is still a backlog at the passport office. I believe if you pay an expeditor a handsome sum you can get it back in 2-3 weeks. Remember you need at least 6 months left to return back into the US!
If you are lucky enough to have renewed your passport AND you have a Global Entry number make sure to update your new passport number on the Global Entry portal so that you don’t have any issues coming back into the US!
This same service issue is impacting many hotel properties but for a somewhat different reason. A significant number of hotels, especially those in the US, are scrambling to re-hire staff furloughed during the lockdown. As a result, service at even the finest hotels in city centers, may not be up to their usual standards. Most if not all of the hotel properties I deal with are working hard to address this issue. My advice is to be patient and enjoy the fact that we’re all working to get back to a “normal” life!
Planning Makes Perfect!
Speaking of advice, here’s some about future travel. Don’t look for deals. Look for value.
I’ve had a few clients who cut their travel budgets under the assumption that prices should be low coming out of the lockdown. Remember that line from “The Bad News Bears” about what happens when you “assume” something? In this case it’s true.
Case in point, we just booked a car rental for a mid-October weekend. Pre-Covid a mid-size car in this particular location would cost anywhere from $75-$125. It is currently $287 including all the local taxes. YIKES!
Right now travel is too important ….and many of you have seized the moment to get back “in the saddle.” Planning is the key ingredient. Please don’t drag your feet as availability is tighter and prices are higher, especially if you wait too long!
Grab your “wanderlust” and let’s get going!
As Always, Happy Trails & Keep Dreaming!
**Anne Heintz is an independent travel advisor based in Washington, D.C. who creates lifetime memories for her clients located all over the world. She loves the fact that the journey creates memories and connections for her clients. She is affiliated with World-Wide Travel Associates in DC and Tzell Travel in NYC. She is co-founder and namesake of TravelAnne.com. Anne can be reached at Anne@TravelAnne.com. Follow her on Instagram @TravelAnneBlog
Now is the time to start planning for future travel.