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What are the factors that you are using to make travel decisions?

Another poster wrote that they hoped the pandemic would be better by June and they hoped to travel then, but they weren't completely confident yet. It made me wonder what are the parameters people are using to make travel related decisions? Please keep the focus on travel here. How do you decide when you feel comfortable enough to travel? The answer will be different for everyone.

For my sister, she doesn't feel that she can travel to Europe until the testing requirement for return to the US is eliminated because of work concerns. That is her key go-no go factor.

For me, I look at the situations that I am likely to find myself in with a particular travel plan and decide if I feel I can mitigate risk factors enough to feel confident. I've traveled 4 times during the pandemic and enjoyed every trip. I've also worked to stay healthy on all of them. My first Europe trip is in May.

Please stay away from entering into philosophical debates. Simply share some of the factors that help you determine when you feel ready to travel during these times.

Posted by
9860 posts

This is an excellent question, Carol.

I'm funny i guess because as I was reflecting on this, I seem to have inconsistent “rules” for myself. I was recognizing that I haven't minded the testing to go to the United States or to come back to France (by which I mean that even though it was a little bit of a pain to set up in the United States and it cost me something, I didn’t find that a big enough deterrent to keep me away). I have gone home to the States twice since I could travel (basically I went back one week after I was fully vaccinated — so essentially as soon as it was physically possible).

I have been to both Norway and Italy for leisure. I didn’t need a test for Norway last summer, and while I did need one for Italy last month, tests are easy to come by here (and free if you're a vaccinated resident), so those didn’t trip me up either. For Norway I had to be fully vaccinated with an EU digital Covid certificate.

However, I haven't been to the UK since the pandemic started or has loosened. Largely because both the Uk and French governments have instituted such drastic measures with respect to traveling between one and the other (or simply haven't allowed it, for much of the pandemic), and in part a kind of philosophical and financial reticence to engage with all the UK testing, which seemed more designed to pad the pockets of UK testing companies than to actually root out infected travelers. And because of all the changes, I have never gotten to a point where I feel comfortable even making reservations to go to the Uk. I think I am finally there now - but now I have to wait a while to be able to book a reasonably priced ticket and find reasonably priced lodging.

The mask thing hasn’t bothered me at all, as we are used to wearing them here in France. In fact in Norway last summer I felt odd wearing one because no one else was — but then again I thought as a guest in their country, I didn’t want to bring in Covid — I didn’t want them to regret their decision to let in other Europeans. But I certainly got looks in my hotel breakfast room in Balestrand as the odd lady out.

I decided against a trip to Amsterdam, as it was becoming clear that neither restaurants nor museums were going to be open. I guess that's kind of my limit — if I can't participate in the sightseeing I want, I don’t see much point in going (unless I’m going to enjoy a week in the countryside with walks, cooking in, staying in by the fire, etc,).

(Also for those trips to the States, obviously I had an enormous incentive to do them in order to see my family. It didn’t matter to me there about what was open, or seeing attractions. I was there to see my people.)

Posted by
14247 posts

I agree with Kim, good topic to discuss without philosophical or political asides, lol!!

Kim said: "I guess that's kind of my limit — if I can't participate in the sightseeing I want, I don’t see much point in going"

I agree with that baseline!

I've traveled some recently - a month in France in October (pre Omicron) and just got back last Monday night from 11 nights on Kauai. I was slightly more anxious on the flight to Kauai but since it was Alaska and they don't provide any food you didn't have everyone with masks off at one time as people kind of grazed during the flight. Now that test kits are readily available here, I've tested twice this week and am negative but I tried to sip/mask/bite/mask during the flights.

I'm thrilled with Kim's news that France dropped the admission testing requirement, now waiting for Belgium to do the same for a trip in April.

I feel good about travel to France as it was so easy last Fall. Testing at the end was easy, people were compliant with masking, hand sanitizer was literally everywhere.

At this time most of Western Europe is probably better off covid-wise than North Idaho. I've been one of the few masking here for months and I noticed this week as I grocery shopped after vacation that even fewer are masking than were 2 weeks ago.

My plan is to wear an N95 the whole time, like I am doing here. I did that in October and I'll do it again. Laughed at Kim's remark...yes, I'll be the odd lady out but I usually am!

Posted by
1097 posts

I live in an area of the US with a laissez-faire attitude toward covid measures. Most anywhere will be more stringent with regard to mask wearing, distancing, etc. I have not had tremendous hesitation about travel in general. We went to France in Dec for two weeks with our adult kids. I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to Egypt for Nov. As long as the restrictions aren't overly draconian (quarantine on arrival), and stuff is open, I'd be open to visiting.
We didn't have to test prior to going to France. Omicron became a thing while we were there and the departure test changed from 3 days to 1 day before we came home. I think the testing requirements will come and go for a while as variants rise and fall, and eventually will go away.

Posted by
3994 posts

We decided to travel to Croatia last September because they did not require a test to visit. We were 6 adults. We had postponed the trip from the year before and just didnt want to wait another year. Granted, we do have family there, but the big factor was no pre-testing requirements therefore no quarantine to worry about. We went to cities where we had to stay in hotels which did not phase us. Two of our travelers were still working, but they were working from home so if they tested positive and had to stay behind they could still work.
Four of us are going to sicily in April. Another postponed trip from 2020. If we have to test before had, we will. We will also avoid any crowds or large gatherings and wear our masks outside a week or two before leaving.

Posted by
1443 posts

1 - The realization Covid is never, ever going away.
2 - The refusal to waste another of my remaining years by staying on the sidelines.
3 - The determination never to cancel or postpone anything ever again for covid-related reasons.

1 + 2 + 3 = Switzerland in July!

Posted by
9860 posts

Lastly, I am taking into consideration that right now, tourist levels are low. Deals are everywhere. This is a time unlikely to be found in the future again IMHO so these are very attractive incentives to me.

Aimee brings up a very good point.

This is what pushed me “over the line” last summer to go to Norway. I knew it would be expensive, and told myself I shouldn’t really spend the money . . . but I couldn’t get out of my head what an opportunity it was to go when so few people could go. And so I went.

(And to be honest, I looked at all the factors that Aimee mentions in her first paragraphs too. I guess they are so ingrained in my thoughts that I was not even conscious/remembering/counting them!)

Posted by
1224 posts

We, meaning 4 adults, are traveling to Europe in June. My husband will be the only one of the 4 of us that will have to immediately head back to work when we get back (my sister and I are both teachers and my MIL is retired). Should a delay for him happen on the way home because of required testing we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, although his work is really great and he does have days to cover it should that happen. We are lucky that way.

So, deciding to travel for us is more that a). traveling is in our blood and we REALLY need to do it as long as the countries are letting us in. b). we are all vaccinated, boosted and will get another booster if its needed before we travel. Non-issue for us. c). are perfectly willing to wear approved masks when required by our host countries. My sister and I have been wearing them in our schools for over a year now so it really isn't a big deal. d). We are as overall careful as we can be with staying safe and will continue to act that way on our trip. So these provide us with the confidence to travel and that for the most part things will hopefully go well and we can mitigate our risk factors fairly well.

I would also add as others have that this isn't going away and so while I still had fun taking my kids to National Parks last summer I miss Europe so much and don't want to waste another summer without going.

Posted by
4329 posts

Good question, Carol.

My decisions on destinations last year were primarily based on my confidence that the country would not change entry restrictions beyond my vaccination status - and trips I could primarily enjoy outdoors or via my own rental car.

For 2022, I have relaxed my mental restrictions. I am still looking at past/current fluctuations in entry requirements. But after that, it is mostly just where do I want to go/what interests me? And do I want to pay what a ticket would cost to get there? I guess I would factor in “can I do what I would want to do there” but I just haven’t run into that problem yet. It helps that some of where I would feel most restricted aren’t countries on the top of my priority list right now.

Beyond that, it is a matter of practicalities: insurance; evac insurance; refundable flights/lodging; entry requirements; making sure I have time and knowledge, etc. for a potential quarantine at the end of a trip (retired here, too); staying up with country specific regulations.

Barring illness or other life events that could occur, I plan to be traveling about half of the rest of this year.

Posted by
4472 posts
  1. Only one or maybe two countries

  2. Countries that, in recent years, have tended to be open to US travelers-some countries appear to be more apt to be shut down and to ban non-essential travel by US travelers

  3. Museums are open

We are scheduled to go to the UK at end of May. By that time, my husband will(optimistically) have already been to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, UK, and Prague. No issues for the first three last Nov.

Posted by
55 posts

I’m so glad you asked this question. I imagine that many travelers are are also trying to work out the best decision-making criteria for their own individual circumstances.

In our case, there are four of us scheduled to travel together on the Best of Italy in 17 Days tour in May. Since we are all fully vaccinated with the additional booster, our main criteria has to do with the entry testing requirements for Italy and the return testing requirements to the US.

If one of us happens to test positive, then that presents a real problem for our little group of four - especially if that positive test means a quarantine and a possible end of tour for that individual. In that case, would all of us opt to curtail or end our tour along with the infected member of our family, or would we continue on by ourselves? And what would the costs and arrangements be in either scenario? Travel insurance might possibly cover some of the expenses for the one who has tested positive (if physician verified) but would not, of course, cover a rearranging of schedules for the other members of the party.

I know that Carol Now Retired has posted a post by another individual saying that Rick Steves has a new Covid Wellness refund policy which states that Rick Steves will go ahead and cancel the tour and tour cost (full or pro-rated) for anyone getting a positive test right before or during the tour, but that particular policy isn’t on Rick Steves’ website or in any of our tour documents as yet. And so, without a dropping of the current entry testing requirements, we would probably need to reschedule.

We are, however, hopeful that those entry testing requirements will be amended or dropped before we have to make our final payments on our tour in the middle of March. If the new Rick Steves’ Covid Wellness refund policy (referred to above) is a real thing, then that could also influence our decision somewhat - but we still would probably find ourselves being most comfortable with a decision based on the dropping of current entry requirements.

Posted by
1694 posts

I've already travelled, but I happened to luck into a little window where things seemed to be settling down, and airlines and countries were taking a lot of steps to limit the spread.

As others have mentioned, not having to quarantine is a biggie. Also, requiring passengers to be vaccinated and to mask helps me to feel more comfortable with flying or riding trains. I'm still not super-comfortable with eating inside restaurants, but I did do so in November a couple of times. The restaurants were usually uncrowded, though, or we wouldn't have gone in, and we were required to show proof of vaccination, which, again, helped us to feel somewhat more comfortable. Mind you, this was just before Omicron, so I wouldn't feel comfortable removing my mask to eat indoors in a restaurant at this time. When this wave starts to subside considerably more, that may change. I don't mind testing at all, not even the PCR test required to return to Canada. If that's what I need to do, that's what I will do, and I feel better about travelling if I know countries are taking precautions.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this wave settles down but also that protections aren't loosened too much before our next trip, in May, or I may have a tough decision to make. I will wear my KN95s regardless, but I would not be comfortable being in busy places where most others are not wearing masks, since the virus can enter through mucous membranes such as the eyes, also. I definitely want to avoid getting sick while travelling, if at all possible!

Posted by
4 posts

I am scheduled to go to Germany the second week of April, a party of four. I have been hesitant to schedule this but after 2 years of nothing, I am going to do it.

I have tickets on Delta that are non-refundable NOT non-changeable. If we need to cancel even two days in advance, we can use at another time (good until 2023 I believe). Also, my hotel is able to be cancelled 2 days in advance, so I am not losing any money there either. We plan on using the Bayern ticket for travel so I would not purchase until the week of travel. That being said, with many of the Scandinavian countries and other European countries opening up restrictions, I am feeling more confident by the day. If one of us comes down with Covid, that person stays and the rest leaves is our plan. I did purchase travel insurance to cover just in case I get covid. Feel much better with that coverage I must say.

Posted by
1198 posts
  1. As noted above--are the things I want to see open?
  2. Assuming testing is still a requirement, what is the test positivity rate at home and where I'm going? Am I comfortable with the odds of not testing positive?

If those two are good, I go.

Posted by
55 posts

Eric,

Good point about test positivity rates. How do you find an accurate test positivity rate for vaccinated adults? Is there a good website for that?

Posted by
496 posts

My perspective is a little different. I was sooo happy when Omicron got out into the community end of Jan. It gave me much more confidence that we would start to allow people into the country (albeit with testing and home isolation). Its effectively been impossible to return to NZ since mid last year because of the inability to get a place in managed hotel isolation.

Yesterday our case numbers doubled from the previous day - now at around 860. Again I'm happy. I'm confident that our borders will stay open and that the timeline will either stay the same or accelerate.

The borders open also mean that we'll be able to get travel insurance. For the first time in 2 years I'm really excited that our 4 months out of the country will happen this year.

Its nice that countries are dropping testing requirements on entry - that will save a lot of money and stress - but it was never a "no go" for me.

Posted by
302 posts

Lissie- this isn't meant to be political and it's always so insightful to get the perspective of those outside the US. I read your post 3 times. Can you clarify why you are happy to have community spread, and case rates doubling daily? You mean, it proves you can't keep COVID out, so we may as well travel? I really ask this to understand.
I will feel comfortable traveling overseas again (including NZ, I hope!) when the pandemic shifts to become endemic and there's some more certainty about scheduling and regulations not changing all the time.

Posted by
55 posts

Thanks Aimee!

This is the site which gives an update on the percentage of tests in the US which are positive.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-updates%2Fcases-in-us.html#cases_positivity7day

They don’t have a tracker for the percentage of tests by “vaccinated” adults which are positive, but I imagine that it gives you a general idea. Vaccinated adults should have a much lower percentage of positive results.

I couldn’t find a similar tracker on the Italian site, though.

Posted by
7618 posts

FastEddie’s #2 is a huge factor. My husband and I are now both retired, and time is ticking onward. That’s influencing the drive to travel by as much as we can, while we have the time.

Also, as long as out cats will be well cared-for while we’re away, that’s essential. One by one, most of our past cat-minding resources are no longer available, so that remains a concern, but that’ll be resolved.

Being vaccine boosted, we’ve done what we can, along with continuing to have masks and sanitizer as needed. When masks are required, or highly recommended, and still many people aren’t wearing them, that’s stressful (indoors at ski area, and in grocery stores at home, for example), but minimizing those situations when possible are the way around that. If a country we want to see is letting us in, and that appears to be based on successful health protocols, not just the desire for mass tourism to resume, then we’re going.

It would take a horrific new variant surge at a destination to put the brakes on a planned trip. London and southern Africa this April/May, and Italy this October - full speed ahead.

Posted by
49 posts

My main criteria were:
Are we allowed into the country?
Are museums, restaurants, major sites open?
In the event that I become ill overseas and needed care, what is the situation on the ground? Are the local hospitals overrun?
Vaxxed, boosted and recovering from COVID, I feel safer than ever going to Paris the end of March. I will continue to mask and follow all safety protocols there as I do here.

Posted by
1198 posts

In addition to the sites Aimee referenced, the following is helpful, though you'll have to let your browser auto-translate for you...

https://lab.gedidigital.it/gedi-visual/2020/coronavirus-i-contagi-in-italia/

...in case it doesn't translate, for daily positives you're looking for this tab: "Tamponi e nuovi contagi giorno per giorno in Italia"

For my home State, they do break out the positives by unvaxxed/vaxxed/boostered. Perhaps check your States Covid tracker website and see if they also do this. I prefer this over the nationwide statistics.

Posted by
692 posts

Reading all your replies has been very interesting and thought-provoking.
Just a bit of background info: I travel solo, and I would like to go to England again.
I never thought much about testing, to be honest. My thoughts have run along the lines of "when I don't have to wear a mask anymore." I'm not against them, per se, but I feel like ripping mine off my face at least once or twice during my 7-hour workday. The sight of them scares me. It just screams, "Something's wrong!" I guess you could say I have a problem with medical situations in general (I do).
I have friends who have started to travel. One had to stay an extra week (with friends) in the UK b/c he got Omicron. I suppose if one has friends willing to take care of you/put you up, maybe it's not so scary. But I worry: What if I get sick in another country? What if there's another massive shutdown? What if the airlines shut down?
It's funny...back in the '80s, my mom used to say, "Aren't you afraid to go to London? What if somebody sets off a bomb?" I replied, "I'd rather have a good time and die over there than sit around here doing nothing with my life."
I'm not even particularly afraid of getting COVID here. I work at a college, which one of my friends described jokingly as a petri dish.
I guess, in short, my answer is: I want to travel again when things are normal. Now people are saying they're never going to be normal again, that this is never going to end.
Hopefully, this isn't going to be taken as a philosophical debate. These are just my thoughts/my personal boundaries. After reading your replies, perhaps I am being overly cautious and missing out on something that has meant a lot to me these past several years: being able to go to the UK by myself.

Posted by
18750 posts

What are the factors that you are using to make travel decisions?

Is what I am interested in worth what ever the hassle of getting in and out requires. (period).

Posted by
15668 posts

I returned from a 12 week trip six weeks ago. I leave for another 12 week trip in 7 weeks.

I am vaccinated, boosted and have masks. I can make changes to my itinerary, if necessary, like I did on my last trip.

Mask requirements and testing requirements seem to be going away.

Unless countries start closing or demanding quarantine, I'm going. Covid is not going away anytime soon. We have to learn to live with it. I'm not going to just sit around and constantly postpone my trip.

Others might be more cautious and that's fine. We all have to find our own comfort levels.

Posted by
201 posts

We decided that we were willing to accept the risk which is probably less than it is here in Indiana. We are vaccinated and boosted and plan to wear masks in perpetuity. We also recognize that since Covid is in the environment, the likelihood of future variants that may be even more transmissible or lethal is high.

Posted by
3259 posts

I will feel comfortable traveling when:
1. Two year olds can be vaccinated (I babysit for my grandson 2X per week).
2. I don’t have to wear a N95 mask outside in the destination…or really feel I don’t have to do so as I will wear a mask regardless of what others are doing. I like to talk to strangers and walk. These masks interfere with both for me.
3. I don’t need to test for the return to USA, but this one wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have grandchildren to babysit…so vaccination and preschool for our little one gets rid of this requirement.

Posted by
464 posts

It's been interesting to read everyone's replies.
My travel style is primarily solo, short trips in the off-season when I find cheap flights. I sometimes travel with my college aged son and less often with my husband (who doesn' t like to leave our dog). I love visiting art and history museums, exploring neighborhoods, and day hikes/walks. I usually stay in air bnb's or apartment hotels, so restaurant meals aren't a must-do for me.
My main criteria all along has been the likelihood of being able to test negative to come home. My only international trip during the pandemic was last August, to Iceland, when the three-day return test rule was in place. I was only there for five days, traveling alone, doing all outdoor activities. I tested daily and stuck close to home before the week before I left, so I was pretty comfortable with my level of risk.
I don't mind testing to enter another country. I will test anyway, to be as sure as possible that i'm not positive before I leave. Better to test positive at home than abroad.
I was supposed to go to Florence for five days in early December, right as the Omicron variant was beginning to spread. I cancelled it due to a family member's death and rescheduled it for the end of January. Then of course the situation was much worse, so I cancelled again.
I was supposed to go to Berlin next week, but have been watching Germany's case numbers. They seem to be behind the US by a few weeks. Our case numbers are plunging, but Germany seems to have just peaked. I've read about so many breakthrough cases that I didn't feel comfortable with that trip either, so I rescheduled it for the first week of April.
Next month I am going to London for a long weekend. I found a skymiles deal that I could not pass up.
I think long and hard about what quaratine would be like wherever I want to go. I can work remotely, but being cooped up in a hotel room would be terrible. I think by the time I go to London there will be no restrictions at all, not even to quarantine if you test positive (this may have already happened), so I could at least mask up and get outside for fresh air.
In October, which in covid terms seems a lifetime away, my husband and I are doing the Best of Istanbul tour. That involves things that I would avoid now to decrease my risk - being with groups, indoor dining with other people. I hope things are a lot better by then and that we won't be required to test to return to the US.

Posted by
9860 posts

I think by the time I go to London there will be no restrictions at all, not even to quarantine if you test positive (this may have already happened)

Goodness, I hope that people who test positive will continue to need to isolate and stay out of public spaces !

Posted by
464 posts

@Kim: that restriction hasn't been lifted yet, but soon https://www.npr.org/2022/02/11/1080053580/u-k-lifts-all-testing-requirements-for-vaccinated-travelers-starting-today
"Johnson announced this week that he hopes to lift the final restriction — mandatory self-isolation for people who test positive — by the end of February as part of a plan to live long-term with COVID-19. Officials have said the government plans to switch from legal restrictions to advisory measures and treat the coronavirus more like the flu as it becomes endemic in the country."

Posted by
1103 posts

The most important factor is the elimination of the testing requirement to return to the US.

Our mode of travel is to take a RS tour and add time on our own before and after. On our last tour, about 1/3 of the group got sick, so it seems like COVID might spread easily.

I’m not worried about serious illness from COVID, and the cost of extending the trip upon receiving a positive test is not a concern (although it seems like a poor use of funds). Staying on would be accompanied by numerous hassles, such as finding a place to stay, procuring food, and rebooking airfare. In addition, it appears that some type of medical evaluation would be necessary to return to the US, as COVID tests can remain positive for a considerable period of time. Worrying about all these things may put a damper on what should be an enjoyable experience.

The second factor concerns what would happen if we test positive before or during the RS tour. It appears that the Rick Steves organization has addressed this concern with the new COVID Wellness Refund policy. The new policy covers the financial loss but not the disappointment of missing a tour.

Masking requirements do not bother us because we live in an area with high mask compliance. For example, over 95% of retail store customers wear masks.

Posted by
713 posts

Goodness, what a thoughtful discussion this has been. Thanks to everyone who has added their comments.

I enjoy solo trips to the UK, mainly but not exclusively London. Crazy as it sounds, London is my happy place. I have bought the plane tix and reserved my hotel room for a 2-week visit there, arriving 1 June. Purchased last August with the Jubilee doings in mind. I realized at the time, there was no way to predict the Covid situation, and I got the premium economy tix for a decent fare.

Now that we're closer to the trip dates, I'm thinking it through. The worst case scenario, of course, would be getting ill with Covid while there. Being vaccinated and boosted and in good health, I'm not obsessed by that fear. What seems to be front of mind instead: what if I'm asymptomatic, but at the time of my return the US still requires a day-before-departure negative test result - and my test comes back positive? I think I can still get trip insurance that would help with costs of extending my stay in such an event.

A few times since March 2020, I've been brought up short and had to adjust my thinking to reality of life in the pandemic, to absorb what I may have just paid lip service to. For instance, there was a summer day in 2020 when I really understood and accepted that this pandemic wasn't going to be over anytime soon. Can't remember what situation sparked it, but I do remember sitting with that thought for awhile. This I think is just another one of those realizations sinking in: travel as we knew it may not return, and I will be doing a kind of risk analysis that I really didn't bother with in the past.

I'm still not sure I will take this trip as now planned. Will the enjoyment be worth the risks and expenses? I haven't decided, and I appreciate the information and perspectives you have shared on this forum.

Posted by
375 posts

Testing requirement. My biggest fear is not being able to fly back in. I do have a workaround that though. I really wish the USA would scrap testing for vaccinated Americans.

Posted by
20 posts

For me, risk to my travel partner, aka my husband, is still the deciding factor. He is very active but has a health issue. We both work from home, and haven't traveled in two years other than hotels in our own state. We're staying in a VRBO in a nearby state this spring though.

We have two award ticket trips booked for fall in the hopes of picking one. I can't wrap my head around either trip right now, due to the amount of time on the plane, the crowds we'd encounter, the amount of venues we'd want to see that are indoors, the amount of time we'd spend in public transportation, the quarantine rules if we tested positive. If the numbers are way down in those places in the fall, maybe we'll feel more comfortable.

I was thinking earlier today about replacing one of those hypothetical trips with a country we're very familiar with. The flight is much shorter, and we usually spend most of our time outdoors there anyway. We would rent a car and stay in an apartment we used previously. Again, this is assuming the country would be open by then because it's not at the moment.

So we're very much in a wait-and-see mode, not ruling anything out but not counting on anything this year. We'll at least travel further afield domestically or to Canada though.

Posted by
675 posts

We booked our May 2022 RS tour to France as the tours were still loading to the website last spring. We planned to fly into Amsterdam and travel through Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg before joining the tour in Reims. We were planning to extend our trip in the south of France at the end of the tour. We ultimately decided that it would be best to visit only one country, so we are now flying into Paris a week early and spending several nights there. As for the end of the tour, we have decided it is best to fly home that day when we still have a tour guide to assist us with testing and any issues that might arise from that. So, our initial four weeks has turned into only three weeks. Since we were vaccinated, we have done several road trips visiting about 10 states and feeling safe. On our last tour (not RS) in September of 2019 to Ireland, everyone that I have communicated with (10 of 14) was very sick immediately after the tour. We encountered a man with a horrible cough a few times at the end of the tour that was with another group with the same company. The last night he was in the same hotel and was at a combined group dinner and again at breakfast the next morning. We all did our best to stay away from him, but I suspect that we all got what he had. I am going to hope for the best this time, wear my mask, and probably avoid bus tours in the future.

Posted by
1103 posts

We have cancelled both RS tours for 2022: Munich,Salzburg, Austria (May) and Best of England (September). Two different couples were signed up to go with us, and we all agreed that travel to Europe would not be much fun this year.

Posted by
29 posts

I have traveled out of the country twice in the last year and was able to arrange a place to stay if I tested positive 1 with Oceanic Cruises and 2 an all inclusive in Cozumel. This time we are suppose to go back to Ireland in June and have not found an arrangement to stay if tested positive. Our last destination hotel will do everything they can to accommodate us but it is the uncertainty that is a factor for us.

Posted by
839 posts

Perhaps most of us are in the same boat as the cruise industry. The cruise industry has begun to move their ships out of Asia and more to Europe. Why? Because of the more stringent requirements throughout much of Asia. The very fact they are doing that is because people will not want to go. Yet, the loosening of requirements in Europe has seen more and more tourists go that way.
As it seems we all are.

Posted by
18750 posts

In the last 2 years I have taken 7 international trips, 4 were to Europe.

The destinations in Europe included; Turkey, Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary and Ukraine requiring maybe 20 individual flights.

Except for Hungary where I pretty much just hung out in Budapest and Szentendre; in the others I did a bit of in-country travel.

What these countries had in common was that at the time I visited (and to a greater degree now) the COVID entry requirements were easy to comply with (generally just show a CDC card) and the COVID restrictions in the country were similar to my home state.

Now there is the perceived added pressure of refugees from Ukraine; I say perceived because after 3 weeks in Hungary that had received about a half million refugees it became apparent that the impact was less than negligible for a typical tourist.

BUT, it is intended to be a holiday and fun and if one is going to be too apprehensive for what ever reason, best to stay home.