Not sure if we should go on this OAT trip ( Rick Steves trip was full when we signed up almost 2 years ago)… with the masks, testing to get into countries and back to the US, along with mask wearing everywhere, it seems like it might be better to wait.. We are in our 60’s and 70’s and all vaccinated. What do you all think? Peggy
Sounds complicated. Probably due to being a tour. I am in Croatia now, crossed into Bosnia and Herzegovina for a night, then back into Croatia, and am due to be in Slovenia next week before coming back to Croatia. My vaccination card and Enter Croatia form (and passport, of course) are all the documents I have needed. Travel is easy. Masks are to be worn inside and I rarely see one worn outside. But being on a bus with strangers for an extended time would be like continuing a flight (which to me feels like the riskiest part of travel). So a bus tour would definitely not be my first choice.
I don’t know when your trip is currently planned for, nor OAT’s transfer rules, nor have I specifically been following any border crossing news for this region. But having the assistance of your guide and their back office is one of the reasons you chose a small-group tour, right? Looking at their recent customer reviews, it sounds like at least one recent Croatia group had a “change of itinerary” at an attempted border crossing. Can you chalk it up to being part of the adventure?
Thanks for your reply, It helps in asking the right questions.
Infection rates in that area are high; in some of those countries they are as high as in the US. For me it would matter what are the "surrounding countries" included in the tour. I've had personal experience with medical care in Slovenia and it was fine--though of course I wouldn't want to contribute to the medical establishment's workload at a time like this. I'd expect Croatian medical care to be fine if facilities are not overwhelmed. I'd worry more about getting sick in Serbia, Romania or Bulgaria; they are not wealthy countries. I'm unsure about Montenegro and Bosnia-Hercegovina.
What countries does the OAT trip include? Albania, Greece, Slovenia, Austria, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia? Have you checked the COVID rates in those countries? At your vulnerable ages, and with the Delta variant surging, I would postpone the trip.
A relative of mine was just in the part of the world and said vaccination cards and photo ID were needed to enter bars and restaurants which is better than here in USA.
Thanks so much for all the comments and I do think because it is a tour there are so many more restrictions, wish I was doing Croatia on my own. Countries included our Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia.
adding to the point about researching medical care in the event you need it (hopefully not but also connect this to research on vaccination and infection rates), my husband saw Montenegro on some website touting it as a place trying to attract US retirees (for investment and property development) but he soon realized that the infrastructure there, including the medical system, needs a lot of support and improvement, which is why they are trying to attract people with money! I'd skip the trip if it involves riskier countries at this point. Stick to safer destinations. Travel is an adventure, but "medical adventure tourism" does not exist for a reason!
I crossed the borders of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro in kate July with nothing more than a passport, a vaccine card and a smile (and some paperwork for Croatia) Mask wearing is less prevalent than in many US states.
Thanks again for all your comments. Seems like being on a tour involves many more safety precautions. Pls keep sending comments on any recent travel to these countries. It really helps 👍🙏
Just got back from Croatia, and crossed Bosnia Herzegovina, no problem. Please be aware that thee is very little mask wearing--and if they do it is mostly NOT covering noses. We wore ours indoors, and outside in the crowded areas. No issues, but somethng to consider as you will see most NOT wearing them. It took us a few days to be OK with the situation. Bring LOTS of masks--your sweaty faces will want a fresh one daily.
Thanks so much. Really helps.
I am in Croatia now. All the above is so true. Also there are non Covid viruses back in town, and my cough and sore throat were not listed in the joys of Croatia. Any pharmacy can sell you Strepsil and other products, but this highlights the need to continue hand hygiene and avoid crowds if possible. See mask wearing tour groups inside, not outside. On the tender from the cruise ship, for example, anywhere it is impossible to distance. Expect some pushback if you express concerns. Protect yourself as at home. The border procedures will be handled smoothly by your guide. They all want tourists back badly and all servers wear masks.