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What the hell. I'm going in July.

Booked a trip for mid-July. 10 percent refund deduction if cancelled 30 days out, and I should know by then if it's going to happen. I can handle 10 percent.

Anyone else pulling the trigger for 2021?

Posted by
7050 posts

I've been to Iceland twice and it's a wallet breaker - possibly one of the most expensive place to pay for a 5 day quarantine (a 14 day quarantine would be even worse). Ouch! What exactly did you book? Flight only or something else (e.g vacation package with Iceland Air, etc)?

No, I don't play with guns..😆

Posted by
3933 posts

Good for you! Haven’t actually made plane reservations but expect to be going in September. If the vaccine rollout improves and things open up, we’re planning on London or Paris for June. A quick 10 day trip to which ever lets us in. Gonna give it a little more time, not really a choice though, is it.

Posted by
6113 posts

I rolled my London - Fuerteventura flight from last weekend to late October. We could have tried to get our money back, but we opted to roll it forward. I wouldn’t be booking anywhere for earlier than then with any certainty.

Posted by
7997 posts

I am going for a month late June . I got essentially a free flight on Aer Lingus or BA with 50,000 k miles

Posted by
7571 posts

We’re counting on Italy in late Sept. and all of Oct. 2021. Flights booked, but no other reservations have been made. I’m getting my vaccine, 1st round, this Tuesday! Husband isn’t yet 70 and his health issues aren’t among the qualifying conditions for earlier scheduling, so we’re also counting on shots being available to the general populace before too long.

Enjoy Iceland, Mike! We had an April trip, and you’ll have warmer, drier weather in July. Puffins, too, although the Northern Lights viewing will be gone for the summer.

Posted by
2981 posts

Agnes, yeah, vacation package with Icelandair. 5 nights in Reykjavik. If there's a quarantine despite proof of vaccination then of course I wouldn't go.

If it ends up not working out I'll be the first one to eat crow on these boards, $180 poorer. Then again I would probably try to get a voucher for 2022.

Dad put a .22 rifle in my hands before I could successfully read the classic, "Go, Dog, Go!"

I'll admit August or later is preferable from a COVID standpoint but that's a no go for me.

Cyn, tell your husband "enough already; turn 70 now!"

Posted by
999 posts

I have booked to go to London this June to visit family using airline points on Delta. I only have June or July to travel (back at work in August) and I am wondering if I will have to push the flight out to late summer. I am hoping to get my vaccine this week or next. They just opened some slots for teachers for this weekend. Then I have to worry about how quickly my family in the UK will get their vaccine. I don't think we will really know how the summer will pan out until April time frame.

Posted by
6363 posts

BigMike, We're planning (hoping) to go to Italy in September or October. We'd like to join a RS Best of South Italy tour, adding about 2 weeks on our own split before and after the tour. But if the tour doesn't make, we're still hoping to go on our own, adding another town or two to our plans instead.

I haven't gotten as far as booking flights or hotels, but I'm checking dates and prices.

I've had my first shot of the vaccine, and will get the second one in three weeks. I'm still trying to get my husband signed up, but I think we can get him in the system in the next week or two.

So no, we haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I'm standing by, ready to do it.

Posted by
3879 posts

I have a wedding to attend in Germany Aug 28. The US groom and German bride have not been on the same continent since March!

Second dose of the Pfizer vaccine went in the arm 3 days ago.

Posted by
2981 posts

Dave, I hate you.

Jane: No risk, no reward. Sounds good on a motivational poster at the office. I respect your pragmatism.

mypaul, seems to me if you have a vaccine you're "good to go" as the saying goes in the military. Documentation might be required.

Posted by
9771 posts

Jane, that is fantastic, so happy you have gotten your first shot. Hope Stan (and my folks) can get theirs soon. I am checking on appointments practically hourly for them.

And Dave, even better, congratulations.

Posted by
2464 posts

I‘ve got reservations for two nights in July as a stopover on a flight back from Copenhagen. It will be our 4th time making a short stay as a stopover.

Posted by
505 posts

Iceland in July should be fantastic--hope all works out for you! We got a great deal on an Icelandair package in fall 2019 for seven nights. Our return flight was changed just couple of weeks prior to travel (737-Max related); we were given the choice of returning home two nights early with a partial refund or staying an extra night paid by Icelandair (so great to be on retirement schedule!). The airline was very easy to work with--hopefully you won't have any changes/cancellations so you have to find out:).

Posted by
18527 posts

Yes, two Trips. Trip One. I had a trip with my daughter planned for early December. Too many of the things we were traveling for were beginning to close so we put the trip on hold. No cost, nothing lost. I am the eternal optimist, so we ternately have the trip rescheduled for mid-April. All the flights and hotels and guides selected. Somehow I don't think anything will sell out so I'm not worried about booking two weeks in advance of leaving. The guides understand too and are just happy with the prospect of work. I like playing with spreadsheets so I built one where I can make one click and all the arrangements are put off one week, another click and another week delay.

That particular tip is: Istanbul (3 nights), Montenegro (2 nights in Perast / Kotor ) as a way of getting to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik (3 nights), Sarajevo (2 nights) as a way of getting a flight to Budapest, Budapest (5 nights), Vienna (3 nights), Prague (3 nights). Then she goes home and I head off to Kharkiv and Odessa and maybe Moldova for a week; then back to Budapest for two weeks.

Then in late September it will be a few weeks in Budapest with a side trip for fly fishing. For that I am sort of torn between a few places and have time to make up my mind.

The financial, physical and emotional cost of travel right now can be pretty high. Gives room for a lot of thought before moving forward with any plans. For me, long haul travel is off the table for the time being.

Posted by
2981 posts

As of January 15 Iceland does not require quarantine if you have proof of vaccine or of having had COVID.

Den, I'm hopeful as I know I'll have the vaccine months before July.

Posted by
2150 posts

Mike--We too are supposed to be headed to Iceland this summer! We were supposed to go back last summer, but obviously that was cancelled, so we rescheduled all of our lodging and car rental for this summer, mid August. I am hopeful! We are taking our adult kids/SO with us and doing the ring road this time. We have all been there, except the SO, so I am excited to show her! I am still on the fence about booking one last lodging, but probably will as its a total splurge. The Torfhus Retreat. For 5 of us, it's a lot, but I have had my eye on this for several years.

Posted by
2981 posts

mikliz97, the Ring Road sounds fantastic! That's on our bucket list but not this time. Looking forward to your trip report.

I understand Iceland being expensive. We booked 5 nights in Reykjavik including airport shuttles and return flight for two from D.C. for $1900, including breakfast. We'll buy some groceries, and since we're not foodies will save money there. With day trips and even a rental car for a day or two our total cost is about $3000. Not bad.

Posted by
2150 posts

Mike--We are not foodies either. We will mostly cook in our lodging, although a few places that is not possible. The car rental is crazy expensive, but mostly because with 5 people we need a large vehicle. That alone was over 2k. We went in 2015 on our way to Denmark and Norway, so talk about hitting the most expensive countries all at once, lol. Our kids went in 2015 as well, and then our daughter returned in 2019. Although the ring road will be a first for all of us! One place we are stopping for dinner has axe throwing, so we are going to try that, lol.

Posted by
1097 posts

Good for you. People have to have something to look forward to. Personally I would not want to pay a 10% penalty, but I would definitely book a points flight and points or cash hotel rooms that are all refundable and cancelable. I actually have two trips booked right now for spring break with points (that I realistically don’t have high hopes of happening), but there is no penalty to cancel and it gave me something fun to do mentally anyway. And if for some reason I do get to go, well, I won’t have regretted the advance planning!

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks. Planning on Ring Road trip in late Aug 2021...need to travel again. Its about doing as smart as possible since the country is so expensive. We did a 2 day stopover about 6 years ago and loved it. Planning on a week now, post vaccine rollout. Good luck with your planning.

Posted by
374 posts

don't forget you have to test negative within 3 days of flying back into the USA.

Posted by
2150 posts

I have been looking at flights. I am not ready to book just yet, but one thing that caught my eye is this, "If you have an existing booking made with Icelandair, you have the option to change your booking without a change fee. Fare difference may apply. Your original ticket is valid for 12 months from the purchase date. You must complete travel within that time period."

The other option if you can't travel is to request a travel voucher. These state "are valid for booking 3 years from the date of issue, and for travel 1 year from booking".

So the first thing would not be helpful at all because if I booked today for an August trip, I would not be able to change it to the following August if need be. If I took the voucher though, I would be able to do that. It makes no sense, or else it is just too early in the morning and I am missing something.

Posted by
2150 posts

I was talking with my husband this morning. We obviously still have no idea if our August trip will happen or not, but if it doesn't then we will just back it up yet again. In the meantime though, if it is safe to travel to Iceland in the winter, we will do one of the short getaways, just the two of us, and then do the big family trip the following summer. I would love to go in the winter, and cold does not bother me at all. So I really hope that pans out!

Posted by
2981 posts

mikliz97, as I understand it you have to "apply" for a voucher, and the hotel is good for three years, but the flight only 12 months. I booked in December. If you booked in August that seems promising in that you could go the following July.

I called on the phone but keep getting people with a very heavy accent and I can't quite understand them. An email response mentioned applying for a voucher. My plan is to see what the situation looks like in June and make a decision from there. If there is still a 5-day quarantine in Iceland, no way.

Posted by
2981 posts

The following answers some questions, and then begs for more questions:

Dear Michael

You can change the dates without paying change fee but please bear in mind there might be a difference in price. Your original booking is valid for 12 months from the purchase date. You must complete travel within that time period.

Should you wish to cancel your booking it will be according to terms and conditions or you can apply for travel voucher. (When? What are my odds for it being approved? How long until I get an answer? Does it include flight and hotel?)

Should Icelandair Holidays cancel your booking you are entitled to full refund. (No kidding, Helga.)

We hope this is of some help, please do not hesitate to contact us again for further information.

Best regards
Helga
Icelandair Holidays

Posted by
11391 posts

As of January 15 Iceland does not require quarantine if you have proof of vaccine or of having had COVID.

What is considered 'proof'?

Posted by
2981 posts

What is considered 'proof'?

According to the State Department: "The COVID-19 vaccine documentation must look official, with a state or medical seal on it, and it should be in ink, not pencil, and signed (in ink) by an authoritative official.

Posted by
27352 posts

Hmm. I can't quibble with those requirements for a vaccination certificate, but the one in my possession just has a small, simple CDC logo on it. It shows my name, date of birth, date of vaccination and type of vaccine (Moderna)--all filled out by hand (and none too neatly) by the person who administered my first-and-only (so far) vaccination. There is no signature of any sort on the card. It's printed solely in black on white card stock and would be trivial to reproduce. If I were an Icelandic Immigration person, I wouldn't accept it unless I were just going through the motions. Which means I wouldn't expect the US-based airline folks to even let me on the plane.

But are folks anywhere (I don't just mean in the US) receiving impressive-looking vaccination certificates yet?

Posted by
3879 posts

I forgot my CDC card for the second dose. For the second dose, it just has a sticker with the lot number of the vaccine and the name of the vaccine site where the shot was administered, which was entered by... uhhh... me. I figured it would look really shady if I signed it. Maybe I should sign it as someone else. All of this of course, makes one none to confident that people will not just forge a card.

Posted by
3200 posts

My nurse friend in Scotland got her vaccine, and told me they gave out no paper or card notification of any kind to recipients.
She doesn't even know what type of vaccine it was!
I'm afraid if that were me, I'd be demanding printed proof of it all before I would leave the room.
We get a card for most vaccines here in Canada, such as flu, tetanus, shingles, etc.; at least here in BC.

Posted by
33128 posts

The NHS in England gave my wife an official card with the date of the first dose, the vaccine type (Oxford AstraZeneca in her case), and the batch number; and similar blanks for the second dose.

The UK government announced today that there will not be a "vaccine passport" as far as they are concerned.

Posted by
707 posts

We have totally rebooked our 2020 Iceland trip to August/September 2021, with the hope that we'll be able to travel. Used our IcelandAir voucher from last year and all accommodations are fully refundable. My husband is getting his vaccination on Saturday, and I'm waiting for them to get more vaccines on the Big Island so that I can get mine.

BMWBGV -- according to the official Iceland COVID information site, the next update to their regulations will be May 1. Hopefully by then enough US citizens will be vaccinated that Iceland may let us in.

Posted by
374 posts

Not enough of us will be vaccinated by August/September and these variants floating around complicate things. So unless they require proof I don't see how anyone can go to Europe then. And what kind of proof would be acceptable? The logistics of vaccinating people has been a mess I can only imagine coming up with vaccine passports will be just as bad.

Posted by
9429 posts

We’re going in October to either Dublin, Paris or Quebec City. I think Californians will be vaccinated by June/July.

Posted by
2981 posts

We already have official state COVID passports in West Virginia. If we can figure it out I'm sure others can, too.

Most of us should be vaccinated by May.

Posted by
7571 posts

BigMike (WBGV), are those passports a fold-over book style, are there multiple pages, and even a photo, perhaps? Would a card suffice, or are the passports more substantial? Maybe room for official seals, and such.

Boy, if there was a Global Entry Vaccine Line program, to get ahead of other passport holders, for moving thru the scanning process, that would be even better!

Posted by
2981 posts

Cyn, mine has a photo and is laminated like a driver's license.

Some people talk about a COVID passport being forged, but a real passport could be forged or counterfeited. Anything, really.

The evidence so far suggests that vaccines should cut the chance of transmission, but may not eliminate it. For example, vaccinated monkeys spritzed with the virus do get infected but don’t become particularly sick. Overall, they have much less virus in their airways. There is strong evidence that contagiousness is correlated with symptoms. If you can cut down symptoms, you are probably cutting down transmission.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/02/02/1017161/covid-vaccine-asymptomatic-transmission-pfizer-trial/

Posted by
7571 posts

The WV vaccine passport sounds like a proper document. An added plus, of course, is that the laminated surface can be wiped clean, and won’t absorb any droplets, if some infected person coughs or exhales on it.

Regarding tests given to monkeys, some people might be upset to hear that other primates got their shots ahead of them! But one could argue that they were essential monkeys, and worked in heath care. Any that were also in an upper age bracket would be a slam-dunk for receiving shots ASAP.

I hope the July travel plans can be realized.

Posted by
18527 posts

BigMikeWestByGodVirginia, don't confuse me with a politician!!

Cyn, the odds in July of all Europe being closed to tourism are about the same as the Pacific Northwest being closed to tourism because of volcanic activity. Plan it, work in a bit of flexibility, go and have fun.

Posted by
3879 posts

Cyn,

Thanks for helping me figure out the acronym. I tried to get in the monkey study, but they told me I wasn’t smart enough.

Posted by
2981 posts

Cyn, do I detect an anti-primate bias in you? I sure hope not or you'll be reported.

It's just like Iceland here today. Four inches of ice, sleet, and snow.

And I envy all of you "non-essential workers." I've been an essential worker forever so I have to "find a way" as our motto says. I heard today on NPR that nurses have been walking miles to work their shifts. God bless them.

I wouldn't mind a companion monkey on a flight, but can they, um, use the bathroom like normal people? It can't poop in the seat.

Posted by
33128 posts

It can't poop in the seat.

It can, you know. And probably will.

Posted by
7571 posts

BigMike, I definitely see primates as the premier order, although our cats would dispute that. And although some humans engage in gorilla warfare, and the Monkees didn’t actually play the music in their songs, and lemurs can display some less-than-desirable behavior, and on and on, the understanding that primates are the tops is a gibbon.

Any chance you can fill the bathtub, and add just 2 or 3 drops of food coloring, and it’ll be like soaking in the Blue Lagoon, south of Reykjavik?

Indeed, God Bless everyone having to work with yet another challenge in what has been an extra-difficult past 11 months!

If you could choose your seatmate, I’d suggest an orangutan, who could reach over and get you something off the food/beverage cart, or reach up and get anything out of the overhead compartment, without even getting out of its seat. You know, masks would fit an ape’s face much better than a human’s - N95 masks kind of make us all look like chimps.

Posted by
2981 posts

I love The Monkees. They actually became musicians over time, and Michael Nesmith was an accomplished musician and songwriter. Anyway, what about dolphins, like Flipper? Could that be comfort animal?

Here in West Virginia it's fine to have an old toilet, used tires, sofa, and refrigerator on the front porch or front yard. Why not a bathtub filled with ice and blue food coloring? If you're going to go redneck, do it right. It's like 30F with sleet right now. Perfect!

Posted by
2981 posts

Encouraging news:

Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist is optimistic that requiring travellers to take a PCR test before departure to the country along with a test at the border will be enough to stop infections from crossing the border and eliminate the need to quarantine travellers. All individuals arriving in Iceland from abroad must currently undergo a test at the border, five-day quarantine, and a follow-up test.

https://www.icelandreview.com/society/covid-19-in-iceland-pre-departure-testing-could-eliminate-need-for-traveller-quarantine/

Posted by
999 posts

BigMikeWestByGodVirginia

I canceled my UK trip to visit family in the UK for June. I am now wondering if Iceland might be a possibility for me to meet my brother - like halfway across the Atlantic. I'm not ready to book tickets, but am hearing the possibility of perhaps June opening up in Iceland to the US and perhaps UK tourists with just negative tests. (I am also fully vaccinated). I would reconsider England, but Boris has been back and forth so much with the quarantine rules and covid testing (like 4) that I don't want to jump through that many hoops just to visit. So, am I crazy to think Iceland may be a possibility?

Margaret

Posted by
2981 posts

Thanks, James E. Appreciate that. Icelandair allows us to push the trip to 2022 as long as we make the change no later than 7 days before the trip, so it's a waiting game for at least four months.

Margaret, there will be enough vaccines for all American adults by May, so keep checking and keep hope alive.

Posted by
2150 posts

With the new announcement yesterday, we are really looking forward to our August trip! I had hoped it would happen, but after the announcement I am super excited! I rebooked our rental car yesterday and will do the flights today. We have 5 opus going, so it gets a bit trickier with more people.

Posted by
2981 posts

There will be fits and starts, but the line graph will edge upwards over the next few months. April is doable except for the 24 hour quarantine to await test results for vaccinated travelers, but even that's not so bad.

I know there are variants and the Chicken Little "the sky is falling folks," but don't take counsel of such fear mongers.