by Reagan Williams
Summer is approaching and the world is opening back up in various places. So, should you skip a vacation this year in the midst of the pandemic? Before you make a decision, vacations are not just beneficial for your mental health, but research has shown the impact that vacations have on your physical and emotional well-being. Physically, studies have shown that people who take vacations have lower stress levels, decrease the risk of heart disease and can provide a better outlook on life. Before COVID-19, people still did not take vacations because of i.e., like staffing, difficulty getting away, and job commitments.
If you desire to go on vacation this summer, there are some things you need to do before deciding where to travel. A great place to start is to look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the Your Health tab and view the COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination page. You can use this page to access the five assessment risk levels for COVID-19 of different countries throughout the world. These countries range from Level 4: COVID 19-Very High to the Level Unknown- COVID -19 Unknown. By clicking a specific country, you will receive key information for travelers in terms of vaccination requirements, recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, mask guidance and other considerations.
Currently, there are new travel requirements for all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens. Now, a person is required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation from COVID-19 recovery before they board a flight. However, if you want to travel internationally for vacation, you will need to get a COVID test no more than 3 days before you travel by air in the U.S. Also, masks are not optional on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation within the U.S. So if you are traveling domestically, masks are required even in airports and transit stations.
While taking into consideration the risks of traveling in the pandemic, you can decide whether vacationing is the right decision for you or not. There are still great things to experience like various cultures, foods and so forth. The best way to get out of your day to day routine is to start exploring parts of the world. This means a person needs to be prepared for rules to change for mandates, curfews and accept that each nation has their own set of rules. A person can make an informed decision by looking at the U.S State Department as a resource. The site provides travel advisories for a destination with a color- coded map and you can get travel updates sent to you regarding your travel destination. Moreover, there are a number of countries where U.S. passport holders can still go on vacation.
Preparation is key when you go on vacation. You want to enjoy yourself, rejuvenate and relax wherever you go. COVID-19 is the “new normal” and it’s essential to take extra precautions. One tip is to choose and research your destination. Restrictions are different in any place you travel to. If you’re flying, familiarize yourself with the airline’s cancellation policy. Another aspect to consider is finding out how to get around the area. People are not readily using buses, trains and metros, so a rental car might be an option. Finally, travel insurance is recommended. You might decide against throwing caution to the wind, so try to shop around and find the best deal on travel insurance.
All in all, knowing what travel insurance does or does not cover is vital. Many travel insurances offer policies with good medical coverage, but not all of them offer coverage for COVID-19. You should make sure your purchased plan specifically covers coronavirus if you contract it. Some other benefits to search for in a policy include missed connections, trip delays, baggage and personal items. No matter where your answer lies about vacationing this summer, be precautionary and take responsibility as you travel the globe. You deserve to have a great vacation, so “if you come home as happy as you leave, you had a good vacation,” sentiments from an unknown vacationer.
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