If you are an avid traveler, COVID-19 has severely impacted your life over the past year. It has been just about a year since places across the United States started shutting down. It has also been about a year since the United States passport went from being one of the most powerful passports in the world, allowing it’s holders to travel to 184 countries without a visa, to a much less powerful passport with countries around the world banning United States citizens from entry. Almost everyone at this point knows someone who has contracted COVID-19. The positive side is that almost everyone at this point also knows someone who has been vaccinated. While it may feel uncertain, Summer 2021 is looking a great time to begin traveling for a variety of reasons.
Why Summer 2021?
So, why is Summer 2021 the magical season that travel will finally start up again? Well, there are a few reasons. For one, more people will be vaccinated against COVID than ever before. Currently, there are not enough vaccines available to fully vaccinate the population. However, with the roll out of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and increasing doses made of Moderna and Pfizer, it is expected that by the end of Summer 2021, we will reach herd immunity. This means enough of the population is vaccinated where it will be safe to resume normal activities again.
In addition to herd immunity, COVID testing will become even more accessible by Summer 2021. Along with shorter turnaround times for test results, COVID tests will be more readily available, offered at hotels prior to departure, and available as “at-home” tests. Making COVID testing more easily accessible means more people will take the test and thus, there will be less spread by asymptomatic carriers, and more confidence in travel.
What will Summer 2021 travel look like?
While travel will begin to pick back up in Summer 2021, it will not look exactly the same as before. For one, all countries that were once open to US citizens may not be. However, this can help to make your decision easier on where to travel to. In addition, don’t expect masks to go away any time soon even though more people are vaccinated. While this may feel like an annoyance at certain points, it is also a great way to ensure you stay healthy and avoid catching other ailments while traveling.
It is also likely that COVID tests in order to enter a country become a more common requirement. Fortunately, many places are offering 2 day turnaround results, and many hotels offer free COVID testing for those staying a certain amount of nights. While travel will look different than before, it will still look the same in many ways: seeing beautiful new cities again, the thrill of hopping on a plane, and making new memories with our loved ones.
Are people starting to book travel again?
Absolutely! While there has been a lot of stigma around travel over the last year, that stigma is beginning to die down as more and more people are being vaccinated and following the rules. I have had so many people booking travel for Summer 2021 and cannot wait to make their sought after dream vacations come true! If you are thinking about traveling during Summer 2021, you are not alone. Now is the time to book while there are still great deals. If you wait too, late, you may find yourself out of luck when it comes to getting the reservations you want.
Which countries are opening up?
The list of countries open to US travelers changes weekly. Some countries have been open to US travelers throughout the entirety of the pandemic while some were open, then closed, then open again. Fortunately, there are more countries open to US tourists now than there were a year ago. This means we are making progress in getting back to normal. If there is a country you are interested in visiting, be sure to check the travel.State.GOVlist for the country you want to visit. It will provide you with the latest alerts, country-specific info, COVID-19 testing updates, entry requirements and quarantine information.
How can you make it a good experience?
The best part about planning travel during Summer 2021 is that the same rules apply as any other year in which you have traveled: whether or not it is a good experience truly depends on you. As long as you keep in mind that during travel, sometimes things go wrong, sometimes things are confusing, and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, you’ll be great! Just remember to pack a stack of disposable masks, bring a good attitude, and book through a travel agent who can keep you up to date with any changes that may occur during your trip.