I am part of a special travel group whose members comprise the best travel agents in the world. It has been very helpful during the pandemic to discuss with them different ideas as well as what we see happening in the world of travel. Something that several of us have encountered is people saying that they want to wait to travel for when things are better.
While we all need to be as optimistic as possible right now, we also need to be realistic. What I have been saying since day one, is that things won’t start to really get back to some version of normal until we have a vaccine. It is a total game changer. Well, now with the Delta variant, it’s a game changer as well, but in the other direction.
Throughout the country and throughout the world, mask mandates are a thing again even if you have already been vaccinated. Hospitals are full. We can thank Delta for that.
Something that we have discussed in our travel group, is that some people may not realize the implications nor magnitude of COVID-19. Almost certainly Corona is going to be a large part of our lives for the next several years–maybe longer. As the virus mutates, we don’t know nor have much control over how powerful future variants might be.
The idea of waiting until things are better before one starts traveling again may have one waiting for years if not indefinitely. You could wait a few years, and it is possible that things could get better and provide for a safer experience. On the flipside, one could wait only for things to get worse than they are now with even tighter restrictions.
Most people who I talk with who have concerns about traveling now are not really nervous about contracting Corona, especially because essentially all of my travelers are vaccinated. They are more concerned about being placed in quarantine abroad if they were to test positive. This is absolutely a valid concern, but like I was saying above, it is very likely going to be a concern for years to come, perhaps longer. For me, the solution is not to just stop traveling. It is too much a part of my blood. I think that the balance is to continue traveling, but to always have our backup plan in the unlikely event that one would test positive and be in quarantine abroad.
There are several things that one can do as part of a back up plan and as a way of preparing yourself. For starters, if you choose a reputable company like a Zoom Vacations to plan your tour, then we can and will assist you if you were to test positive before coming home. Next, now more than ever it is essential that people acquire travel insurance. Third, make sure that you travel with the essentials you might need for work and otherwise in the unlikely event that you did have to quarantine. Lastly, getting vaccinated will put you at a much lesser risk of contracting COVID-19.
Here’s the silver lining to all of this, and in my opinion it’s huge. There is an enormous benefit to traveling now, and that is that crowds are much smaller in tourist destinations around the world. We organized a two-week trip a few weeks ago for a few travelers to Morocco. They got to experience all the sites but with very few fellow travelers. Their pictures are amazing. They were completely safe through the whole trip, and tested negative for corona to take their flight back home. Ironically, a few months later back home in Miami, one of them contracted Corona. Traveling to Morocco wasn’t dangerous. Being back home was.
Zoom Vacations has three sold-out Egypt trips in September and October, and I am more excited than ever for what our travelers will get to experience. It is very rare that one can visit the pyramids of Egypt, for instance, without thousands of tourists. Traveling with multitudes of other travelers to Egypt is still a great experience, but visiting Egypt and feeling like you have these incredible ruins all to yourself is a truly priceless experience.