Travelling this summer is going to be more complicated than in previous years.
The World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economics project that US travel spending will reach more than $1.1 trillion for the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by about 11%.
But the war in Ukraine, as well as inflation and gas prices rising in the US means that people are more likely to take trips abroad instead of domestic trips. In the post-pandemic frenzy to experience travel again, most travellers are forgetting basic travel preparations and etiquette that are essential to making the best of a trip for you as well as others.
Common travel mistakes Booking late
Most hotel rooms and vacation rentals are already being sold out in high demand areas. If you do not book early enough you may not find vacancies for the best places. If you have planned to go abroad within the next month, chances are the most popular areas will be booked. Consider postponing your trip and taking a winter trip. You will find many vacancies which leave you more than enough time for planning other things.
Covid 19 remains an issue in some countries and you must do your research on the country’s state post-pandemic. You should also look into crime rates and other potential hazards, as some areas that may be popular touristically may also have high crime rates, especially involving exploiting confused tourists.
Since it’s been a few years since most people were in a position to travel, your passport may have expired or be close to expiring without you realising. If your passport expires within six months of your departure, this could be a problem for you. You should renew it as soon as possible. Additionally checking your flights and emails from your airline is essential to make sure you don’t miss any changes, as following pandemic protocol your flight may change due to lack of crew, weather, air traffic or more.
Many countries are facing shortages of supplies, labour etc. so you shouldn’t expect every amenity at airports or hotels. Many will not be available. Hotel housekeeping is also low staffed, so feel free to help out by cleaning up after yourself or hiring an Airbnb instead.
Many tourists are worried about the Ukraine crisis and avoid central Europe due to the crisis. But this is a result of panic and hysteria as outside Ukraine there is zero unrest. Every other city is functioning normally, with the small exception of peaceful protests in support of Ukraine across Europe.
Travel basics Get travel insurance
A lot of people think travel insurance isn’t necessary but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’re going on hikes or any outdoor activities- which most travelling involves.
Hiring local guides
This will help you when you are travelling in a country that speaks a language you are not familiar with, and also can prevent the chances of you getting robbed or scammed as most tourists are given heavily overpriced products. A local guide can show you areas that are not as well-known and can enrich your trip by telling you the background and history of the attractions you came to visit.
Keep cash in small bills
Some areas may not have credit card machines or enough spare change. It is always good practice to keep tipping change!
Respect local culture
This ties in with getting a local guide as some countries have customs that you may not be familiar with. In general, it is best to not be too loud and also not record any locals without permission, which is becoming more of an issue in our social media age.
With these tips in mind, you can plan your best trip after the pandemic making it safe and enjoyable for all parties involved!
By Ruelle Sittampalam