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January 21, 2022

Travel Restrictions Changing

Article written by lauren@bigcreektravel.com
Almost daily we have existing and new clients calling and asking two important questions: "what travel restrictions are currently in place?" and "when do you […]

Almost daily we have existing and new clients calling and asking two important questions: "what travel restrictions are currently in place?" and "when do you think the restrictions will go away?" If I could predict the answer to the second question with certainty, I would be a very rich woman.  Right now all I can say is that restrictions are likely to remain in place as long as COVID is considered a public health emergency.  We are cautiously optimistic that we may be looking at the beginning of the end, but until we know for sure, all we can do is manage what's in place currently. As travel agents, it's not easy to ask "are you vaccinated?" Please know that we're not asking to judge but to help you plan and avoid disappointment.  Here are some answer to some FAQs we've been asked recently:

Are cruise lines requiring vaccines? 

For the most part, yes.  Nearly every major cruise line is requiring guests 12+ to be fully vaccinated in order to sail.  Some cruise lines, such as Disney, are requiring vaccines for guests 5+.

I booked a cruise and accepted a future cruise credit.  I don't want to cruise anymore - how do I get a refund? 

Right now, it is very unlikely that you will be able to.  The cruise lines all have policies that once you accepted a future cruise credit, any refund you receive will only be in the form of a voucher for future travel.

I've been told that I can't travel to Europe right now.  Is that true? 

Each European country has different rules in place, but most countries are open to vaccinated travelers. In many cases, unvaccinated travelers will need to quarantine or may not be able to enter a country, however.  It's important to be familiar with the rules for the country (or countries) you plan on visiting before booking travel.

Are passports still taking 6-8 months? 

Processing times are not as long as they were in 2021, but if you know you are traveling and will need a passport, you don't want to wait.  For more information, visit the US State Department site.

Where can I go where I won't risk having to quarantine right now? 

The US is requiring all air passengers coming from International destinations (anything outside of the US or its territories) to present a negative COVID test 24 hours prior to returning to the US. If you test positive, you cannot return to the US until you quarantine.  Yes, this includes Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, etc. You are not required to test for domestic flights (flights within the US) or from Hawaii or Alaska, however. Additionally, you are not required to test when returning to the US via cruise ship.

Why are prices so high right now? 

Demand is high, inventory is low, and airlines still aren't at full operation.  In preparation for "revenge travel", however, suppliers are offering fantastic deals for those who are willing to book now and travel later.

Several of our agents traveled in 2021 both within the US and internationally, so we'll be happy to share our experiences with you and answer any questions you may have. Send us an email and let us know how we can help!