By: Susan Sherren for Couture Trips Published: 1/27/22 12:40 PM CST
The travel industry has experienced lots of strain since the onset of the pandemic. This is the advice we give all of our clients and would like to share with you if you are new to Couture Trips. Yes, things change and the pandemic has changed the travel landscape. Here are few tips and tricks that will make travel in 2022 a bit easier or at least will ease the strain of traveling in the post pandemic or endemic realm.
Stay Flexible: travel has become more complex with masking and documentation requirements. Don't expect it to return to pre-pandemic levels. The world has changed, and thus travel has too.
Be Generous with Your Tips and Gratuities: many employees in the travel industry have had substantially reduced wages or have literally been without a job. So, be a little more generous and empathetic to the plight of those who give it their all to make your hotel, restaurant or tour top notch.
Thank the Airline Staff: the airline employees, especially flight attendants, have taken quite a bit of abuse during the pandemic. There have been rampant reports of abuse in-flight initiated by passengers. On a recent flight to London, I tucked a dozen Starbucks gift cards ($10) in my coat pocket to distribute to the staff on board my flight. The reaction amazed me; they were so stunned and then moved me to a more desirable seat and brought me a liter bottle of water. One by one, they came by to thank me individually.
Be Aware of the Restrictions: London is different than Paris's requirements. Educate yourself on what is open and any limits on your planned activities. Recently, Paris just eliminated their outdoor mask requirements. So know the ins/outs of your terrain. Don't be surprised if you are not required to wear a mask in your hometown, but in Rome, you are! We warn clients that the restrictions and requirements may even change while they are traveling. So staying flexible is key!
Be Open to New Itineraries: Due to social media platforms such as Instagram, specific locations have become overrun with people. Everyone, it seems, wants to take the same photos in the same places! It might be ok to spend the day in Portofino, Italy, but maybe not beyond that. There are incredible destinations that are underutilized and visited. But they are just as beautiful. So don't follow the crowd!
Have A Back-Up Plan: Yes, you might catch the dreaded COVID-19 bug while on holiday. So, be prepared. Ensure you have insured your trip and the insurance has a COVID-19 clause that will cover you for flight delays and hotel quarantines. Pack a few test kits, bring a thermometer, and some over-the-counter cold remedies. If you are leaving the country, know in advance where you can receive medical care if needed and where you can obtain testing.
Use an Experienced and Certified Travel Advisor: Travel has become more complex, stressing out the traveler. A good travel consultant can help you navigate the new travel landscape. Our staff is on call 24/7 for our clients when they are traveling. It gives them a sense of security if something happens while they are out and about.
It's very likely the travel industry will survive beyond the COVID-19 era. Staying current on the latest travel alerts and learning to adapt in this new environment will give you the confidence you need to keep exploring all the world has to offer.