Good News: Reopenings
In the last week or two, we’ve gotten some great news about destinations that are starting to reopen to visitors. If you’re hoping for a vacation in the last half of 2020, you might be in luck!
Disney: Walt Disney World in Orlando will reopen beginning July 11. Expect reduced capacity and lots of new safety protocols. But for those who have been waiting for months for their Disney vacation…your trip can be right around the corner. Right now, there is no scheduled reopening date for Disneyland in California.
Alaska cruises: Smaller cruise lines such as American Cruise Line and UnCruise are both moving forward with plans for an Alaska season in 2020. The season will start a little bit later than usual, but yes, it is possible to get an Alaskan cruise in 2020.
Hawaii: After requiring a 14-day quarantine for all visitors for the past few months, Hawaii is moving to a different approach on August 1. Those who present proof of a negative COVID test can skip the quarantine.
French Polynesia: Paul Gauguin cruises will resume cruising to islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora at the end of July.
Aruba: opening July 1
Bahamas: opening July 1
Dominican Republic: opening July 1
Jamaica: open to US travelers now
Mexico: open to US travelers now
St. Lucia: open to US travelers now
St. Croix/St. Thomas/St. John (USVI): open to US travelers now
Sandals: More than half of the popular Caribbean resorts will be open by August 1. Antigua and Montego Bay, Jamaica are open right now. Later this summer, resorts in St. Lucia and Grenada will be open.
Where are you hoping to go in 2020? Let us know, and we can help you with the right timing, based on when the destination is welcoming back visitors. We can also help you navigate the complex requirements for entry. A number of destinations are requiring new safety measures such as negative COVID tests and additional insurance coverage. We’ll make sure you have all the details you need for your arrival.
Happy Father’s Day
We celebrated Mother’s Day during the pandemic, and it looks like we will do the same for Father’s Day this year. Our wish for our clients and friends is that you have an opportunity to spend the holiday with the dads you love, or at least celebrating the dads you love if you aren’t able to be together in person.
With the quarantine that some of us are just starting to come out of, we recognize even more the value of time spent together making memories. What better gift for the dad in your life than to plan a getaway to make some new memories together. We’ve heard from a lot of you that you are tired of being stuck at home and ready to be traveling again. We couldn’t agree more!
We’d be honored to help you plan a special trip with the dad in your life. We specialize in creating itineraries that give you exactly what you are looking for: destination, accommodations, activities, level of safety, etc. Even if now isn’t quite the right time to travel, it’s definitely the right time to plan your next getaway!
Staying Healthy When You Travel: Bug and Animal Bites
We have a lot of clients and friends headed to national and state parks this summer. One of the things to be prepared for when you take a vacation in nature is to avoid bug and animal bites, so we’ll offer some tips to help you stay healthy if your vacation this year involves being in nature. Bugs, including mosquitos, ticks, and fleas, can carry a variety of diseases and have severe consequences.
Prevent Bug Bites
* Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats. Wearing light-colored clothing and closed-toe shoes, as well as tucking pants into socks, can help reduce your risk of getting a tick bite.
* Use insect repellent. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
* If you need to apply insect repellent to a child’s face, apply it to an adult’s hands first and then use hands to apply it to the child’s face.
* Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
* Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
* Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
* Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
* Stay out of tall grass, brush, or heavily wooded areas to avoid ticks. Walk in the center of hiking trails.
Treating Bug Bites
* Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
* Avoid scratching.
* Remove ticks carefully with tweezers, making sure not to leave any of the tick’s mouth parts in your skin. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
* You may need to take an antihistamine if you exhibit an allergic reaction to bed bug bites.
* Avoid petting or feeding animals, even if they appear friendly or cute.
* Animals can bite, scratch, or kick, especially if they are protecting their territory and/or babies.
* If a strange animal bites or scratches you, wash the wound immediately and see a doctor as soon as possible. Rabies is spread by the saliva of an infected animal and can be fatal to humans. Even if you have been vaccinated against rabies, you still need to be treated if you are bitten.
* The most common animal bites for travelers are from dogs, cats, bats, and rodents. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases; however, being bitten by bed bugs is never a good experience.
* Supervise your pets, and do not allow them to come in contact with local animals.
If you’re planning a vacation in nature this summer, keep these tips in mind and be as safe as you can with bugs and animals. You want to spend your time enjoying the beauty and not scratching bites or getting a tetanus shot!
What to Expect if You're Flying This Summer
Although many have postponed their summer vacation plans, there are also a good number of people who are still planning to fly in the coming months. The perception can be that flying is not as safe as it used to be. The truth is that the way we fly is changing, and it’s changing quickly. Today, we want to share with you a little bit about what you can expect if you are planning to fly in the near future.
You can generally expect to see greater attention to cleanliness through all stages of your air travel, from the check-in process to onboard the aircraft. Onboard, planes are being not only cleaned, but disinfected, between flights. Some airlines are also taking steps to clean lavatories in-flight on longer routes. You’ll likely receive sanitizing wipes if you feel more comfortable cleaning your seat area before you sit down.
Most airlines are also promoting their updated air filtration systems so that passengers don’t feel like they are breathing recirculated air; most planes actually draw fresh outside air and use HEPA filters to help prevent viruses and germs from circulating.
One of the biggest changes is the reduction of services that require touch points. This means that there probably won’t be drink or snack service. We suggest that you eat something before you board and/or take your own snacks on the plane. On some flights, you may receive a bag at the start of your flight that contains snacks, a bottle of water, and sanitizing wipes. You may also find that there are no pillows, blankets, magazines, or shopping catalogs in the seatback pocket.
One of the issues airlines are trying to manage while keeping people safe is minimizing crowding of passengers. We’ve seen plenty of videos lately of packed planes that don’t allow for social distancing. Most of the major airlines are now working hard to provide as much social distancing as they realistically can, which includes spacing passengers on the aircraft, boarding from the back to the front of the plane, and managing the disembarkation process to minimizing crowding. Delta has made a commitment to operate at 50-60% capacity through September, blocking the middle seats in all cabins.
Requirements of Passengers
Passengers are asked to do all of the things that all citizens are asked to do to help prevent the spread of the Corona Virus: wash hands, social distance, wear masks, and maybe even get a temperature screening. You’ll also be asked to follow the new processes mentioned above for things like boarding and disembarking the aircraft.
All airlines are offering modified cancellation and change policies. Most are being generous by reducing or waiving fees and extending timeframes for redeeming travel vouchers. If you need to purchase a ticket, make sure you understand the cancellation and change policies that will apply to your ticket in case you need to make a last-minute change.
If you’re flying this summer, we hope these notes help. Check your airline’s website so that you know what to expect when you get to the airport. The better prepared you are, the more smoothly your experience will go. One other note: hand sanitizer, in bottles up to 12 ounces, is now allowed in your carry-on bag. TSA screeners will need to inspect it more closely, so it may take some extra time to get through the TSA checkpoint.