Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Where shall we go? Where CAN we go?
This is becoming a very popular question now that more people are becoming vaccinated, we are getting closer to herd immunity and Covid restrictions are starting to lift in many parts of the world and in our own backyards!
Some places like Mexico and The Caribbean have been open for business since last summer. They have had to modify their requirements as their Covid numbers increased or decreased, but they have remained open and for the most part safe for visitors. Mexico is one of the few places that does not require any testing to enter; however ALL International destinations (including Mexico and the Caribbean) require that you test within 3 days of your return date to re-enter the United States. We went to Mexico last October and had an amazing and much needed vacation. I detailed my experience in an earlier blog post: Vacationing During a Pandemic.
Hawaii has been open since late last year and they are welcoming visitors with negative test results. They are starting to relax some of the requirements for inter-island travelers that are fully vaccinated but we don't expect to see the same consideration for mainland visitors until much later this year at the earliest. I can't say that I blame them, these Islands are limited with their medical resources and cannot afford to allow their health care systems to become overwhelmed with an uptick in Covid cases.
Do you love to cruise? Well, cruise lines will be starting back again in North America this summer though not from US ports- YET. We are getting closer and closer to that possibility, one CDC rule at a time. In the meantime, we have Celebrity sailing for 7 nights from the beautiful island of St. Marten starting in June. Royal Caribbean will be sailing the Adventure of the Seas from Bahamas and the Vision of the Seas from Bermuda also starting in June. Norwegian Cruise Line will have two ships sailing from Jamaica and Dominican Republic starting in August. There are also a few Europe sailings starting up this summer. The KEY to these sailings right now is that they are only available to fully vaccinated guests. So if you are fully vaccinated (by definition: two weeks after your last shot) you are welcome to take these cruises. I would love to help you book this!
Maybe you love to cruise, but you are not quite ready to take a flight all the way to the Caribbean to cruise? We have a few US Flagged cruise lines that are sailing with fully vaccinated crew and passengers. American Cruise Line offers small ship journeys along the Mississippi, Snake and Columbia Rivers and New England. American Queen Steamboat Company offers a variety of sailings up and down the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Columbia and Snake Rivers and their sister company, Victory Cruise Line offers several Great Lake sailings, New England sailings in the fall for the fall colors, Uncruise is a small ship company that has been sailing in Alaska for years, they are not impacted by the Canadian Cruise Ship Ban that is currently in place, so they are sailing to Alaska this summer. Alaska is a seasonal destination Though offerings are scaled down for 2021, most of these lines are booking well into 2022 and in some cased into 2023. I can help match you to the perfect cruise!
Domestically, the United States is open! People have been taking lots of road trips for months and I know a few people who have rented RV's and worked remotely while touring the USA! What a way to make lemonade out of the lemons of 2020! Did you know that I can help you book an RV? Yes, I can!
I am seeing an increase of interest in seeing America, seeing the National Parks, visiting iconic sights like the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful, taking a photo on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, strolling down the Riverwalk in San Antonio or enjoying some beignets and jazz tunes in New Orleans. America is OPEN! Mask mandates are starting to be lifted, the CDC has stated that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks pretty much anywhere anymore (few exceptions); however, some states still have their own mask mandates. Here in California, we expect the mask mandate to be lifted June 15th; however, it is unclear if that will be for everyone or just fully vaccinated individuals but more importantly if/how it can be enforced. I can't see enforcement happening but I can see individual businesses wanting to keep the mask mandate in place and they have every right to do so. I think we are headed to a period where there will be focus on "personal responsibility", follow the guidelines for cleanliness, wear a mask if you feel you are in a situation that feels unsafe and keep your distance if it seems like the right thing to do.
Some popular trips and destinations in the USA that I am seeing lately: New York City, New Orleans, Nashville, Las Vegas, Disney World, Disneyland (now that they are FINALLY open again). Train travel is becoming popular once again and Amtrak Vacations has a variety of trips to see regions of the USA. Tour companies like Globus Journeys has some wonderful itineraries and even better, do you have a small group of people you want to travel with? I can customize any of these tours for a private small group! They offer the entire country, National Parks, Hawaii, Alaska, Southeast - they can do it and I can help to make it happen!!
International destinations outside of North America are starting to announce their re-opening plan and guidelines for welcoming US Citizens once again. Some countries have opened and some will be opening up in the next month or so. Requirements vary, some require a negative Covid test within 72 hours of arrival, some are only opening up to fully vaccinated guests. Some are requiring testing AND full vaccination proof. Some will only allow you into the country if you arrive on an approved flight. The rules are getting crazy, let the games begin! The goal posts continue to move and the restrictions and requirements continue to change. This is why it is in your best interest to work with a trusted Travel Advisor (hopefully me if you don't already have one that you work with). I will work with you to find the best destination to meet your travel desires, I investigate all requirements and monitor them for any changes from the time I book your trip to the time you travel. Where do you want to go? Italy? France? Greece? Let me know and I will customize the perfect trip for you. Have a small group of people you want to travel with? Perhaps your social bubble? I can arrange a private small group tour to a variety of destinations in Europe.
River Cruises have been popular for years and they continue to be a popular option for later this year and into 2022 and 2023. The beauty of river cruises is that they are small boats, fewer passengers, you spend most of your time in the little off the beaten path towns, when you're on board you are often looking at the passing scenery from your balcony or one of the public outdoor spaces - all conducive to Covid safety protocols and recommendations. Some River Cruise lines, as of now are not requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination, rather allowing one of three options: proof of vaccination, negative Covid test 72 hours prior to embarkation or proof of recent Covid recovery. Of course, if the boat is leaving out of a country that has different requirements to fly to that country, you must abide by those rules. Hopefully, all of these stars will align as we see more destinations open to US citizens.
Best tip: I encourage you to pack your patience whenever you travel during this global pandemic. It's a new world out there, it's still a beautiful world and it still has so much to share with everyone who ventures out to see it. You must keep in mind that the Travel Industry and this includes every aspect of tourism: airlines, cruise lines, hotels, limo companies, taxi drivers, tour guides, restaurant workers, shop owners and store workers have all been greatly impacted by this pandemic. Most are thrilled to be back to work and can't wait to welcome you, but remember they may be a little rusty after not doing their job for over a year. They may even be a little bit scared to be doing their job and being up close and personal with people again. Gosh, the first time that I booked an airline ticket in my computer system I felt like a duck out of water, eventually my fingers remembered the formats but it was rough going at first. A little grace goes a long way! Grace for others and grace for yourself.
Better tip: Don't wait thinking you will get a better deal. Prices are sky-rocketing and there is a lot of demand for travel, people have been itching to get out of their homes and get back to seeing this wonderful world again. Some destinations still have capacity limits, so with less capacity, higher demand, prices are going to increase. Cruise lovers have had to go a year and a half without cruising, some have rescheduled their 2020 cruises to 2021 and had to rebook them for 2022, the ships are filling up, prices are higher because they will have to operate with fewer passengers when they are approved to sail again from US ports.
Wherever you want to go next, I would love to help you get there. As your trusted Travel Advisor with over 30 years of experience, it's what I do. I help to make your travel dreams become a reality.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Tipping in pesos or USD?
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Effective January 26, 2021, ALL passengers (including US Citizens) flying to the United States MUST be tested for COVID-19 within 3 days of their scheduled flight to the US. See details below.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE CDC TESTING REQUIREMENTS
According to the CDC, air passengers entering the U.S. will be required to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 viral test (called a Qualifying Test) conducted within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs.
- Documentation should be for a viral test as approved or authorized by the relevant national authority.
- Test results must state: Negative, SARS-CoV2 RNA Not Detected, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Not Detected, or COVID-19 Not Detected.
- Documentation may be paper or electronic copy and must include the name and contact information for the laboratory or healthcare personnel who performed the test.
- Test results may be required to be shown again upon landing.
Alternatively, passengers may provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 with documentation of test results conducted during the three months preceding the flight’s departure from a foreign country.
- Test results must state: Positive, SARS-CoV2 RNA Detected, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Detected, or COVID-19 Detected. Invalid will not be accepted.
- Additionally, a letter from a licensed health professional stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel (called Documentation of Recovery).
Finally, all airline passengers will be required to present a simple CDC attestation form to the airline for collection prior to boarding. That form can be found here for reference. For more information, you may reference the FAQs on the CDC website here.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Are you engaged and starting to think about your dream wedding? Has the idea of having a Destination Wedding been something you have been considering? Weddings can be overwhelming to plan and when you add the extra of a Destination Wedding, you may think that it's even more overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be!!
I can help you with your Destination Wedding & I work with expert Wedding Planners at a wide range of resorts, mostly in Hawaii, Tahiti, Mexico & the Caribbean, though other parts of the world are options. I would love to help you plan your Destination Wedding, so please contact me to help!
In the meantime, while you decide if a Destination Wedding is the right option for you, please feel free to enjoy my Destination Bliss e-magazine. You can view the magazine by clicking DESTINATION BLISS MAGAZINE
When you're ready, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-363-6156