Is Your Travel Company Keeping You Safe?
This past week I watched a webinar in which an airline representative touted its safety practices and implied there was almost no chance of getting COVID on an airplane. (Not true, even though airplanes are pretty safe.) I also received newsletters from a tour company competitor that didn’t even mention COVID, instead simply promoting travel as if the pandemic is over. Finally, I went to another tour company’s website to look at their COVID safety precautions and they are still lauding temperature checks as a way to keep people safe. If your travel company of choice (airline, car rental agency, hotel, tour operator) is not actively telling you what they will do to keep you safe, they are probably not going to actively keep you safe.
I Feel Like a Broken Record
Having said that, sometimes I wonder if all of you are getting sick of me talking about COVID-19. In fact, on our recent webinar with Giovanni about Italy, Kris in our office texted me and told me to move on to the less gloomy items! Perhaps it is because my uncle is an infectious diseases scientist and I have heard the details straight from him. But really it is more that I feel very responsible to keep every traveler who joins us safe. Please know when you come on our tours, they will be fun. But for now, I plan to keep talking about safety!
When and Where You Plan to Travel
We did a survey of our alumni last week regarding 2021 travel. Thank you to those who participated. Some of your views:
- 67% of you do not plan to travel at all during the first quarter of 2021.
- 45% of you plan to travel domestically during the second quarter and this increases to 58% during July, August, and September.
- International travel remains out of your plans until the last quarter of the year, when 41% of you plan to travel internationally.
- Keep in mind we have added new domestic tours throughout 2021. We also this past week added a new Biking Tour in Puglia, a Kayak Tour in Baja, with Zephyr Adventures and a Tuscany Food & Wine Tour with Taste Vacations in the fall. Advance notice: a planned Ecuador & Galapagos Tour with Zephyr in December to be announced soon!
Require Vaccines for Travel?
We also asked in our survey whether we should require a negative COVID-19 or vaccine (when available) for our public group tours. 9% of you said this should be a personal choice while 91% of you said we should make it a requirement. Of that 91%, 12% of you think we should require only the negative test, 29% said we should require one or the other, and 43% said we should require proof of vaccination once it becomes widely available. Our policy at the moment is to require a negative COVID test and we will update this when vaccines do become widely available. Keep in mind you very likely will need a vaccine to enter a foreign country anyway.