WANDER OR WONDER?
Are we going to be able to resume our “normal” travel schedules? Right now, there are an incredible number of low-cost and mileage opportunities available. Fares are relatively low and the ability to use miles for premium seats and upgrades are plentiful. Yet, many of us are reluctant to take the plunge whether it is for a domestic or an international trip. At one point, the airlines were expounding on the fact that they would limit the number of seats that they sold and keep middle seats open unless they were for members of the same party. In the business / first class area seats would also be limited in order to allow proper social distancing. It only took them a few weeks to reverse that decision. At this point many flights are going out nearly full with all available seats for sale. If they went out at all.
So, what does the dedicated traveler do? First, let me say that the decision to travel or not is a purely personal one and this is a decision that you need to make for yourself. We have decided that we will travel as we had done previously while taking the necessary precautions. But, where to go? In September, I am supposed to be speaking at a meeting in Serbia. Our plan is to spend some time in Croatia and Montenegro prior to and after the meeting. Our problem is that US residents are not being allowed into most European countries. The EU has recently banned US residents from entering or transiting member countries. They are supposed to revisit the “List” every 2 weeks but there are no guarantees. You can locate this information in the Wall Street Journal.
Our back-up plan was to go to Alaska. Oops, big problem right now. Alaska, like Hawaii, is requiring testing and possible quarantine for out of state residents. Well, we always wanted to drive the Alaskan Highway but the Canadian border is closed with no opening date announced. Yes, there are Caribbean islands that are open to US residents but this is hurricane season and we are not yet into the “I want to escape the cold” season.
I do realize that these are not “real world” problems, but I did want to point out that the “new normal” is going to make us all reconsider how, when and where we want to travel. We can still “Wander Until Found” but we will need to do it a bit differently.
Another way in which in which Covid has impacted our travel is with the US Passport services. I sent my passport in for renewal just prior to the pandemic in early March. The Passport agency received my passport and cashed the check in mid-March. Now, over 3 months later, I am unable to reach anyone at the agency and have no idea as to when I will get my new passport. As of today there are over 1.5 million Passport applications waiting to be processed. Per the agency, they are working on those that they received in February and March. I will let you know when mine comes through! Fingers crossed!
Keep planning, keep watching…..we WILL travel again!
Wander Until Found,