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Is it time to plan those big trips abroad?

Reynisfjara is a world-famous black sand beach on the south coast of Iceland.

Luis Kagiao Photos | Moments | Getty Images

Iceland has been the focus of my wandering habits for most of the two years.

This country is a dreamlike landscape of natural beauty. The black sands of Reinis Huhara, the towering icebergs of the Jokulsárlón glacier lagoon, and the steep jagged peaks of Vestrahorn.

Like many other Globetrotter who set aside excursions during the Covid pandemic, I was forced to shelve a well-planned trip there in 2020. Since then, I have wondered: when will an overseas adventure be feasible again?

Probably soon.

According to travel experts, the outlook for overseas travel in 2022 is more rosy than ever, especially for Americans booking travel after the summer. But they need to be more proactive and expect to stay flexible.

“Since March 2020, there has never been a more promising time,” said Sebastian Modac, editor-in-chief of Lonely Planet and The New York Times 52 Play Traveler in 2019.

“It really comes down to the traveler’s own threshold for risk and comfort that things may go a little wrong,” he added.

“Growing” year

Mouhoub Madina / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

According to Expedia’s upcoming report on travel trends in 2022, the vast majority of US travelers (about 37%) plan both international and domestic travel next year.

After almost two years of sickening wandering, more than two-thirds of American travelers will “grow” on their next vacation, whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip abroad or an upgrade to a luxury hotel. I am planning. According to the report.

Domestic-only travel plans are still the most popular and appeal to 59% of US travelers, but interest in overseas destinations is growing.

G-Adventures, which offers guided group travel around the world, has seen a nearly 35% surge in overseas bookings in November compared to the same period in 2019. According to the company, there is “great demand” for travel to Peru, Costa Rica and Morocco. To Benjamin Perlo, the company’s US managing director.

According to Expedia data, flight searches to major European cities have also increased significantly in the short term. For example, between September and October, there was a 65% increase from Los Angeles to London and a 110% increase from New York to Paris.

According to Expedia, hotspots with warm climates close to the United States, such as the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Puntakana, are generally the most popular with American tourists traveling in early 2022.

“I think 2022 will be a big year and a bucketlist-like moment,” said Christie Hudson, a travel expert at Expedia.

“Great tailwind”

Machu Picchu ruins in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Goga | 500px Prime | Getty Images

There are many reasons for consumer optimism. First, the vaccination rate for Covid is rising. This means that Americans can travel relatively safely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination before traveling abroad and allowed children aged 5 to 11 years to be vaccinated in early November, making family travel more feasible.

In addition, travel restrictions have been relaxed. Many countries have reopened their borders with Americans and withdrew policies such as mandatory quarantine periods. New Zealand, one of the longest tourism bans during the Covid era, said it would open its borders to non-citizens vaccinated from 30 April on Wednesday.

(Test requirements are widespread among vaccinated tourists. Travelers can find country-specific requirements on the US Department of State website.)

Since March 2020, there has never been a more promising time.

Sebastian Modac

Lonely Planet Editor at Large

The United States lifted most non-citizen travel bans on November 8. This may also have triggered more Americans to expand abroad. Destination analyst.

“I have been involved in tourism research for almost 20 years and [the desire to travel] It seems incredibly strong now. I feel the strongest I’ve ever seen, “said Erin Francis-Cummings, President and CEO of Destination Analytics.

“I think it’s a great tailwind for all types of travel into 2022,” she added. “People seem to be more open to new experiences and returning to travel abroad.”

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Experts say that those who book a trip may have great deals. For example, according to a joint annual report published by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation in October, the average round-trip price for international flights is 35% below the cost of 2019.

Of course, your health can change rapidly and disrupt your plans. The new Covid mutants detected in South Africa have several mutations that may increase infectivity or allow vaccine protection to be circumvented, but scientists have more data to assess. I warned that it was necessary.

Austria was blocked on Monday by a new wave of Covid infections in Europe. Germany may soon do the same.

Auckland, New Zealand.

Scott E Barber | Image Bank | Getty Images

Some countries remain closed to American tourists or have not yet withdrawn their strict health policies.

According to travel experts, this is especially true for Asian countries. In China, for example, Americans need to be quarantined at a government-selected facility for at least 14 days. Japan does not allow sightseeing trips.

Some travel agencies are still making mistakes on the part of travel in the United States. For example, Fodor’s Travel added optimism, but due to uncertainties about traveling abroad, in 2022 it restricted its annual GoList to domestic locations.

“Like many of you, we are still crazy about traveling abroad,” Fodor’s wrote. “And traveling abroad may still be on the card of a brave person.

“If you can travel there safely and responsibly, do it. You can go anywhere in the world,” he added.

Safeguard and flexibility

Anton Petrus | Moments | Getty Images

Travelers need to take certain precautions, primarily to protect themselves from financial losses.

Experts recommend travel insurance. Travel insurance will refund your travel expenses in the event of travel cancellations or other unforeseen circumstances.

However, there are different types of policies. According to experts, a “cancel for any reason” policy is generally the only policy that allows a traveler to recover funds if they cancel the trip for Covid-related reasons. (Most basic policies do not cover the contingency.)

However, the “Cancel for any reason” option may not give you a full refund, and the insurance company may require you to cancel 1-2 days before your trip. Before making a purchase, it is important to understand the specific terms of the policy.

According to experts, travelers should weigh the airfare and hotel options that allow refunds, travel credits, or changes.

“If you have insurance and book a flexible flight with an airline, you’ll be comfortable booking your trip to Egypt in October,” says Modak. “Make sure you’ve had the contingency of being able to book your May 2023 flight at no financial cost if things get tougher in Egypt.”

Many companies remain more flexible than their pre-pandemic policies.

I have been involved in tourism research for almost 20 years and [the desire to travel] It seems incredibly strong right now — I feel it’s the strongest I’ve ever seen.

Erin Francis-Cummings

Destination Analyst President and Chief Executive Officer

For example, in G-Adventure, customers can rebook a trip or get full travel credits if canceled at least 14 days before departure. (Previously there was a 60-day threshold.) This policy will continue to apply for 2022 trips booked by March 31st.

“These options for pre-Covid companies didn’t really exist,” says Perlo.

It’s also important to have a budget “just in case,” Modak said. For example, if a traveler gets Covid abroad and has to quarantine it before returning to the United States, how much money would it cost to cover the cost of an additional 1-2 weeks?

Importantly, travelers should work abroad with personal flexibility and empathy. Be aware that certain activities may be restricted or unavailable. For example, a city with a legendary nightlife can be worse off than expected if bars and restaurants close earlier than expected during the Covid era. Travelers may need to pivot and should do enough research on their destination in advance.

In addition, not all countries or their citizens have equal access to vaccines, and it is of utmost importance to respect mask obligations and other regional rules.

“It’s still a strange time to travel,” Modak said. “It brings some patience and elegance to the travel experience.”

Is it time to plan those big trips abroad?

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