Cheryl Parson: Know before you go!

We are ready! Get on! Let’s go!

More people are being vaccinated, COVID restrictions are easing quickly around the world, and we can’t wait to let go and travel!

Americans are eager to regain some sense of normalcy by visiting family and friends we haven’t seen, returning to cherished and familiar destinations, or booking the trip of a lifetime.

But we can also be sure that vacation travel is very different from what it was in the past. Even though the United States is pretty much open, many travel requirements and guidelines are still in place, reopening times vary, flight schedules scramble to catch up and fluctuate wildly and some parts of the world are still severely affected by the pandemic.

Hopefully, with this column, we can help you navigate and plan your getaway. Whatever your plans, this one tip will help you reduce unwanted surprises and confusion – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

Outside

During the pandemic, many people turned to outdoor camping, hiking and RVing. There is still a vast and vast world of outdoor adventures to explore. While most of our national parks have fully reopened, many of the more popular still have restrictions, so check the US National Park Service website (www.nps.gov) before you take off.

If your national park option doesn’t work, keep in mind that almost every state has a network of interesting and beautiful parks as well. Do a little research and you will find many absolute gems to enjoy.

Flight

In the past two months, air travel has exploded as people scramble to use airline credit vouchers issued last year. Very low pandemic rates have all but disappeared, with airlines hoping to recoup some of the $ 118 billion in pandemic losses. However, the International Air Transport Association says average airline ticket prices will continue to reflect a 20% drop from before the crisis, so you should be able to enjoy lower prices for some time.

When it comes to getting on the plane, there are still pandemic pains to contend with. Check-in and security lines remain long, so allow extra time when arriving at the airport. Note that flights continue to be rescheduled. Travelers should check flight times before arriving at the airport. Also determine what will be owed to you if you are postponed. It is mandatory to wear a nose and mouth mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation to, within or outside the United States and to the United States. inside American transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in areas outside of a conveyance (such as a ferry or the upper deck of a bus).

Hotel stays

Hotel bookings are also increasing. Check out hotel loyalty programs for the best deals and booking options. Some hotels even offer “work from hotel” packages allowing you to extend your stay at a lower cost until the working week.

Expect safety measures, such as indoor mask requirements and additional sanitation procedures, to continue. The good news is, you should be able to expect a more enjoyable experience than last summer.

Cruises

Cruise enthusiasts get excited! The CDC has lifted most restrictions on cruise ships, allowing a return to some normalcy. During the closure, many ships underwent major alterations to accommodate the reopening. However, you should be prepared to provide proof of vaccination and be tested.

While we are freer to travel and guidelines are relaxed, it is wise to always carry face masks and hand sanitizer wherever you go, just in case.

Go for it ! Trip! Enjoy! And be careful!

Cheryl Parson is president of the Better Business Bureau serving West Central Ohio. The BBB can be viewed on the Internet at www.lima.bbb.org.


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