The present pandemic situation has brought a halt to the world. While many countries are going through a lockdown period, airports have been closed and travel has been restricted by different countries as the COVID-19 continues to claim life. Over millions have been infected globally, while thousands have already succumbed to the deadly virus. Social distancing is becoming the new normal. As we see a spike in new cases across the world, it is likely that there will be international travel restriction for some time now.
If you’re planning to travel to the USA, here is some important information to help you make an informed decision.
- If you’re stranded in India and wanted to return to the US, now is the time to do so says the US Embassy and Consulates in India. A series of flights will carry back US citizens to the US this week. So, if you’re a US citizen who wishes to return to the US, now is the right time to leverage this opportunity.
- If you’re wondering if this is a good time to book your hotel stay in the US for your upcoming travel, then it would be difficult to predict now. With travel restriction, travel bans, and cancellation of events, it is rather difficult to assume that things will normalize anytime soon.
- If your travel plan has got canceled for the pandemic situation and if you’re feeling miserable about it, start planning for the next vacation. You don’t need to finalize the travel dates. You can do that once this crisis is over. But meanwhile, planning for the next holiday will make you feel better and also keep you occupied for some time.
- Now that you have plenty of time to think, jot down all the places that you want to see, which hotels to book for an experiential stay, list down restaurants to eat, which are the best tour operators and travel advisers to help you plan your next travel. With so much time in hand, you can chalk out a beautiful and customized itinerary. Discuss with your family members so that everyone can participate and contribute to the next family holiday plan.
- Now is also a good time to collect miles which will come handy when you do your actual booking. Plus, it becomes a lot easier when you cancel a ticket bought with miles than an actually paid one as only a few airlines offer free or inexpensive cancellation charges to its elite members.
- Hotels are now more than ever flexibles with their booking policies. As we are living through a history of uncertainty, the travel industry being hit worst, hotels and tour operators are becoming more and more flexibles. Rental homes and shared apartments through Airbnb had been a popular choice among travelers across the globe until now. But, with the recent situation where social distancing is the only way to stay safe, renting Airbnb apartments is now questionable. However, if the situation improves, Airbnb can be a good accommodation option for your travel. As reported in USA Today, guests can book hotels last minute without paying penalty. So, you can go ahead and make your booking by taking the good deals that are being offered by some of the top hotels at the moment because of the current situation.
- Similarly, airlines are also offering lots of flexibility to their patrons. For example, the new policy announced by United, says that all the tickets that were booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, can be changed for free for a future date. This could be for a ticket of equal or lesser value for the next 12 months from the original travel date. The airlines have also announced to waive change fees for tickets bought on or before March 2 that had travel dates between March 9 and April 30. On the other hand, American Airlines has mentioned that it will waive change fees for all bookings that were done through April 30 if you book a ticket on or before December 31. With this ticket, you can travel anytime between the next 12 months. Their deal is for both awards and paid tickets.
Some other important pointers to note:
Consider purchasing trip insurance if you have not thought about it before. This comes handy, especially for expensive trips. Given the present condition of uncertainty, you won’t be caught off guard when you have trip insurance with you.
The state by state travel policy is shrinking every day, so ensure to check the travel regulation for the particular state before you make an arrangement.
Coronavirus, has affected by the travel industry and traveling in the USA, has come to a halt. But remember, this too shall pass soon. So, don’t feel low, and make use of the time to plan your next holiday so that you have all the information at the tip of your finger when the situation improves and you don’t have to keep yourself locked up in the house. Hang in there till then and be safe!