In this post I talked about being a good host, and likewise I think it’s…
As you know, the last two years have been a bit challenging, especially for the travel industry. On the bright side, however, we are seeing more and more countries opening borders, inspiring our excitement to reconnect with friends and family again and encouraging us to book those long-awaited vacations.
With that in mind, I’ve put together some of my essential travel tips for 2022 to ensure you and your loved ones travel in confidence and with the safety assurances to help you through your journey.
Thanks to our partner, AAA Travels for sponsoring this post.
Essential Travel Tips for 2022
1. Plan Ahead and Be as Flexible as Possible
If you haven’t taken a trip in a while, then you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. I get it. Travel, in general, can feel this way sometimes. This is why understanding what resources have either improved or have been introduced lately can alleviate some of your worries – and you’d be surprised how much has changed!
Did you know, for example, that some major airlines have digitized a lot of their pre-travel processes even further increasing their contactless experiences so that by the time you get to the airport everything, from your passports, vaccination cards, and COVID tests results are uploaded and approved online, helping to speed up your check-in process and reducing your time in line?
This is the case for most points of contact now, from renting a car to checking in to some hotels. Before booking, make sure that you have the necessary apps downloaded and if necessary, just give yourself a little extra time for flexibility around crowds.
Also, don’t worry too much about booking tours or general attraction tickets too far in advance (unless of course, they are for high-demand experiences, such as Broadway tickets or theme parks’ exclusive attractions!). Sometimes too much planning can ruin the vibe of spontaneity, which is always fun to keep in mind.
2. Know the Local Rules for Your Intended Destination
In this day and age, every single country has a different set of rules and restrictions for travel. On top of that, these rules often change from month to month. For example, if you plan on visiting, Italy, know that you cannot bring just any old mask. They require either FFP2 or KN95 type masks for indoors, and you must show your vaccine card at most places. But then again, by the time you read this, who knows what changes may have taken place!
But please, don’t add more stress by just guessing and going, in fact, I recommend leaning in for a helping hand, especially if keeping track of all the rules feels overwhelming. For example, hire a travel advisor! They do more than just book travel, keeping track of all the moving parts during your trip so you just get to relax. It feels like quite the luxury, something this working mom can certainly appreciate, plus see all the reasons why you should use a travel agent or travel advisor now more than ever.
I also recommend checking with the US embassy or consulate in your designated destination. They all should have an up-to-date COVID 19 Information page. While you’re there, you should also enroll in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This allows you to receive up-to-date information via email and provide the nearest US embassy with your emergency information.
3. Book Refundable Travel
When you begin to book your trips, check all the refund policies. Of all my essential travel tips for 2022, this is one of the most important. It’s better to pay a little more to be able to cancel should something happen.
Remember though, airlines are still not charging change fees so you can always rebook. That’s a savings of 100 bucks domestic to up to 400 dollars for an international ticket. Woohooo! (Fingers crossed this continues.)
Any country that requires a PCR or antigen test usually has a window of 72 hours or less that you can test within, so you won’t know until the very last minute if you need to cancel or reschedule. Nothing feels worse than spending hundreds of dollars on a trip and not being able to go or recoup your losses!
4. Pick Accommodation that Puts Safety First
One thing that COVID exposed is how many hotel cleanliness standards really are not up to par. Now more than ever it’s important to book accommodation that puts safety first. Every booking platform has its own guidelines, but I especially love how thorough AAA Diamonds’ standards are. You can use their search platform on hotels, flights, cars, and cruises to truly know you’re booking the cleanest possible option no matter where you go.
Even before the pandemic, AAA has spent over 80 years doing unscheduled hotel inspections with trained experts to ensure all the hotels in their database pass their stringent conditions. It’s clear AAA goes the distance. Click here if you want to know the nitty-gritty.
5. Get Travel Insurance
Last but definitely not least, get travel insurance. This is something I recommend regardless of global circumstances, but it’s especially important these days. Even more important, check with your travel insurance to see what their COVID policy is.
For example, Allianz Travel now has an Epidemic Coverage Endorsement in specific annual travel insurance plans. This means these plans will cover trip cancellation due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, trip interruption if you are ordered to quarantine, travel delay, emergency medical care due, and emergency transportation – all the little details you don’t want to be worrying about while enjoying your time away.
And there you have it! My most essential travel tips for 2022.
Happy travels as you explore a new place in this new world and remember, wherever your adventures make take you, don’t forget to make it count!