Travel in 2022: Is it time to plan those big trips abroad?

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  • According to travel experts, the international travel outlook for 2022 is brighter than ever during the COVID era.
  • Consumer confidence is rising as COVID vaccination rates rise and countries ease restrictions for US tourists.
  • However, traveling abroad is not risk-free yet. Americans should take some extra steps to protect themselves financially.

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Iceland has been the focal point of my wanderlust for the better part of two years.

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The country is a dream scene of natural beauty: the black sands of Reinisfjara, the towering icebergs of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and the steep, jagged peaks of the Westerhorn.

I was forced to postpone a carefully planned trip there in 2020, like many other globetrotters who had set aside excursions during the COVID pandemic. Since then, I’ve wondered: When will an adventure abroad be possible again?

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perhaps soon.

According to travel experts, the 2022 outlook for foreign travel is brighter than ever, especially for Americans traveling in the summer or later. But they should expect to plan more in advance and remain flexible.

“Since March 2020, there has not been a time as promising as now,” Sebastian Modak, Editor-at-Large lonely Planet and the New York Times 52 place travelers In 2019, said about traveling abroad.

“It really comes down to its own threshold of risk and comfort for the passengers, which might be a little messy,” he said.

year ‘going big’

According to an upcoming Expedia report on 2022 travel trends, a substantial portion of American travelers — about 37% — are planning both international and domestic trips next year.

After nearly two years of wanderlust, more than two-thirds of American travelers plan to “go big” on their next getaway — whether it’s a one-time trip abroad or an upgrade to a luxury hotel, according to the report. .

Although domestic-only travel plans are most popular, there is increasing interest in overseas destinations, attracting 59 percent of American travelers.

G Adventures, which offers guided group trips around the world, has seen a nearly 35% jump in overseas bookings so far in November. The company is seeing “great demand” for trips to Peru, Costa Rica and Morocco over the same period in 2019. The company’s US Managing Director Benjamin Perlow.

According to data from Expedia, flight searches for major European cities have also increased significantly in a short period of time – 65% from Los Angeles to London and 110% from New York to Paris, for example, between September and October.

According to Expedia, hot-weather hotspots close to the US, such as the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Cana, have all been the most popular for US tourists traveling to Mexico in early 2022.

“I think 2022 will be the year to go big and have some of those bucket-list moments,” said Christy Hudson, a travel specialist at Expedia.

‘A great tailwind’

There are many reasons for consumer optimism. For one, COVID vaccination rates are climbing, meaning Americans can travel with a relative degree of protection.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommended Vaccinations before traveling internationally, the shots authorized in early November for children ages 5 to 11, make family trips more viable.

In addition, travel restrictions are being eased. Several countries have reopened their borders to Americans and dropped policies such as mandatory quarantine periods. New Zealand, which has the longest COVID-era ban on tourism, said Starting Wednesday, it will open its borders to vaccinated non-citizens from April 30.

(Testing requirements are still broad even for vaccinated tourists. Travelers can find country-specific requirements at the US State Department. Website,

Since March 2020, there is no such promising time as now.
Sebastian Modak |
Lonely Planet’s Editor-at-Large

America picked up Its travel ban on most non-citizens on 8 November. It also prompted more Americans to venture abroad – the reported share of avoiding international travel hit a pandemic-era low in mid-November at 55%, According For destination analysts.

“I’ve been in tourism research for almost two decades, and [the desire to travel] “Sounds incredibly strong right now – the strongest I’ve ever seen,” said Erin Francis-Cummings, president and CEO of Destination Analysts.

“I think it’s a great tailwind for all types of travel in 2022,” she said. “People are more open to new experiences or going back to international travel.”

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And there could be deals for those who book travel, experts said. For example, the average price of a round-trip international flight is 35% less than the 2019 cost, according to a combined annual report good Published in October by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation.

Of course, the state of health can change rapidly and disrupt plans. A new COVID variant found in South Africa has several mutations that could make it more transmissible or evade vaccine protection, although the scientists cautioned that more data is needed to evaluate.

a new wave of covid infection Europe prompted Austria to go into lockdown on Monday; Germany may soon do so.

Some countries are closed to American tourists or have not yet put in place strict health policies.

This is especially true for Asian countries, travel experts said. China, for example, Is necessary Americans must quarantine for at least 14 days in a facility selected by the government. Japan not allowing Any tourist trip.

Some travel companies are still in favor of American travel. Fodor’s Visit, for example, limited its annual go list This added a measure of optimism, however, to the uncertainties around foreign travel to domestic locations in 2022.

“Like many of you, we are still joking around for international travel,” Fodor wrote. “And traveling abroad may still be in the cards for the intrepid.

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

Security measures and flexibility

Travelers should take certain precautions, mainly in the interest of avoiding financial loss.

Experts recommend travel insurance, which refunds the cost of travel in case of trip cancellation or other unforeseen circumstances.

However, there are different types of policies. Experts said the “cancel for any reason” policy is generally the only one that lets passengers recover money if they cancel a trip due to a Covid-related reason. (Most basic policies don’t cover that event.)

Even “cancel for any reason” options may not offer a full refund, and insurers may require travelers to cancel a day or two before their trip. It is important to understand the specific terms and conditions of the policy before buying.

Experts said travelers should also weigh airfares and hotel options that allow refunds, travel credits or change, even if those options cost a bit more.

“I think you might feel comfortable booking that October trip to Egypt if you have insurance and maybe you’ve booked a flexible flight with the airlines,” Modak said. “Make sure you have contingency where if things get tough in Egypt, you can book a flight for May 2023 at no financial cost.”

Many companies have maintained additional flexibility relative to their pre-pandemic policies.

I have been in tourism research for almost two decades, and [the desire to travel] Feels incredibly strong right now – feels like the strongest I’ve ever seen.
Erin Francis-Cummings
President and CEO of Destination Analysts

For example, G Adventures lets customers rebook a trip or receive a full travel credit if they cancel up to 14 days before departure. (Earlier, there was a limit of 60 days.) This policy will continue for 2022 trips booked till March 31.

“There weren’t really options pre-Covid for any company,” Perlo said.

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 before returning to the US, how much money might he need to cover an additional cost or two?

Importantly, travelers should approach foreign travel with personal flexibility and empathy. Recognize that some activities may be limited or unavailable. For example, if bars and restaurants close earlier than expected during the COVID era, a city with legendary nightlife could hit harder than expected. Travelers may need to pivot, and should do adequate research on the destination ahead of time.

In addition, not all countries or their citizens have equal access to vaccines, making the mask requirement and respect for other local regulations extremely important.

“It’s still a strange time to travel,” Modak said. “Bring a level of patience and grace to the travel experience.”


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