Re-Opening the World to Travel

IMG_9319

Travel wanderlust is at an all-time high for many that cannot wait to explore the world again. It is important that everyone remembers to travel with respect. As a travel advisor checking and rechecking the protocols and requirements is an essential part of what we offer you. Making certain you know what is open, knowing social distancing and facemask requirements, just to name a few. It goes without saying that we prepare travel responsibly and respectfully. Knowing the protocols and regulations is important and adhering to them is equally important. By adhering to the protocols put in place to protect you at the hotels, airline, on activities we are working to make sure you have “A Safe Escape” travel experience. Working with you and with destination companies also requires you as the traveler to be responsible and demonstrate the respect for traveling. Traveling is a privilege! Reality today is it is at its lowest point ever. But the numbers are rising and folks are beginning to travel again. Depending on where, you may have to be tested so plan ahead to arrange time for testing and results as wait times can hinder your plans.
Good news, countries are slowly re-opening for travel. In many cases a recent (within 72 hours to 10 days) negative COVID-19 test is all they are requiring to enter into those countries. We continue to follow those openings so that you can travel again. We can provide you with each country opening dates if they have been published and their entry requirements for travel. We strongly recommend securing travel protection for your trip just for added security of you travel investment and certainly private customized travel, so you are not lumped on a bus with many others.
I have been following destinations closer to US so that you don’t have extremely long flights and the Central and South America Region along with Caribbean are at the top of my watch list.
Did you know that many of the Caribbean islands have re-opened to travel already? Deals prevail as well with great incentives to travel now as well as booking for 2021 if you just are quite ready to travel.
Here is just one example – Turks and Caicos just about 1.5 hours from Atlanta is open. To travel there they have a travel authorization online form to complete plus a negative COVID19 test. You are required to also secure travel protection which we can assist with. This destination is inherently safe given its spacious stretches of beach on Providenciales and its sister islands, including Parrot Cay, Salt Cay, South Caicos and Grand Turk, among others.

EcuadoFrigate Birdr has re-opened for tourism with 10 days negative COVID-19 test for a trip to visit the mainland and 3 days if you want to go to the Galapagos. From the Amazon to the amazing eco system of the Galapagos you can spend all your time outdoors and away from crowds. Hiking the many trails, bird watching, nature watching is ideal to this part of the world.
ColoZipaquirra 2mbia is to re-open September 21 and the first international flights allowed are to Cartagena. Required a negative test for entry and a from to complete with you itinerary along with proof of Travel Protection coverage specifically for health coverage.
IMG_6783Costa Rica which is 3-4-hour flight has re-opened to certain US states to travel too and is adding more states each week. They too require a negative test and proof of health coverage. There are so many accommodations options away from the major cities that allow you to social distance plus do outdoor activities. They are coming into their best travel weather season so you can likely travel there as soon as November if you want to.

Panama will re-open October 12 – we are still waiting oEmbera men playing instrumentsn their guidelines besides needing a COVID-19 negative test 96 hours prior to arrival,  but are excited to see this remarkable destination re-open so you can see the Panama Canal up close and personal and enjoy many outdoor activities conducive to social distancing.

Although the list of openings is fluid and changing, we do see a trend to more and more opening through the 4th quarter of this year. What is for certain is now is the time to start planning that future vacation. With any trip we must re-emphasis that you need to secure travel protection coverage to protect both your trip investment as well as any health setbacks or service setbacks that could impact your trip.

We understand that each person is in a different place in terms of ability, desire, and willingness to travel. If you are not quite ready to go international but want an adventure, we can arrange US self drives, rail vacations, Disney World and Universal Florida packages, Villa Rentals and other close to home options. By the way, now is the time to book your holiday space especially for villas. Disney and Universal is also perfect now as they limit the number of guests allowed in so no lines…… Hotels & Airlines are being very flexible with changes and cancellations as they know with this pandemic that situations can change at the last minute and in most cases no fees for the changes. In the end please choose and do responsibly and with the utmost care for yourself and others. The team at Condor Tours & Travel is available to answer questions and help you look towards your future travel plans. www.condortoursandtravel.com or info@condortt.com or 770-339-9961.

All About Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is often seen as an unnecessary add-on fee but it can be a useful tool when unexpected events occur prior to or during travel. It protects from severe weather, cancelled or delayed flights, lost luggage, and family and medical emergencies. What is also important to note is the stark contrast between the average cost of an insurance policy and that of a claim. The average policy’s cost is $54 while the average claim is $1,524. Given this disparity, one would have to take 28 vacations annually for the cost of the policies to exceed the cost of the average claim. Furthermore, travel insurance expenses are not increasing nearly at the rate of some of the costs they cover, such as medical care. As a case in point, in 2004 the average cost of a medical claim was $1,040 but nine years later it grew to $1,570.

While the cost of a policy is low, travel insurance is not as relevant for certain travelers such as those embarking on an inexpensive domestic trip or if bearing any financial loss associated with the trip could be borne without much headache. It is also not as relevant if your trip involves things that aren’t covered by insurance such as staying at a friend’s house, if there are few or no non-refundable payments are involved, or if coverage would be redundant because of your credit card or health insurance providers’ policies. Travel insurance is most relevant to those who are spending more than at least $1,000 on the vacation, taking a cruise or package tour, on Medicare, traveling internationally, or if the vacation involves non-refundable fees and expenses.

Travelers can buy insurance directly through companies online, their travel agents, or third-parties who show plans from several different providers. When buying travel insurance one should always keep in mind that the average cost of a policy is between 4 and 8 percent. This will help determine if you are getting a good deal or not. Travel companies certainly offer travel insurance but many air and cruise lines, and tour operators will offer it directly to customers. Buying through your travel agent is one of your best bets because you have a pre-existing relationship and they can help guide you through some of the policy lingo. Your travel agent will also likely know about your destination and can consult you given your own background and travel habits.

Common Reasons for Needing Travel Protection

  • Cancelled connecting flight
  • Lost bags or important personal items
  • Lost or stolen wallet or passport
  • Lack of adequate medical care abroad
  • Family emergency
  • Finding an English speaking doctor
  • Terrorism
  • Weather

Insurance Policy Types

 Medical

Many health plans do not cover policyholders while they are abroad. The people who fit this category the most are Medicare recipients and citizens of countries who have a National Health Service, but those with private policies should check their policy before making a decision. However, even if you have medical coverage abroad through your current provider there is the possibility of being treated at an out of network hospital in case of an emergency. Many medical travel protection policies will cover participants regardless of where they receive care.

Emergency Evacuation

This applies to individuals who plan to travel to isolated and remote regions. This covers travelers in case of the need for a medical evacuation back. These plans can be as cheap as $40 while the claim could be as expensive as $30,000, or more.

Travel Protection

The benefit of Travel Protection is that it protects against losing prepaid and non-refundable fees. This would be the most helpful in a situation where your flight were delayed or you needed to cancel your trip altogether. Trips that involve expensive and its fair share of prepaid or nonrefundable costs warrant Travel Protection more than a pay as you go kind of vacation or trip.

 Baggage Protection

This covers items that have been lost or damaged in transit and expenses that are incurred due to delayed luggage. Airlines are required to reimburse passengers for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, but, there are limitations, and is limited to only the flight. Baggage protection extends beyond the flight to the entire trip.

Personal Liability

This covers legal, medical, and property damage expenses in case if you harm a third-party or cause property damage. This is a less commonly purchased travel insurance policy but can still be helpful whether you know you and your friends are going to be rowdy or if there is a fair chance you will find yourself in an accident.