I’ve spoken with many of you over the past few weeks as you’ve wrestled with whether to go forward with your winter travel plans and, if so, how to smarten them up, given Omicron. Most of you are bound and determined to forge ahead with your trips—to Italy, Egypt, Tahiti, the Galapagos Islands, France, Panama, Iceland, Portugal, Belize, Costa Rica, Colombia, Kenya, Rwanda, the Maldives, Antarctica, and more. I can understand why. We’re not back in March of 2020: There are many more tools now for traveling safely and responsibly. And I’m not just talking about the availability of vaccines, boosters, and N95 masks for the airport and plane. Unlike at the start of this pandemic, we’ve also now got at-home test kits for use pre-trip and before boarding your return flight. There’s now evacuation coverage so that, if your worry is the possibility of testing positive overseas and being quarantined, there’s a way you can avoid that and get home. There are also guardian angels who have proven they can keep travelers in Covid-safe environments, away from crowds, privately cocooned, and in the open air as much as possible throughout a trip. The proof? It’s in your trip reviews. Below find the information you need for safe travel now. —Wendy
How to Get a Quick Covid Test for Travel: We’ve rounded up several of your best options Covid tests with the last-minute results you need for many destinations: We’ve listed in-person options in select U.S. cities, mail-in test kits that you can do from home (note that some places will not accept results from mail-in tests), and self-administered tests that you can take in a foreign country.
Getting a Covid Test Abroad is Easy: Don’t let fear of a required Covid test outside the U.S.—either for a return flight to the U.S. or to cross borders during a multi-country trip—scare you away from overseas travel.
What Happens If I Test Positive on a Trip? We Answer Travelers’ Biggest Concerns About Testing, Quarantine, and Insurance: The biggest concerns we hear from travelers these days are about how to get tested before and during a trip, what happens if they test positive while overseas, and what quarantine rules will apply there. In this FAQ, we answer all of those questions and more.
How to Buy Travel Insurance: What It Covers, When You Need It: Travel insurance can be confusing, especially during Covid. So we’ve created this FAQ that lays out everything from what you can expect it to cover (even now) to when you need it and when you don’t.
“Cancel For Any Reason” CFAR Travel Insurance: What It Is and How It Works: If you’re concerned about traveling during the time of COVID-19, regular travel insurance won’t help you. CFAR coverage is the only way to be protected.
What Medical Evacuation Coverage Do You Need?: In years past, we purchased medical-evacuation coverage in case we broke a leg while hiking in the Alps or had a heart attack on a remote island with no decent hospital. Nowadays, though, the nightmare scenario in our minds as we try to plan travel is the possibility of ending up quarantined—or even hospitalized—with Covid-19 far from home. Here’s what you need to know about how to get flown home, and how to protect yourself from a financial disaster.
Where You Can Go and Entry Requirements
The Countries That Are Open to U.S. Travelers and How to Get In: This is your one-stop resource for all the important details about which countries are opening to U.S. travelers and what their entry requirements are.
Where You Can Travel If You’re Vaccinated, No Pre-Trip Testing Required: We’re also keeping a list of countries that are open to vaccinated travelers—with no testing or quarantine requirements.
New Nonstop Flights To Make Your Travels Easier in 2022: Many airlines are planning to launch long-awaited routes next year, and some have already announced new flights that weren’t even on their minds back in 2020. To help you find inspiration, Brett Snyder of Cranky Concierge rounds up the airline routes to keep your eyes on.
Current Travelers’ Experiences
Pandemic-Era Travel: The Most Recent Trip Reviews from our Readers: Find out what travel is like from real people who’ve just been on trips in the past few weeks. These trip reviews show what it’s really like to travel now in specific places, and how the right destination expert can make it work.
Interviews with Travelers During Omicron: We interviewed readers who’ve traveled recently, including one who had to reroute their European Christmas market itinerary at the last minute because of Omicron, and another who was in Morocco when the borders closed.
The Trip Planners You’ve Approved
The 2021 WOW List: 95 Top Local Fixers in Countries Worldwide: The WOW List is a collection of exceptionally knowledgeable and well-connected trip planners around the world. They have been rigorously road-tested, based on my decades of experience as a travel journalist and based on the most recent trip reviews from travelers who have used my WOW approach to ensure an extraordinary trip. During the pandemic, I have been watching these Trusted Travel Experts like a hawk, closely monitoring our travelers’ pandemic trip reviews and updating The List accordingly.
We’re Here to Help
As a travel journalist and consumer advocate for the past 30 years—first as Condé Nast Traveler’s advice columnist, then as TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate—I’m all too aware of the travel concerns that need to be addressed as a result of this pandemic. For many trips, you’d be wise to use an extremely well-connected, extremely knowledgeable, destination-specific, trip-planning specialist who can act as your local fixer. You’d be even wiser to find and contact that trip planner via The WOW List, which is the first step in my WOW approach to trip planning, created by popular demand from my longtime readers. It’s the approach used by the travelers who are submitting these trip reviews and getting benefits including priority status, VIP treatment, my advice from the start of your trip planning, and the chance to win a surprise, custom-designed WOW Moment on a third qualifying trip. It all starts when you tell us about the trip you want via the questionnaires on The WOW List. —Wendy