Join us with our video blog to explore the burning questions surrounding travel in the age of COVID, including “When will I be able to travel to Europe again?”
When will I be able to travel to Europe again? This is a question we get asked a lot. As you can imagine, in the past year, with travel at a standstill (or nearly a standstill), we’ve had many travelers ask when they will be able to get back to Italy, when they will be able to go to Greece, Spain, Peru, Morocco, and elsewhere.
We’ll try to answer some of these questions!
Counties Currently Open to US Travelers
First off, there are already some destinations that are open to US travelers, even in Europe. Croatia is open to US travelers, as is Turkey. You do have to produce a negative COVID test, but if you do that, you can go to Croatia, you can go to Turkey. And they are two amazing destinations, two wonderful culinary destinations, where we offer some fabulous tours, including:
- A Culinary Adventure in Croatia
- Cuisine of Sultans
- Cooking on Turkey’s Aegean Coast
- Exploring Istanbul
Mexico, Morocco, and Peru are also currently open to US travelers. Mexico requires a health screening only, while Morocco and Peru require a negative COVID test. This mean that you can also consider these other great tours:
- Cooking on the Riviera Maya
- Culinary Yucatan
- Hola Mexico
- Luxury Morocco Culinary Tour
- Moroccan Flavors
- Taste of Peru
Open Dates on the Horizon?
May 14th is the date the Greece has recently announced for when it plans to reopen its borders. “Plans” is not the same as “open,” so we cannot guarantee things will happen on schedule. But we are very hopeful that in May Greece will also reopen its borders to US travelers. It is anticipated you will have to show proof of vaccination or antibodies, or produce a negative COVID test, to enter.
We hope that in summer other countries will also be opening their borders. Italy and Spain, in particular, are anxious to get to the point in their vaccination schedule to allow them to reopen their borders. They miss US travelers, their economy and culture is heavily influence by welcoming visitors to their shores. It has recently been announced that they anticipate reaching herd immunity in July. This is, we understand, based on the current number of vaccinations taking place as well as predictions for vaccinations in the coming months.
So we do think that summer and certainly fall travel will be possible in most (or maybe even all) of Europe.
Is Travel Safe?
Is it safe to travel? This is another question we get asked a lot, and of course we understand that safety is paramount in people’s minds. Certainly if you have been vaccinated or have already had COVID you may feel ready to travel, but that does not mean you should not still worry about safety.
Generally, in addition to the enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols that have become the norm in the last year, other restrictions are expected to continue including some social distancing and mask wearing, particularly in tourist spots. You can contact at any time for details on the safety measures related to specific trips.
We do anticipate, however, that you will be able to see the same sites, eat the same foods, and experience the same culture that you would any other year. And you will have the advantage, not to be overlooked, of having far fewer travelers and tourists sharing those locations with you.
Another note about safety is that many countries, and particularly those that rely heavily on tourism, are giving precedence to people in the travel industry for vaccinations. So tour guides are getting vaccinated, as are hotel employees, restaurant workers, drivers, and others in the tourism sector. This allows the destination to reopen their borders to travelers but also allows travelers to know they will be safe when traveling in that destination.
Why You Might Want to Plan Travel Now
One reason you may want to consider planning travel at the moment is that there is unprecedented flexibility being offered to travelers, including from The International Kitchen. We have worked hard with our partners to offer as much flexibility as possible in order to give you peace of mind when planning your trip, including Worry-Free Trips and Special Flexible booking terms. Similarly, the airlines are offer more flexibility than ever before. Whereas they are usually strict about cancelations and change fees, the airlines have had to adapt just like the rest of the world, and it has never been easier to find flexible fares that allow you to change or cancel your flights without penalty.
You can find information on what countries are open to US travelers, what the requirements are for entry and return, and what countries we anticipate will reopen this year (and when) on our “Countries Ready to Welcome You” page. And you can sort our tours into a list of culinary vacations currently open for travel. It is impossible for us to predict with total accuracy the reopening of the world to travel, but we do try to keep the information as up to date as possible, and we have links to the websites of the individual countries where you can find up-to-date information.
We have missed travel. We love it, and we cannot wait to get back to doing it. We have a feeling you feel the same. So if you are ready to start thinking about travel again, whether it be for next month, six months from now, or next year, we’re happy to help you start planning! Just contact us to get started.
By Peg Kern
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