Did you know that some countries in Europe are already open to American travelers? Some never closed down to them. Still, you might want to think twice about booking your travels right now. The list of European countries open to travelers is still quite small, with only a handful of countries welcoming Americans back with open arms. The shortlist includes the likes of Croatia, Belarus and Albania. Of course, Ireland never actually closed down to Americans. Still, the bulk of countries in the EU are not currently allowing US citizens. That means dreams of backpacking across Europe will have to wait not only for now, but for some time to come. But for how long?
What Are the Experts Saying?
Although it is impossible to say for sure, what the experts are doing says a lot. And there is probably no one more expert on American travel abroad than Rick Steves himself. Steves already has a long wait list of Americans eager to take one of his many European tours. In fact, the wait list has hit the 10,000 mark for 2021. That must mean he and his people are relatively confident travel to Europe will be back in full swing by then.
That isn’t, however, a guarantee.
In fact, nobody can guarantee when travel to Europe will be allowed once again, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that one day in the not too distant future, travel will be allowed. For that reason, the real question becomes how can you prepare for when it does.
If like me you are tired of only ever saving your money (something that there’s been ample time to do since the beginning of the pandemic) don’t stop now. Of course, if you are in the opportunity of having a job that allows you to save, then you are already one of the lucky ones. Many, many people are doing all they can just to get by during a difficult time. If you do have enough money to put into savings, don’t stop now. Don’t waste it on smaller trips around the country if you ultimately want to travel overseas again. Instead, start a bigger fund that will allow you to travel more once the current pandemic situation is over. This will also come in handy just in general, if something unexpected comes up.
Don’t Finalize Your Plans
While many experts, including the CEO of Access Italy, believe travel should begin again by early to mid 2021, I still wouldn’t suggest booking anything that isn’t refundable or flexible. It might seem hopeful that Europe will open up again before long, but I myself am going to wait until those borders are officially open before I book anything. Not only because it just seems too uncertain to do otherwise, but also because I don’t think I’ll be missing out on anything by not being one of the first over the boarder. Which brings me to my last point.
It’s Going to Take a Bit for Tourism to Become the Norm Again
Even when boarders start opening back up again and tourists begin streaming into the country, there’s going to probably be a bit of an adjustment period. Take Hawaii, for example. Although the state is set to reopen unto tourists tomorrow, many tourism venues are not opening up right away. They are going to wait and see what happens. After all, there’s much confusion around Covid testing and how that’s going to work, as well as how many people are actually going to come right away.
Europe might benefit from having international travel opened up for some time between other EU countries, but I imagine the same thing will be in effect there for a while. Even after the boarders open, it will be some time before tourism is at the place it was pre pandemic.
Originally published at https://www.josephwriteranderson.com on October 14, 2020.