Thursday, August 18, 2022

New COVID variants not primary concern for most travelers

Despite reports of the latest COVID-19 variant, BA5, generating waves of re-infections and single-digit increases in U.S. hospitalizations, trip takers are sticking with plans to go abroad. Nearly 80% of the world’s most experienced travelers say the threat of a new COVID variant is unlikely to make them cancel or postpone international travel this year, according to the Summer 2022 Global Rescue Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey.  

Travelers are ready to go!

“Whether it’s revenge travel or responsible travel following vaccination – or a combination of both, 7-out-of-10 travelers are much less concerned about travel compared to the beginning of the pandemic. 

Testing can help relieve anxiety.
They feel safe enough to plan trips and vacations because they’re vaccinated, borders are open, and they have confidence they’ll be able to get home if the worst happens,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents have already traveled internationally since the pandemic. The balance expects to travel abroad by the end of the year (16%) or in the first three months of 2023 (9%).  

International flights are on
the upswing.

More international travel is likely due to the recent U.S. policy change. Nearly half of travelers (49%) say they are more likely to travel internationally in the next 12 months now that U.S. officials no longer require passengers flying to the U.S. to show a negative COVID viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID before they board their flight.  

“The decision to end the requirement for a negative COVID test to enter the United States is a welcome step toward recognizing the decreasing severity of the disease, the urgent need to restore confidence for travelers, and support for an industry badly damaged by the pandemic,” Richards said. 

Cruises are popular again.

Traveler hesitancy is unchanged since early 2022. After two years of pandemic-related travel restrictions, a third of survey respondents still experience travel anxiety related to where to go or when to get back to travel.  

The biggest international travel fear among trip-takers is testing positive for COVID and being stranded away from home (33%), a 37% decrease from early 2022. Having an accident (24%), trip cancellation (21%) and civil unrest/terrorism (8%) were the next biggest concerns. Being robbed, war, natural disasters, and difficulty finding a COVID-19 testing facility each accounted for less than 2% of responses. 

Having travel insurance
lessens the stress of the
unknown during travel. 
“The pandemic has generated a tectonic shift in the traveler mindset. Travelers learned emergency rescue and evacuation services are essential, whether it's due to COVID, a natural disaster, civil unrest or simply needing emergency help when you're traveling. The majority of travelers (64%) say medical evacuation services are more important than Cancel For Any Reason (18%) insurance or traditional travel insurance (15%). Traveler preferences have moved travel protection for emergency medical services and evacuation from ‘optional’ to ‘obligatory’,” Richards said.   

Traveler confidence increases.

“The decision by the CDC to ease its COVID-19 guidelines is a welcome step toward recognizing the decreasing severity of the disease, the urgent need to restore confidence for travelers, and support for an industry badly damaged by the pandemic,” said Richards.   

It's a great time to travel!
The CDC’s updated guidelines include ending quarantine recommendations after exposure to COVID-19 and replacing it with a recommendation to mask for 10 days and get tested on the fifth day. The announcement also reduces the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic or have quickly improved symptoms.  This will alleviate the biggest international travel fear—testing positive for COVID and being stranded away from home.  

“The CDC announcement is a much-needed improvement and will contribute further to travelers’ peace of mind when planning trips and vacations,” Richards said.   

Information courtesy of Bill McIntyre, .  Global Rescue, travel risk and crisis response provider, conducted a survey of more than 2,100 of its current and former members between July 12 and 16, 2022. The respondents exposed a range of behaviors, attitudes and preferences regarding international and domestic travel. 


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Best travel hacks to use when traveling

With vacation time fast approaching and your suitcase packed and airport chaos hopefully avoided, all that is left for you to do is board the flight…Right?

Well, there are actually some essential steps that you should take in order to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. For the things that are within your control, these tech travel hacks recommended by Schnell,a bespoke UK tech company, can help make travel safe and enjoyable.

Take photos of your travel documents 

You always need identification when travelling, but it’s also wise to have a digital backup. If you lose your wallet or it’s stolen, getting to and from your destination will be smoother if you have photos of all your important documents. 

Passports, vaccination documents
and travel details should be
kept in your phone as well as
paper copies. 

The easy way to do that on an iPhone is to use the handy document scanner built into the native notes app. On an Android device, you can take photos of documents and mark them as favorites in your gallery. This removes the hassle of searching for documents in your luggage. 

You can also save identifying documents as PDF files and transfer copies to other devices, such as a Kindle.  Then you will be able to access documentation offline, especially useful when you don’t have a secure internet connection.

There are many kinds of tracking
devices at all price points.

Keep track of your belongings 

Losing your belongings is devastating and can leave travelers stressed out when they should be relaxing. To combat this, use a digital tracker to help you keep up with your valuables and track them if you lose anything. These trackers can be used on laptops, phones, wallets, keys, and luggage. 

There are many different types of trackers that can be used, some will be Bluetooth and others will use GPS. A quick search on Amazon will provide you with trackers at a range of prices so you can ensure the safety of your items even on a limited budget. 

Have multiple access to boarding passes 

In addition to printing paper boarding passes, include the digital option. Log in to the airline’s website and ask them to email your boarding pass. It’s also a good idea to download your airline’s app to access it additional information about your flight.

Make use of a GPS to map your route

Your phone can be an excellent GPS to provide navigation details and traffic details. It can help you avild long traffic queues and alleviate navigation issues in a destination that you are unfamiliar with.
Apps such as citymapper can  reduce the chances of getting lost.  

Smartphones offer
excellent GPS systems.

Booking your stay

For peak travel times book well in advance by using one of the apps that are available to search for accommodation in different locations. Make sure you check the reviews before booking. Loyalty programs will help you save money on accommodations. For example, you can use expedia points or’s genius program for extra discounts. 

Loyalty programs can save

money on hotels and car rentals.

Load your playlist 

When travelling, there will be periods where you are bored waiting in queues or on a layover. Create a personalized Spotify playlist and download podcasts, and you will never be bored!

For accessing on a plane, it is important to have playlists, podcasts, and films downloaded so you can access them offline. Even better, make your entertainment productive by listening to a travel podcast about your destination. 

One bit of tech looming on the horizon is the electronic driving license, so keep an eye out for it.

Information courtesy of Schnell, www.bespoke software

from Eve Loffman,