By Daniel Preziosi

In late June, Stonebridge Financial Group had the pleasure of hosting a webinar by Jason Holland from Travel Simplicity. Jason had a long background in travel when he started Travel Simplicity in 2009 with a passion for helping others. He offers a travel butler and planning service to provide life-enriching experiences by getting to know you personally. Here are five takeaways from that webinar.

1. Despite vaccinations and lifted lockdowns, expect health-related delays when traveling.

While parts of the world are fortunate enough to have access to vaccines and reduced travel restrictions, others are still suffering from the effects of COVID-19. It is good to be prepared when setbacks might affect your plans and embrace flexibility. Especially during transit, expect to wear masks on planes, use sanitizing stations, have mandatory quarantine periods, and take COVID tests while traveling to certain places.

2. Everyone wants a vacation.

Now that travel has started to resume, many people need plane tickets, rental cars, restaurants reservations and hotel bookings. Per supply and demand, prices are going up and availability is going down. Jason reported that a couple was asked to pay between $3,000 and $13,000 for a rental car in Hawaii. It may be wise to seek travel deals or use public transportation if you have the option.

3. Planning is critical.

Jason recommends planning for a trip almost a year out and stated that some clients are even planning for trips at the end of 2022. Properly research your travel destinations. The Sherpa website offers excellent information about entry requirements and travel restrictions. Fully vaccinated people may face different or relaxed restrictions when traveling.

4. Be prepared for a catastrophe.

Accidents happen, and it is always good to be prepared. It may be a good idea to buy travelers insurance, as your health insurance provider most likely will not cover injuries abroad. If you test positive for COVID-19 while abroad, companies like Covac Global will guarantee your return home. Covac Global specializes in pandemic evacuation and crisis response.

5. Domestic airfare prices have skyrocketed.

When the pandemic began, airline companies lowered their ticket prices dramatically to stay afloat. Now that travel has resumed, prices have shot up, especially in the United States. For example, it is nearly the same price to fly from NYC to Florida as it is to fly from NYC to Germany. As you plan your vacation, note countries with increased travel will most likely have much higher travel costs.