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Even if you’ve been vaccinated, here’s how COVID safety rules can still block your travel plans.


You finally get the vaccine and are ready to roll by 2021. You can hug her for the first time in a year, and you are finally ready to go hiking Machu Picchu. Even newly issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees that travel is low-risk for vaccinated people.

Not too fast.

The CDC’s low-risk indication plus vaccination doesn’t play a major role in unlocking your dream vacation. With continuous international quarantine rules, capacity limits, complex testing requirements and more, avoid setting your heart on a vacation of dreams.

Here are some factors that can limit your trip, even if you’ve been vaccinated.

What could be limiting your big trip this year?

Immunization implementation is slow

While vaccine deployment may feel significantly slow (especially if you have less pecking order), The United States has the highest immunization rates of any country. With vaccinations taking place slowly, many countries are still working on the same preventative measures you took in 2020.

Closed and curfew

The indoor eating ban and the curfew at night can be stinging reminders of the past year. In many countries, those restrictions are still active.

Morocco has a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., which is expected to last until at least April 20. In Italy, the curfew goes into effect from at least April 30. , lasting from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. In some parts of Italy, restaurants are even more restrictive, and ice cream parlors are only open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. That won’t work when you’re late for the plane and want to eat gelato at 2am – leave dinner alone at 7pm.

Calming your expectations of activities. In Paris, the Du Louvre Museum and the National Museum of Eugène Delacroix were closed due to government restrictions. If your post-vaccination dream trip involves travel in France, you can pause until you can see the famous smile of Mona Lisa.

These are just a few examples from around the world and it is not possible to say how long these door locks will last. But even as the United States relaxes some of the coronavirus-related restrictions, some countries are moving in the opposite direction, reimplementing different lock and shutdown rules.

Storage limit

Even if restrictions do return, limiting capacities in both the US and abroad can make planning a challenge.

Example: The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
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requires you to reserve the specific amusement park you want to visit and due to the lower-than-usual attendance limit, it can be difficult to win over your preferred booking. As of early April, the Magic Kingdom – largely considered the center of the resort – has been fully booked on most days of the month.

To visit Walt Disney World, reservations are required to enter any of the four theme parks. As of April 1, there is no day of the month that all four parks are still empty.

See: Disneyland reopens this month: Get ready for less trips, no see and greet – and shorter lines

Ask yourself: Is your trip worth it if you can’t make it to the main attraction at your destination? If not, consider pausing it for a bit longer.

Entry requirements

Capacity limits and closures aside, some countries are not even open to tourists, vaccinated or not. For example, Vietnam’s borders remain closed to all foreign nationals with some exceptions and many European countries do not yet allow US visitors.

The once famous Soi Cowboy in Bangkok is still quiet on April 16, 2021, as Thailand continues to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases.

AFP / Getty Images

Thailand has reopened phased this month, but most tourists, even with vaccinations, can only visit certain provinces after a 10-day quarantine. As of 1 July, you can skip quarantine if you have been vaccinated, but only in Phuket. Phuket is great, but visiting this summer means you’ll miss out on other treasures of the country. Currently, the Thai government has said it is not expected to fully reopen the vaccinated tourists until January 1, 2022.

Other countries may follow suit.

Entry requirements vary by day and by country, so don’t assume you’ll be able to eat your weight in a piece of crispy burger on Boracay now that you’ve been vaccinated. The Philippines has the most stringent travel restrictions, as recreational hotel activities have been suspended.

Read more: The 10 countries Americans have vaccinated are allowed to travel – but it won’t be cheap

Requires check in to return to the US

Even if you are visiting a country with no travel restrictions, there is still a barrier to returning home: In January, the CDC issued an order that all tourists entering the United States must present proof Negative test results were performed within three days of returning on board the flight.

Do you really want to spend your final days on vacation monitoring a test facility? Instead of sitting at the poolside bar, sit in your doctor’s office.

It is not clear when this restriction will be lifted.

Some hotels are encouraging travelers with on-site testing. Example: from now to May 31, 2021, all Hyatt’s
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19 resorts across Latin America offer free spot tests for tourists to the US

If the result is positive, you’ll need to re-book your last-minute flight and find quarantine accommodation – it may not be the end of the vacation you are expecting.

Tips for booking a ride, even if you’ve been vaccinated

If you want to minimize the potential headaches and obstacles, you can pause your participation in the Soviet list or international travel for a little longer. This summer, consider a trip that is relatively easy to change or cancel, and think about domestic travel rather than international travel.

If you have committed to an international travel or another major vacation, take the following steps to ensure that it can be canceled with a full refund as close as possible.

Flexible flight booking and hotel booking

Many US airlines have eliminated the domestic change fee on most fares, and many major hotels offer no charge for bookings that are canceled at least 24 hours in advance. Some cruise lines even offer a full cash refund if you cancel the trip for coronavirus reasons.

Carefully read the cancellation policy on all paid bookings – and consider reservations only with companies with flexible policies.

Payment by credit card with travel insurance

Much Travel credit card offers cancellation and disruption insurance benefits, for which you may be reimbursed for eligible expenses for interrupted trips paid for with the card. Just knowing what qualifies for a refund is somewhat limited.

Also see: Travel in 2021: Can we expect good deals or hotel and flight prices to skyrocket?

For example, dislike traveling because you’ve read about some cases where the spike is not a good reason. However, getting sick (whether caused by coronavirus or another disease) is usually covered.

Consider a separate ‘cancel for any reason’ policy

You can expand your coverage even further by buying one travel insurance The policy includes “cancel for any reason” network coverage.

That will include non-refundable reservations no matter why you cancel, but there are a few trade-offs. It is usually more expensive than standard policies and usually only refunds 50% -75% of the cost of the trip.

The bottom line

Ultimately, it’s tempting to book your dream ride when the needle hits your arm. But while you may feel ready to sit in every theater in the West End, either London Hop aboard the cruise ship outside of Vancouver, those places are not necessarily ready for you.

For now, consider a vacation that is a bit more in tune with ongoing restrictions. If you want to leave the contiguous United States, head to the Caribbean, where you can avoid passport requirements in U.S. territories such as the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.

Continue reading: Other things that could seriously affect your next trip

Even if you feel like vaccines are your ticket to freedom, be realistic that most trips in 2021 will look very different from before the pandemic. If it’s a seamless, unrestricted vacation you’re after, wait a little longer.

More From NerdWallet

Sally French writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SAFmedia.

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