Confused? There is an abundance of information floating around about travel right now. Much of it is truth based on current guidelines but there is also as much misinformation out there as well.
Part of what we do at GroupSource is to assist our clients in understanding travel guidelines. Pre-Covid we were able to send them to our website for an abundance of resources that help with everything from information about Visas and Passports to Travel Insurance. While we still point them in that direction, we have become detailed with those travelling internationally as well as those on domestic journeys.
There has been much confusion about vaccines and testing and the what and the where and the how. The new rules that were talked about from Washington DC have had severe push backs from the travel industry. Many believe that this already in place, but nothing as of yet has been formalized. Masks are a requirement still for your entire journey including the moment you step foot on airport property. Yet unless specified for some international travel, you don’t have to have proof of a Covid test or a vaccine as a rule.
It can be overwhelming.
For example, one of our groups is headed to a particular country that is open to international travel. They are going to be there for a number of days. They were advised that they would have to quarantine in that country upon arrival no matter their Covid status. Once it was unraveled it was only that they would have to provide a certificate stating that they were negative 72 hours prior to travel. They will be screened upon return but not tested unless a fever is present. Now another country requires the foreign passenger to be tested prior to departure and to pay a pretty hefty fee for the test. So it changes by country and also changes sometime from one day to the next as the numbers change.
Recently, we had a passenger that was travelling on an American based carrier halfway around the world. On the carrier’s website it was noted that they would have to be tested at their very first international connection. They called us panicked because they had to be in the destination country by a certain date. With confusing answers, our agency communicated directly with the international airport and found that the information on the carrier’s website was incorrect. Because it was a connection the passenger did not have to be screened unless they left the gate area. We were able to inform our client of that and also the carrier about the misinformation so that could also be corrected. Happily, the connection was as stated and they arrived safely to their destination.
This is the job of an agent, to not only book but to advise and to advocate. Someone once said that this is an archaic way of booking travel when you can go on line and do it yourself. That is one way of looking at it, but it has been our experience that when people self-book and run into issues they long for the assistance of someone experienced in the details of travel. We can work on things from a different position than the consumer can. Often it is our involvement that changes a situation or problem. While we aren’t miracle workers, we are trained professionals and if we don’t know the immediate answer, we will find it.
With the ever changing environment of Covid and the world in which we live, we hope and trust that we can assist you with your travel needs. The world is opening back up and soon this will pass and you will be prepared and ready to move as easily as you did before.
We have expanded and added an expertise to our arsenal that we will talk in detail about next month. It is an exciting time when you can plan forward into 2021 and 2022.
And speaking of our website, you should check it out! Lots of information and past blogs and a great search engine for specialized activities and tours to your destination can be found there. We are under construction on one page, but this time next month we can tell you what we are up to!
In the meantime, get out a pen and paper, find your destination and let us know how we can help. As we like to say “Let our experience be yours.” After all we have been helping people travel further for over 29 years.