It's a frustrating time to be a traveler. Many airlines, hotels, and travel consultants guarantee it's safe to book a holiday. Yet health authorities are urging you to stay at home.
Who's right, then?
Vaccination roll-outs are currently ongoing around the world, but when it comes to the recovery of recreational travel, we're a long way from getting out of the woods.
Although travel experts are hopeful that things will finally begin to open up again this year, how fast that happens will depend on where you are, where you want to travel, and whether the virus and its mutated strains can be kept under control.
Country-specific advisories have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also insists that remaining at home is the safest way to stop acquiring or transmitting Covid-19. More than 150 nations fall under the CDC's strictest Level 4 advisory, which says avoiding all travel.
The fact is, travelers are cautious about going back out there, even as vaccinations are getting more and more available. Interestingly, a recent Harris Poll survey found that only about half of Americans are planning to have the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them.
Approximately 1 in 5 do not plan to, and a fifth is uncertain, according to the survey conducted on behalf of the Coupon Cabin site.
Travel sentiment is so-so, at best. Travel Again, a group devoted to rebuilding interest in travel, estimates that travel confidence among leisure travelers fell from 2.63 to 2.61 (on a scale of 5) between November and December.
And business travelers feel the same thing.
If you've already had your two COVID-19 shots, you can possibly book a trip now. In fact, you've got a few months to take advantage of some spectacular travel offers. All-inclusive resorts, flights, and cruises are asking for your dollars. If you've had your shots, you can save some major travel money right now.
Keep in mind that you're always going to have to practice social distance and wear a mask. But your enhanced immunity ensures that you can drive, fly and stay in a hotel safely-again, as long as you abide by all relevant regulations.