Returning to Travel

Many people are looking forward to traveling again after being confined to their homes for months, but are just not sure it is safe.

Throughout the pandemic, our vendors have done an excellent job of keeping travel advisors up to date with opening dates, as well as new protocols to keep guests and team members safe. Across the board hotels, resorts, cruise lines and theme parks have enhanced cleaning procedures, are checking temperatures of guests and staff and are encouraging social distancing.

While cruise lines are not ready to sail just yet, they are hard at work preparing to welcome guests back. Most cruise lines have suspended sailings through August, 2020. Here are some samples of what various cruise lines are doing in response to COVID-19.

Disney Cruise Line’s official statement is as follows:

Disney Cruise Line Coronavirus (COVID-19) Additional Information

Disney Cruise Line consistently receives among the highest public health inspection scores and has health and safety protocols in place. We also have a comprehensive plan that outlines protocols for managing illness and closely follow the guidance of public health officials. In light of COVID-19, Disney Cruise Line is operating at elevated cleaning and sanitation levels. Among the procedures currently in place include:Training for all of our Crew Members on how best to prevent the spread of illness on board.A health screening completed by all Guests and Crew Members to check for illness before they board the ship.Extensive cleaning and sanitation of high-traffic areas (e.g., handrails, doorknobs and elevator buttons) and children’s facilities.Cleaning of all staterooms twice a day and additional disinfection when necessary.Discontinuing self-service at buffet locations.Regular communication with Guests and Crew Members regarding how to prevent illness.Hand-washing stations and sanitizing wipes conveniently located throughout our ships.Medical clinics on our ships staffed with experienced doctors and nurses and stocked with supplies and medications to treat a variety of illnesses.

In addition to safety protocols, cruise lines are relaxing their cancellation policies. From 125% Future Cruise Credit to 100% refunds on canceled cruises, you can book with confidence that you will not lose your precious vacation dollars.

Disney Parks around the world are slowly opening (Disney World will begin its phased opening with select resorts opening June 22). Universal Studios Orlando is currently open.

Both resorts are employing similar policies to promote safety. Face coverings are required except when eating or drinking. Enhanced cleaning is taking place and social distancing markers are prominent throughout the parks. Additionally, Universal Studios is using a virtual queue for most attractions to reduce the number of people waiting in line.

Universal’s protocols are shown below.

The resort hotels are also undergoing extensive cleaning. While staying in a room, housekeeping is not currently being offered, but you are able to call and request any items needed. Rooms are sanitized and remain vacant for 24 hours between guests.

Caribbean Islands continue to open and welcome visitors back to their numerous resorts. Sandals and Beaches All Inclusive Resorts have introduced their 18 Touch Point Practice.

If you are looking for a vacation away from the crowds, rental homes, cabins and condos are definitely a popular choice right now. I recently sent clients to Gaitlinburg, TN where they stayed in a beautiful 3 bedroom cabin in the mountains. They had a hot tub, game room and private pool. They also had assurance that the homes were meticulously cleaned and prepared for their visit.

Anna Maria Island, Clearwater Beach and St. Augustine are all very popular choices right now for beach escapes.

If you are ready to travel, or if you want more information on what destinations are available to book and how they are keeping you safe, please contact me.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to use the FREE service of a travel agent. It is especially important during this uncertain time that you have an expert in your corner. People lost thousands of dollars on vacations they booked online through booking engines and spent hours and hours on the phone trying to rebook, get refunds or just get questions answered. That is a service I provide for my clients. I know who to call, I know what is being offered and I know how to help you get your vacation back on track!

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