5 Painful Travel Mistakes to Avoid 2020-21

5 Painful Travel Mistakes to Avoid 2020-21:

#1 Mistake: Skipping travel insurance.

  • We still recommend “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance policies for 2020-2021. In light of the constantly changing landscape as to governmental restrictions at home and abroad, travelers are more likely to flight and other cancellations or schedule delays. However, read each policy carefully since some exclude coverage for the pandemic.

5 Painful Travel Mistakes to Avoid 2020-21:

#2 Mistake: Not keeping up with changing quarantine restrictions from both your destination and home country.

  • Beyond insurance issues, be aware that new quarantine and testing requirements can occur while you are away. If new tests are required, travel may be delayed up to 14 days. This can mean both new flights and lodgings plus penalties for changes last minute.

#3 Mistake: Not having a plan for easy access to emergency cash.

  • Have a plan for an emergency cash fund while away to cover unexpected transportation costs plus daily lodging and meals if you are delayed. On 9/11, I found myself stranded in Europe solo for 8 days. Each day I had to change hotel rooms since my booking was already completed leaving me with no place to stay. I also had unexpected costs for meals and local transportation. Lastly, in such an unprecedented experience, as I found,  it may be necessary to change flights possibly paying steep change fees. While insurance may be a big help on return home, typically you must pay upfront and wait to be reimbursed later.

#4 Mistake:  Not budgeting for cost overruns caused by last minute quarantines, border closings or flight cancellations.

  • Don’t overlook the possibility that while you are away your home country and/or localities may have new requirements as to Covid-19 testing and quarantine. Your 2 week trip may end up being 3-4 weeks.

5 Painful Travel Mistakes to Avoid 2020-21:

#5 Mistake:  When abroad, not having a Plan B for an alternate route to leave the country in an emergency.

  • If you are faced with border closings abroad, take immediate action and consider driving or taking a train/bus to the adjacent country. On 9/11, as noted above when I was stuck abroad, I found myself making daily pilgrimages to try to book a new flight to Washington, DC.  With all flights within the US grounded, my immediate (and only) plan was to get a flight to Canada. However, since Canada had 40,000+ US passport holders taking refuge in their Eastern provinces, they were not accepting additional US citizens. Not having an alternate exit strategy, I never realized I might have been able to book a flight to Mexico. While traveling overland from Mexico to DC would have been lengthy, it would have presented a practical option. The moral of this story? When faced with unexpected challenges on travel abroad, don’t overlook practical alternatives.

For more tips on contingency planning and travel insurance, see our detailed posts: 5 Travel Insurance Mistakes to Avoid After Thomas Cook, Adventure Travel Insurance: From Crocodiles to Cholera, 10 Tips for Choosing Travel Insurance.

For over 1,000+ tour/cruise operators and well-priced lodgings covering 20,000 trips, use our free search tool, the SoloTravelPricingTracker.net.

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