DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the European Union opens travel for vaccinated Americans, the travel industry expects a surge in what many travelers are calling “revenge travel.”
The problem is– we are still living in a pandemic.READ MORE: 3rd Person Injured In Texas Drag Racing Crash Passes Away
There are rules and regulations surrounding what documents you need to safely travel and what tests you need to take to get there and back home.
This, however, is not stopping Texans from looking for ways to get away.
Valerie Reese with Strong Travel Services says spring break was a turning point. People were getting vaccinated and wanted to get out.
“You know, taking a little bit of control back from Covid like I’m going to take this trip, and I’m going to do it safely because we can,” she said. ” Kind of taking revenge on the last year that’s it’s been so hard for a lot of people.”
She’s been busy taking calls and booking trips after spending a year trying to cancel trips and get refunds.
“When you are isolated, you crave that connection, whether that’s across town to see your family across the country, or out of the country,” she said.
The new issue is confusion over travel rules and regulations. What documents do you need to show you are Covid-free? What verified records do you need if you are fully vaccinated?
They are different for every destination, and they change daily Reese says. “We hope there is a global standard soon,” she said.
For now, one simple “passport” to anywhere is going to have to wait. There is no one global standard recognized by all destinations. Instead, there are several options to show if you’ve been vaccinated and or had a negative Covid test. These records can be digital or on paper. Those which are stored in apps on our phone are often called “vaccine passports.”
If you are traveling to Europe, the European Union proposed the free “digital green certificate”— an app or document which could facilitate movement there.
Israel has its Green Pass which allows people to not only travel but also go to gyms, restaurants, and concerts.
Individual airlines are rolling out their own apps which track requirements for destinations and help travelers download the documents needed. United Airlines has a Travel Ready app. American launched its VeriFly app this year.
For example, if you’re flying on Japan Airlines, you’ll need the VeriFly app. If you are flying to Hawaii , on most airlines, you may need the Common Pass which is part of Hawaii’s Safe Travel Program.
Airline trade group IATA has launched its Travel Pass for dozens of its airline members.READ MORE: On 'Hell's Half Acre' Fort Worth Leaders Ignored Illegal Booze, Gambling As Money Ended Up In City Coffers
Microsoft and the Mayo Clinic made their own “verifiable copy of vaccination records.”
Meanwhile, many people have the paper card they received when they were vaccinated.
One global standard appears to be a distant goal says Victoria Walker, a senior travel reporter at ThePointsGuy.com
“The U.S. government has said that they’re kind of hands off on the side a of a digital health or vaccine passport,” she said. “They are leaving that kind of implementation or roll out of vaccine passports, out to the private sector.”
Walker says so for now it is best to make a travel folder on your phone to keep all the apps in one place, such as the wallet you may have for airlines, hotels, or your favorite coffee spot.
Secondly, know what you need for where you’re going. This will require researching requirements for tests, vaccinations, or quarantines.
And know those requirements change daily. You might want to work with a travel consultant or double check the rules often.
Walker also says take a photo of your vaccine card in case you lose it. Also, put it in a plastic sheet protector or holder.
Consider using points for flights or hotels as prices are going up and inventory is down.
“My biggest recommendation is if you have a destination in mind. I would lock in that trip as soon as possible,” Walker said.
Valerie Reece says be flexible with your dates and terms for flights and hotels.
And read the cancellation policies carefully.
Our experts say the best destinations to travel now:
–Greece and Ireland: With a vaccination, they require no tests or quarantines.
–Barbados: Vaccinated travelers get a shorter quarantine.
–Mexico, Caribbean, some South American countries, and Hawaii are popular destinations because of their lax quarantine rules right now.
As for places our experts say won’t see much travel in 2021.
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–India and other parts of Asia- where the number of cases remains so high
–And, Canada where the borders remain closed.
The travel experts say don’t forget– if you leave the United States, remember you will need to show a negative Covid-19 test to return.