Thinking about travelling again? Missing the anticipation and excitement of visiting new places and meeting new people? The seemingly never-ending pandemic repeatedly has curtailed many people’s planned excursions, including those of retired teachers, which, of course, pertains to all members of NBSRT, encompassing those retirees who belong to the MARTA Branch. People are reluctant to travel for a variety of valid reasons, not the least being their personal safety, health and well-being. As nations begin to ease pandemic restrictions and open society on a broad basis, a significant percentage of people are reconsidering active travel, despite the fact that the coronavirus remains a potential risk to people’s health, worldwide.
If you are among those individuals who can no longer suppress their wander lust, and you are willing to pursue travel at this time, or during the coming months, in order to pursue your planned excursion(s) you will need to meticulously plan your journey to avoid pitfalls and complications. The world of travel certainly is not as it was a few short years ago.
First and foremost, if you are travelling abroad, you will need to be certain that your passport is up-to-date and not within six months of expiration. Available in a renewal format of either a five or ten-year-period, the latter is the better option, both economically and as a means of reassured convenience. First time acquisition procedures, as well as those for renewal may be found at Canada.ca. Be certain to make photocopies of your passport to have with you at all times while travelling, in the event that your original passport becomes lost or stolen. Having a photocopy will expedite the replacement process of your passport, which you will need for your return trip and entry into Canada. You may need a visa for some of the countries you wish to visit. Be certain to check the travel.gc.ca website for specific details and advisories for the county or countries you plan to visit, well in advance of your holiday, to ensure you have time to acquire a visa(s) if required.
Next, have you had your double Covid immunization shots, followed by the recommended booster? Being fully immunized is crucial before you consider cross any international border. With regard to this factor and the ongoing pandemic, it is wise to understand that mandates and regulations vary by country and are often fluid in nature. Consistency among different nations is not guaranteed and can change after your arrival or during your stay. Keep informed with the latest, valid information availabe.
Other critical components of your planning at the foundational level are: Do you plan on arranging and booking your own airline tickets, continental transportation and hotel reservations? Or, do you plan on using the services of a reputable and reliable travel agent? Yes, in today’s world of instantaneous technological connections, it is easier than it has ever been to complete your own itinerary details and reservations online. Just be certain to verify (and reverify) all reservation dates and details, as well as specific cancellation policy, before confirming your transaction. After you have completed each transaction, be certain to create two receipt files: one e-folder on your computer and one file folder of printed copies, which you will need to pack in your carry-on luggage and keep with you at all times during your trip.
With regard to a professional and experienced travel agent, it does cost more, for obvious reasons, but with a proven reputable agency and agent, you are guaranteed of specific details being procured for you, along with the reassurance that if something does go wrong, during your travels, you will have someone to assess and rectify the situation to your satisfaction. One strong example whereby a travel agent is of great benefit to saving huge amounts of time and unforeseen issues is with the reservation of Euro rail train passes. They have the skills and knowledge to obtain exactly the reservations you want. Ultimately, whether or not to go it alone or to choose an agent is entirely at your discretion. What type of holiday are you seeking? An all-inclusive category, or one whereby you pursue some of the holiday venues and daily elements are solely at your discretion? This, too, is dependent on how much autonomy you want regarding a multitude of daily decisions, versus just relaxing and indulging each day’s moments as they unfold. A decision, such as this, is predicated on what you are willing to spend and whether or not the higher price point of a fully packaged trip makes economic sense to you. How will you finance your vacation? Cash or will you use accumulated reward points which may be applied to costs incurred? This is something you need to decide before beginning the booking and purchase process of your trip.
So, now you have some thoughts to ponder and consider, should you be thinking sabout those first steps critical to any successful travel plan, but especially so, now. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, to be posted for your enjoyment and perusal, Sunday, April 3rd. Meanwhile, you have a bit of time to dream…