Travelers try to navigate changing restrictions, mandates | Coronavirus
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) – Planning a family summer vacation is becoming difficult as restrictions return due to COVID-19 hotspots in the United States and abroad.
Travelers are feeling the effects of mandate changes, leading some to abandon their plans while others move forward with their getaways.
JoAnne Weeks, director of the vacation division at Acendas Travel, says stress-free travel is rare. That’s why she takes the pressure to plan the perfect vacation for her clients. The pandemic has created even more obstacles with guidelines, restrictions and mandates changing at all times.
“In 25 years, I’ve never told people ‘don’t go’ or ‘wait until next year’, but right now it’s okay,” Weeks explained.
Weeks began planning Trent Guyer’s family vacation in 2019, ahead of the pandemic. The family of five had big plans for an African Safari adventure but have already had to postpone several times. Last week the airline canceled their flight and Weeks had to scramble to book them within weeks of the scheduled departure date.
“We joke that by the time we can finally go there, if that doesn’t happen this year, our children could be moved out of the house,” said Guyer, who stressed that he will not be convinced until his family is on the plane to South Africa.
During the holidays, the family will have to take several COVID-19 tests due to restrictions in South Africa. Trent, his wife and their 14-year-old are fully vaccinated, but their youngest, 9 and 11, are too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
While international flights can be more difficult to navigate, domestic flights also experience restrictions in some areas. Bride Angela Jackson-Sampel had planned to honeymoon with her husband in Hawaii in June. The couple searched the island for warrants and found a website stating that the only requirement was a full vaccination.
“It was the night of our wedding that one of the guests came up to us and said, ‘Oh my God, where are you going on your honeymoon?’ and I was like ‘Hawaii.’ He said to me, ‘Oh, so you have a test?’ Jackson-Sampel remembers.
The couple had a quick CVS test the day after their wedding and left for Hawaii the next day. Upon arrival on the island, airport staff told them they needed a COVID-19 PCR test from specific locations and taken within a certain amount of time. The couple were forced to leave the island or quarantine themselves for more days than expected. After the rental company denied them the car they had paid for and the hotel denied them a room key due to restrictions, they opted to re-route to San Diego.
Weeks says she’s heard stories like Jackson-Sampel’s and says it’s difficult even for the avid traveler to navigate the changing restrictions.
KCTV IS FOR YOU
Here are some tips to consider when planning your honeymoon or vacation this summer.
- Subscribe to US Department of State Travel Alerts. Depending on where you are traveling, you will receive updated information if the requirements change.
- Plan ahead. Book car rental and hotel stays well in advance.
- Strongly consider purchasing travel insurance.
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