Travel as we once knew it is gone. The timeline for its full-fledged return is uncertain.
However, humans are curious creatures filled with wanderlust, and as the current pandemic begins to clear, we will return to the road. Cautiously, at first, but return, we will.
I created a resource guide for when you feel ready to dip your toe back in the water. Safe travels!
Type in your destination, and you’ll receive travel advisories issued by the U.S. government. There’s a ton of additional information as well, covering each country’s visa requirements, local laws, and the quality of their health care.
Want a second opinion? If one travel advisory is not enough, the Australian government provides them as well.
Traveler’s Health – CDC
Where are you going? Type in your answer and the CDC provides you with detailed health-related information, including recommended vaccines and if there are any health notices.
Everything you could ever want to know about COVID-19 and other diseases. The CDC website also includes important food safety alerts.
Coronavirus and Travel in the United States – CDC
The CDC covers coronavirus and travel in the U.S.
World Health Organization
Coronavirus news, advice, and country-specific information delivered by the WHO.
A wealth of information, including best practices to avoid coronavirus and a self-assessment tool to see if you should get a COVID-19 test.
U.S. Travel Association
A helpful resource if you are concerned about taking a trip and would like to know what the travel industry is doing to protect travelers.
The New York Times – Summary of States That Are Open
A self-explanatory guide that is continuously updated by the New York Times.
National Park Service
If you’re planning a trip to a national park, this is the website for you – a list of openings, closures, and alerts.
A list of over 800 tourist attractions around the world. Information includes the attraction’s current status, opening date (if known), and the safety measures that are in place.
Enter your destination and currency to find the cost of everyday items. You can search by city or country. Prices on meals, hotels, taxis, and coffee! A pint of beer is going to cost me $1.47 in Botswana. How did I know? Numbeo!
Detailed currency exchange, so you know how much your trip is going to set you back.
In the age of coronavirus, you may feel the need to insure every aspect of your trip. Don’t do it! Try to dispassionately determine your needs and find a policy that will cover losses that would be a significant burden if they occurred.
Research insurance plans, get quotes, and compare reviews.
The Points Guy – “The best travel insurance policies and providers.”
This is an outstanding article reviewing travel insurance providers by the respected website – The Points Guy.
If you’re leaving the U.S. and you have Medicare, you are only covered for emergencies in very limited situations. Check out this government site for details on Medigap for additional coverage.
Getting from Point A to Point B
Detailed information to help you get between any two places, and includes subways as well. The site has a fantastic Covid-19 resource and gives you links to local government websites where you are traveling.
Their tagline – “Discover how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry & car.” It lives up to its name and can be used alone or in conjunction with Google Maps to compare results.
The Man in Seat Sixty-One is, well…the Man! A fantastic resource for train travel around the world put together by train-enthusiast Mark Smith.
Trains, buses, flights, and ferries. Omio will provide you with a transportation schedule in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Additional locations will be added in the future.
Kayak is my go-to travel search engine for flights. It is amazingly flexible and simple to use.
If you book a long flight without consulting SeatGuru first, you’re begging to sit in a seat that doesn’t recline near the bathroom. SeatGuru highlights the best and worst seats on each flight. Find the right seat in coach, and it will feel like you’re in first-class – sort of.
The Points Guy – Review of Travel Credit Cards
The Points Guy has your back with this discussion of the best travel credit cards. Each situation is different, but after reading this article, you should have a good idea of what makes sense for you.
International Phone Plans
Reviews.org – Best International Cell Phone Plans
A thorough guide to U.S. phone operators and their international plans. All cell phone carriers are not created equal when it comes to international options and pricing.
Are you looking forward to standing in line with a mass of humanity for hours at a time?
Answer before coronavirus: “No!”
Answer after coronavirus: “Hell, no!”
Leave the long airport security lines for those poor saps without TSA Precheck. Keep your shoes on, leave the liquids in your bag, and prepare for stares of absolute envy – nirvana!
Speed through customs and avoid the lines when returning to the U.S.
You’re not getting anywhere quickly without your passport – a list of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions by country.
Hotels, things to do, restaurants, forums – TripAdvisor has it all. Are some of the reviews fake? Unfortunately, yes, but it is still my favorite place to find hotels. Gravitate toward the hotels with hundreds of enthusiastic reviews and a score of 4.5 or above, and you won’t go wrong.
Frommers’ top-ranked hotel aggregator/search engine for 2020, and lauded for its ability to find the best rate.
Places to stay and experiences. A good option for travelers looking for lodging a little out of the ordinary or potentially less expensive than traditional hotels. Fees can add up, however, so keep an eye on them.
I use TripAdvisor for restaurants in the same way I use it for hotels. It rarely disappoints.
On my first trip to Europe twenty years ago, I used a dog-eared copy of a Rick Steves’ book to find my way. I always appreciate the candor in his guides. His website has a ton of great information, including helpful forums.
A crowdsourced travel guide that covers a vast number of destinations around the globe.
“See the world through children’s eyes.” A resource for children that includes interesting information about things only a kid would ask, such as “What is the name of the bird on the Guatemala flag?”
The Weather Channel
If you want to know average temperatures and rainfall for your destination, this is the website to visit. It’s difficult to pack light if you don’t know what to expect on your travels.
Are cruises dead? I don’t believe it. They will be popular once again, but it might take some time. A website that combines a cruise search engine, reviews, and hundreds of articles in one place – not too shabby!
Type in your destination and viator will display a list of possible tours. Select categories to refine your search even further. Each tour has a rating and reviews. When you’re done with your search, book directly through the site.
TripAdvisor owns viator but is another good source for tour information and reviews.
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David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.