Many people avoided traveling during the summer of 2020 in an effort to stay safe and conserve funds at a time when the economy was still pretty shaky. This summer, more Americans are looking to travel, and if your personal finances are in order, you may be eager to board a plane and cross the ocean over to Europe.
The good news is that many European countries are welcoming U.S. tourists. The bad news is that due to COVID-19’s Delta variant, which is now wreaking havoc across the globe, some countries are imposing added restrictions.
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Nightlife may be off the table
According to CNBC, a number of European countries are issuing new guidelines in an effort to prevent the Delta variant from spreading. In parts of Spain — namely, Catalonia and Valencia — new restrictions were announced that include the closing of most nightclubs. The tourist-heavy regions are also imposing capacity limits on social gatherings.
Meanwhile, in an effort to keep the Delta variant at bay, the Netherlands announced late last week that it would have to reimpose rules on bars and restaurants and close nightclubs altogether, just days after they were reopened.
On a related note, the Wall Street Journal reports that France and Greece have both announced plans to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for healthcare workers. And France will only be allowing those who are vaccinated to enter bars, restaurants, and malls.
Know the rules
If you’re hoping to travel to Europe this summer, familiarize yourself with the restrictions being imposed by any country you want to visit. For example, Spain has reopened but is only allowing Americans who can provide proof of vaccination. (There’s an exception for children who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated, but they’ll need to present a negative COVID test to be allowed in.)
Read up on each country’s rules carefully before you make any plans. You may also want to work with a travel agent, who may be more familiar with the most up-to-date regulations and requirements.
You may end up incurring extra expenses if you travel to Europe this summer, especially if you visit a country that requires you to quarantine for a period of time upon arrival. That’s why it’s important to map out a detailed budget for your trip. Understanding your costs could help you avoid being driven into debt.
At the same time, it pays to use a travel rewards credit card when booking your travel. The right card might help you accrue extra air miles and hotel points while also offering money-saving perks like free checked baggage.
Finally, you may want to consider buying trip insurance for your European adventure, even if you’re booking your trip with a travel rewards card. Make sure to read the fine print of that policy carefully to see what its COVID-related coverage entails.
If you opt to visit Europe this summer, it may end up being a different experience than what you imagined. Understand what restrictions you might face so you can determine whether it’s worth it to take a trip now or perhaps wait until things improve.