Some countries are beginning to re-open even as the US is experiencing the most daily new cases. I’ve been considering my travel plans post-coronavirus and adjusting my expectations.
If you are considering booking travel or signing up for a new credit card please click here. Both support LiveAndLetsFly.com.
If you haven’t followed us on Facebook or Instagram, add us today.
Fewer Options… For Now
Last week I wrote about how one Sri Lankan writer touted the weakness of the US passport. I didn’t believe at the time and don’t believe today that the restrictions will last forever. It’s my opinion, for a variety of reasons the temporary limitations of the US passport will be short-lived.
While there were problems with the list in the piece I referenced, two key options exist. Some countries will allow Americans entry assuming a two-week quarantine (often self-imposed) is adhered to. For example, Croatia will accept either a two-week quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours.
The reality is that many countries won’t be able to stay closed indefinitely, even if COVID-19 continues to run rampant. Call it an ugly truth if you like, many countries around the world depend on American custom (both commercial and consumer) to operate and thrive. When countries are politically-safe to reopen to the US, they will, even if the virus hasn’t completely subsided in the US. Many can’t afford not to.
Speculating on the Future
Nations around the world will begin to allow Americans back into their countries initially with proof that travelers provide a negative COVID-19 test (though Croatia’s 48-hour rule could be tough to execute.) But I think they will also treat COVID-19 antibody tests as a suitable replacement for this document, though most antibody tests currently available simply show that a patient has been sick and overcome some form of a coronavirus, not necessarily COVID-19.
It’s my belief that countries will advise entrants without tests to self-quarantine but won’t have a practical way to enforce it. Hong Kong has required some to wear wrist bands, Indonesia requires visitors (not yet tourists) to wait out test results in government facilities. But I doubt many will go to these lengths.
Like many other travelers stuck at home during this period, I have continued to collect miles and points through credit cards that I believe will be valuable in the future. I have focused my efforts on Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards due to their flexibility and transferability to a variety of carriers. I have primarily focused on the American Express Platinum card and Chase Sapphire Reserve, both of which you can apply for here.
Adjusting Expectations, Travel Plans
My family secured a too-good-to-be-true deal to Hong Kong this spring. The territory has not adjusted entry permissions for Americans save one key differentiation: visitors can now transit Hong Kong Chep Lak International Airport. While my family could not stay in Hong Kong, at least not as a tourist unless we were willing to spend at least two weeks stuck in a hotel room (we are not) we could move on from Hong Kong elsewhere in Asia and that’s a tempting possibility.
Thailand is not an option yet for visitors, nor is Indonesia so the beaches of Bali and Koh Phi Phi are out. But if we are flexible we could transfer Ultimate Rewards points or Membership Rewards to British Airways to continue on from Hong Kong to the Maldives on Cathay Pacific (assuming the flights operate) which will welcome visitors from August 1st with no restrictions.
Unfortunately, using our Hyatt points would not be an option as the Park Hyatt Hadahaa is not yet scheduled for re-opening. However, the SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton not only has award space (with upgrades available for our dates as it stands now) starting at 66,000/night, but based on the number of room types open for booking we would likely have run of the hotel and secure an upgrade.
We could also consider a break in Portugal or Croatia, both high on my family’s target list but not places we had intended to visit this year. Portugal initially opened to Americans but adjusted entry requirements a week prior to enactment to allowing any nationals from countries that also welcome Portuguese citizens. The US essentially controls when Americans may return to Portugal by adjusting US restrictions on EU residents.
We’ve also considered refunding our Hong Kong tickets, waiting for another opportunity to travel abroad, and instead focusing on familiar places closer to home. My family is being more flexible than we normally would because we have to be. But that puts some of the fun back into travel: a leap into the unknown.
The coronavirus crisis is certainly not over in the United States but perhaps that makes a case more than ever for going abroad. While the situation is not over, we can plan for the future even if it’s uncertain.
What do you think? Where are you planning on going next? Would you keep the Hong Kong tickets we hold and find a new destination to connect onward? Is August still too soon to leave home?
Travel as we once knew it has changed forever not sure but certainly altered. As one that averages ( ‘D) 100K domestically and another 50K internationally for years to realistically think of travel internationally is just plain unadvisable to say the least. Until there is a solid proven vaccine in use your playing roulette with your health. I have in a past life served in the military in combat and “vested” many third world countries thus vaccinated to the point my arms looked like pin cushions yet many of us have issues now. Just saying.
Having said that I too am sitting here on a boat load of points worrying about expirations let alone “jonesing” on not be able to visit some much loved international cities.
Whatever is happening today will change tomorrow.
“Roulette” is a bit over the top for a virus that kills a fraction of a percent of those infected. I’ve had it and felt like the flu for 2 days, I am a 41/yo typical male. I now have my positive antibody test and plan on heading internationally to those countries that are open for leisure travel. The real travelers who don’t believe the propaganda portion of this will blaze the trail for the others and things will in fact be as they were despite the fear mongering.
With your attitude, hope your antibodies (2-3 months lasting per “the science”) are long gone by the time you get to your foreign destination!
Why is it so acceptable now to wish I’ll or death on those you disagree with? I’m assuming you are a leftist based on previous posts, the side that also tells us all how tolerant and moral they are. What happened to those leftists? Now we just have angry leftists who see nothing but victimhood. Your movement will implode.
Exactly WR2. Pretty sure UANYC is either Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper or Chris Cuomo.
Wishing death – GMAFB. I’m just saying said it would be karma for said poster to get Covid (a la the Oklahoma governor – too funny).
I’m calling out yet another “mask hoaxer / it’s just another flu” poster. It’s that same attitude that is going to get your Dear Leader you fawn over bounced on Nov 3rd.
I don’t understand the point behind your comment. We can’t just sit and hide in our houses forever; life will and has to get back to normal (or as normal as it can be). As the one post below said the chances of an end all be all vaccine is probably not going to happen so there will always be a chance to catch something and the vaccine is only half the solution because you still have to distribute and convince enough people to take it in order to be effective and there are to many anti-vaccine, government conspiracy people, people who don’t care, people who can’t afford it that won’t end up getting the vaccine IF and WHEN it becomes available (lets remember that SARS has no vaccine).
Hm. So, this this has a fatality rate of 0.5% . That’s gonna be about 1 to 1.5 million in USA after this is all done. Oh, and about 3 to 4 percent get hospitalized.
I am glad u felt fine. But did u ask those you infected how they were? Or did you just think this was about you only?
I’ll let C.S. Lewis Speak for me.
Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.”
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) C.S. Lewis
I didn’t realize the atomic bomb could have a vaccine, or maybe if it detonated at a slower pace, there could be more rotaprones, remdesivir doses, ECMO machines or more volunteers for plasma donations.
Have you counted how many people die each year of tuberculosis? Of hunger? And of medical malpractice? Not to mention the flu, WITH a vaccine? Or do those deaths don’t count? What a total covidclown you are. By the way, you’re speaking about 1.5 million deaths as if it’s some kind of certainty, which it isn’t, especially considering the ever-declining mortality rate, which is already low. But when emotion gets in the way of facts, even from supposedly “logical” grown men, this is the end result.
I personally look forward to being able to resume international traveling and finally bit the bullet on booking a trip to Istanbul last night for October. I am starting to get plans and ideas together for 2020 trips that were canceled that I want to redo in 2021. I feel similar to what the article was trying to convey and I find it ironic that I am now starting to see more of this topic in this area of “living” with the virus. While a vaccine will in my view make a world of difference and give a huge surge to the travel industry I personally do not think it is going to be a night and day change that some people are hoping for. Between the people who won’t get it for their own personal reasons and the effectiveness of the vaccine both in the long term antibodies and the short term immunity I think that this is a virus that we will be dealing with for some time and that wearing mask and having a subconscious reminder to wash hands and don’t touch high traffic items (railing, bathroom handles, etc) is what is going to be important.
Kyle, Portugal is most definitely NOT open to American tourists, unless you’re an EU/EEA/UK citizen. Iceland isn’t either. You should really edit this post.
Iceland was initially open to the US but has since rescinded it. Portugal also stated that the country would be open to the US, but has since altered its position to any nation that also welcomes Portuguese people; as the US restricts EU passengers right now, the US has excluded itself from Portugal. I will amend the post.
Kyle, yes, I know, I’m a U.S.-EU citizen. Thanks for amending the post.
So then it’s not about health, but about politics… welcoming my citizens so I’ll welcome yours. That alone shows what an absurdity this whole situation is, supported of course by plenty of people, like many in here, who gush over more and more restrictions.
What is your best guess as to how countries like Japan and Hong Kong will handle transit passengers with connecting flights requiring an airport change or an overnight hotel stay? I wonder if they might have dedicated transit only hotels near the airport with dedicated transportation there and back? I have a flight that requires an airport change from Haneda to Narita and at this point it seems I will need to cancel.
Hong Kong was utilizing airport hotels for those waiting for COVID-19 tests or quarantining, they may continue to do so for overnight connections – I couldn’t be sure. One passenger was just left in the airport for three months in a “Terminal”-style limbo. Japan is harder due to the co-hub situation of Narita and Haneda. You’ve asked me to guess, so I would say that JAL and ANA likely have some sort of bus service that keeps everyone contained yet out of entering the country. But it’s just a guess. I’d recommend calling your carrier for more info.
I agree with above comments about LIBERAL UA-NYC so intolerant of any views but his OWN!!!!
Enjoy being on the wrong side of history Dot! Latest national poll this week has Trump down 55-40 to Biden. You’re an increasingly small minority – have fun!
Again, the polls are MEANINGLESS if Dems are oversampled. HOW do you explain this? Idiot.
Wow, now you truly look like a clown…as one who works in this industry, you clearly don’t understand the concept of “weighting”.
Here’s a link – go educate yourself first – https://www.aapor.org/Education-Resources/For-Researchers/Poll-Survey-FAQ/Weighting.aspx
Oh please. Dems are wayyy oversampled no matter what you say or what excuses you make. You will lose. See you on 11/4 when you’re crying your snowflake tears. Biden has NO chance. The far left media propping him up is just MK uktra in action. Foh
Keep pretending it’s 2016 all over again! Must be nice to live in a make-believe world where Trump is just nonstop WINNING all the time and the virus is just going to disappear. LOL.
Thankfully the adults will be in charge again soon to clean up his 4 year mess.
Biden is an adult? Hiding in his basement with dementia? Dude you are seriously as brainwashed they come. So so sad. Wish there was a way to block you so I didn’t have to see your bs comments. The polls were wrong in 2016 and they are wrong again now. Nothing you can say will change that.
MAGA trolls like you have somehow found your way onto the travel blogs in the past couple years, even though you really don’t care about travel and add nothing to the conversation.
Looking forward to you and your ilk retreating to 4Chan, Reddit, or any other underground sites post-11/3 where you can rant about QAnon and the Deep State.
I’m not a troll and I love travel. YOU are the one who comments political comments on EVERY post fool. We are ONLY responding to YOU. Stop deflecting loser.
When your handle is “A”, that pretty much tells you how you can’t be bothered in having a “real” presence…I’ve been on this blog over a decade, faithfully reading and commenting on travel matters (until trolls like you, who magically appeared as of late, showed up).
Your handle is UA-NYC. How is that any different lmao. Give me a break, fool. No one cares how long you have been reading this blog or posting. All of these points are MEANINGLESS. Like you! We are only commenting because every post you make is a far left inflammatory comment. Sorry that you don’t like rebuttals. Loser.
Let’s see if and when you ever have a travel-related comment…I highly doubt it. Just like I doubt we’ll ever see you on this site post-11/3 when Trump goes down in flames (as the betting markets have pointed to in the past few months).
@Matthew – may have a Russian bot on the blog here, this troll seems to be stalking me…VFTW and OMAAT seems to have been infested w/them as of late.
I have made travel related comments. Now I’m a stalker lmao. YOU are the one posting inflammatory posts. Of course Matthew and Kyle see them. They may agree with your posts, I’m not sure, but they see them either way. We all do.
And your whole auto-trolling account started after I basically called someone out for basically saying this whole thing is a hoax. Apparently you agree with that position. Stay proud of yourself, keyboard warrior.
You’ve been commenting inflammatory political posts and making assumptions about everyone and their mother for months. What happened to when they go low, we go high? Foh. “Trolling” is your karma.
@A @UA-NYC – We love you both. You’re both from two different ends of the spectrum and that’s fine, we welcome all readers and commenters. That said, let’s call this one a truce for now.
Neither Matthew nor myself will shy away from controversial topics. We do our best not to take sides, though this is a blog and we are entitled to share our opinion if we so choose. Both Matthew and I have been called liberal and conservative, sometimes in the same post. We take offense to neither.
We encourage lively debate, it’s what makes this country great. But for now, let’s take all take a breath on this one and move on.
You got it Kyle – should be aware too said poster is also calling out the credibility of poster “AK” (who indicates they are an infectious disease MD, and who seems quite credible based on their posting) and outright calling them a liar.
Just calling out bad actors looking to sow discontent as I see it.
You are certainly a bad actor. You just can’t stop. Such a child.
Hey, UA, thanks for demonstrating this is about politics, not health. Now go away.
Your thoughts on antibody testing are inchoate and even the CDC fully admits antibody testing is unactionable information. Furthermore, more and more countries are resorting to pooled testing as they are running out of reagents and testing supplies. There is no COVID antibody strategy that will survive a test with reality, especially in high flux settings like passengers gaining entry into a country. This is all fiction and merely a verisimilitude of safety for countries desperate for tourists. Antibody and PCR based strategies will almost certainly not work.
Ok, sure… but how many more $.50 words do you have just waiting to depoly?
I just spit my martini out. Best riposte I have scrutinized in a fortnight.
My apologies, I shouldn’t assume I’m responding to educated people. I’ll give you slack, you probably hurt your mousing hand looking those words up.
I’m icing it now, how’d you guess?
Haha. Truce till the next article. I usually think you’ve got pretty good insight. This covid thing has you twisted a little tho. Don’t worry, it will be gone in about 18 months or so, I think. Hang in there, the boom will come back, but unfortunately end of 2021 or 2022. The virus is in control, not us. If you are frustrated, imagine how I feel. I am an infectious disease MD in a hospital and I can’t give details, but we are running out of supplies and the amount of destruction is so vast. I know you can’t see it from the outside, but it’s tragic. We are mostly powerless, all of us.
LMAOOOO like anyone believes you are an MD.. stop with the lies please.. hysterical!
A few of the places that looked to have it well under control, eg, Australia, Bali, Hong Kong, Israel, Scotland…are now experiencing a significant upswing. Maybe Tokyo and Korea as well.
I think you overstate the value of US tourism to some countries. Excluding Canada and Mexico, plus a few countries in Central America, no one’s going to go broke if US tourists don’t return soon.
I’m not in any great haste to travel again; I’ve reconciled to the fact that 2020 is off and even early 2021 might be optimistic.