Trending Travel Words
Lots of words swirling out there when it comes to travel. If you have spent any time researching your next adventure or wanderlust on social media here a few words you have probably seen again and again.
COVID-tested Flight. Many countries want to know you are COVID-free before entering their location. Travelers on COVID-tested flights can forgo the quarantine requirements by providing negative COVID test results with the airline before and during air travel. Most want to know that you are free from infection three days prior to arrival and on the day of arrival. The U.S. requires the same testing for all travelers including Americans who have traveled abroad. It is a good idea to make sure you know where to get tested in the country you are visiting before you go. Ask your travel advisor to make an appointment (if necessary) for you to avoid any complications that might arise with a language barrier.
PCR test (polymerase chain reaction). This is a COVID-19 test that detects active infections in a person. Currently, they are the “gold standard” in testing and what most countries prefer to use for entry requirements. Most PCR tests have a 72-hour delivery rate for results, but more sites are doing rapid testing that produces your results in as little as 30 minutes. Some “COVID-Tested Flights” require a combination of testing - usually one 72 hour PCR and two rapid tests. Keep in mind some countries want you to use specific providers for testing so it is always a good idea to check your destination before getting any test - don't just rely on what the airline requires. A good travel advisor always knows the testing requirements for each destination and/or knows how to get the answers you need from a trusted source.
Sustainable Travel. While this term is nothing new to the residents of overcrowded tourist areas (think Venice, Rome, Florence), the term has been introduced to many travelers during the pandemic. The travel business impacts a community -and the world for that matter, both positively and negatively. Yes, tourism props up many economies and supports many local residents. But over-tourism can affect local traditions and cultural sites. 25 years ago I was able to visit the Sistine Chapel and not have anyone within ten feet of me while I contemplated the richness of what was all around me. I could be truly present in the moment. Now you are shoulder to shoulder with other tourists from the moment you step in. It takes away from the experience that I think Michelangelo wanted to pass along to those in the presence of such Holiness.
Sustainable travel is the responsibility of the consumer as well as the provider. The pandemic-induced lockdown has produced travelers wanting more meaningful experiences and suppliers (myself included) looking for ways to provide impactful learning, significant conversations, and lasting relationships.
Slow Travel. Often combined with sustainable travel, slowing down the process of travel increases the level of experience. Staying longer in one place allows the traveler to engage with the residents and create a deeper understanding of the local culture. Staying longer in one location helps the local economy as well. The best example is the throng of day-trippers from a large cruise ship who come into Venice for a few hours spending money at a museum, a souvenir shop, and maybe a restaurant. The souvenir shop right in front of the ship which is most likely owned by a non-Italian and the restaurant with a menu in English caters to tourists - believe me they know the tourists want a fast meal and a cheap memento, neither of which is authentic. And many have written of the non-sustainable impact such a large ship itself has on the marine life in which it is parked.
When you spend more time in one location - you are putting down roots in a city, village, town - you name it. You have time to not only see the “must-see” spots but also wander down the side street. Taking your time means you don’t have to worry about getting lost. You get to take your time and really be present in the neighborhood, talk to the owner of the restaurant, ask the artisan about his studio. Taking time to engage with the locals allows you to understand them and their traditions and also gives them a better understanding of us and our culture. (Who wants to be perceived as the “pushy, entitled Americans, not me.)
For updated COVID-19 travel information regarding Italy click HERE.
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