AAA TRAVEL UPDATE: MASKS, CRUISING AND THE RETURN TO EUROPE
Providing a news update on the Return To Travel
ATLANTA – GA., (May 19, 2021) – New travel opportunities and destinations seem to be reopening by the day, especially for Americans with a flair for international travel.
- Wednesday, the European Union agreed to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions, which will eventually allow vaccinated Americans to visit top destinations like Athens, London, Paris and Amsterdam.
- Travel to Italy is also reopening for Americans who fly in from select US airports. These travelers would not have to quarantine if they are able to provide a negative COVID test either upon arrival or 48 hours before their trip.
- Viking River Cruises announces their return to the water.
“Some of the world’s top destinations are reopening their doors, delighting both travelers and travel providers alike,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Announcements like these pave the way for the return to touring, river cruising, fine dining, museums, sightseeing and the other unforgettable travel memories we’ve all missed making over the past year.”
“Still, with so much pent-up travel demand and supply limited by important health precautions, it’s more important than ever to work with a travel advisor like the ones at AAA. Things are changing by the day, and these experts can help you navigate through any new restrictions or protocols that may be in place. Time is of the essence. If you’re thinking about heading to Europe, just remember, lots of other people are too.”
CDC Unmasks More Travel Potential
Last week’s CDC decision to ease mask mandates in the US could create even more optimism among Americans, who were already motivated by widespread vaccinations. Because of this, travel volumes could exceed AAA’s initial forecast of 37 million American travelers this Memorial Day. However, travelers should know that Americans are still required to wear masks on public transportation like trains, planes and when traveling through airports. Travelers can see how Covid restrictions could impact their trip by visiting TripTik.AAA.com.
Positive Currents for Cruising
The planned reopening of various European destinations has encouraged cruise operators like Viking River Cruises to announce their return to the water. Viking River Cruise itineraries provided by AAA – The Auto Club Group have sold out within 48 hours of posting.
Currently in the United States, major ocean liners are awaiting the green light to resume cruising from the CDC. Although current guidance allows ships to operate with a limit of 200 passengers, most major cruise lines are operating out of non-US ports. Even as an official return to sail date remains unclear, Americans are booking cabins where they can.
“Cruise bookings with AAA for 2022 are 140% stronger than what we saw in 2019,” Haas continued. “Cruise demand is huge, but availability is scaled back, which has led to higher pricing. As cruising comes back it’s not going to be about last minute deals, but whether you’re able to find an open cabin, even if it costs twice as much as it did pre-Covid. We recommend booking early to get the best rate and secure your spot on the ship.”
While cruise lines hope to get back up and running soon, they likely won’t launch their full fleets until next year. New cruise itineraries are constantly being updated, which reemphasizes the value of working with a travel professional.
Whatever your plans, AAA encourages Americans to consider travel insurance. There are various coverage options to protect you from unexpected circumstances before and during your trip. If there’s anything the pandemic has taught the world, it’s that you have to be prepared for the unexpected.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.