Earlier this year at the beginning of the pandemic it was difficult to imagine leaving our homes let alone traveling anywhere or getting on a plane.
In the last few weeks though, there is a move towards reopening with several countries announcing their intention to welcome back tourists. Just a couple of weeks ago both Iceland and Portugal announced that it would welcome back visitors starting at the beginning of June. People immediately began making trip plans and envisioning the idea of having some of the hottest tourist spots to themselves. A Blue Lagoon with lots of space to splash or an empty beach in the Algarve made for a rush to purchase plane tickets and book hotels.
However both these countries substantially changed the what, who and when of what they would allow creating havoc for those that had booked tickets. Iceland pushed back it's plans to reopen to mid June and subsequently announced last week that it would only be open to visitors from other European countries in the Schengen zone (so not even open to all Europeans). Portugal has since pushed back it's opening to early July and is prohibiting Americans from visiting at this time.
While it's encouraging to see countries prepare to reopen their borders information has proved to be limited and target reopening dates keep moving. Given this lack of information and moving target of dates any plans you make should be based on refundable reservations for airlines and hotels. It's important to understand the fine print before you make any plans and to stay flexible putting together a trip.
Even in the US there are several states that are no longer welcoming out of state visitors. Maine, Vermont and Hawaii have a strict 14 day quarantine rule for all those who enter from out of state. Alaska made headlines last week after announcing that they will require all visitors to prove that the have tested negative for Covid-19 with in 72 hours of arrival. This mirrors a growing trend with those places that are welcoming tourists around the world.
So the best thing you can do right now is to book something closer to home. Many people are looking to visit National and State Parks which have reopened with limited capacity and most public facilities closed. Home rentals are going fast with many beach locations already sold out.