The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has transformed our day-to-day lives in ways most of us never could have anticipated. Everyone has been affected, but the travel industry has truly taken one on the chin. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on airlines, cruises and hotels.
People (understandably) are a little bit gun shy about climbing into an airplane and traveling to far-flung locales around the world. The prospect of potentially contracting COVID-19 in another location and bringing it home to loved ones is a real threat.
Combine that with the “stay-at-home” orders that have shut down a lot of tourist attractions worldwide, and it’s easy to see how international travel has lost a little bit of luster.
Travel – especially international travel – has never been more affordable
At the same time, international travel has never been as inexpensive as it is right now. People are snapping up week-long vacations at luxury resorts in places like Cancún, Mexico for $500 – representing savings of nearly 300% compared to pre-coronavirus prices – just check out USA Today’s article on this issue.
Other luxury resorts and international destinations are offering between 80% and 90% off discounts on pretty much all of their accommodations. These resorts are doing everything they can to tempt people into taking a trip. It seems as if they are falling just short of paying people to visit!
Industry leaders in the travel world are quick to mention just how cheap international airfare is these days, too.
The CEO of Moonfish (an organization responsible for analyzing global flight data throughout the travel industry) recently reported that flight prices are down across the board between 40% and 50% compared to historical averages, and many analysts believe we haven’t yet seen the bottom of just how low these prices may go.
So, if you have been getting a bit of cabin fever and are entertaining the idea of doing some international travel following the shutdowns, here are a couple of key pieces of information you’ll want to keep in your back pocket before you go adventuring.
How to find the best travel deals during the Covid-19 pandemic
Almost every single travel site out there – and pretty much every hotel and resort worldwide – is offering incredible deals on accommodations that may not ever happen again.
While most people are familiar with travel aggregator websites like Expedia and Travelocity, it might be a good time to try hotels and airlines directly. This cuts out the middleman and also allows you to ask some pertinent questions about traveling during the pandemic. This way you can reserve some amazing luxury international travel options a few weeks or a few months in advance, and also stay informed.
You may want to act fast
It’s impossible to know how long these deals are going to be available, just as it’s impossible to know how long things are going to be restricted because of the coronavirus.
If you’re thinking about taking advantage of cheap international travel—and can book far enough out in advance to avoid as much of this viral pandemic as possible—it may be worth snapping up these deals right now.
Staying Safe While Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As alluded to above, there are a couple of things you want to think about before you jump on board those deals. Here is what to look out for:
- Booking with reputable businesses that aren’t going to go under due to the coronavirus
- Verifying any cancellation policies to make sure you aren’t on the hook for accommodations or airfare you might not be able to take advantage of due to stay-at-home orders
- Try to confine your international visits to locales that are practicing social distancing and have success at containing and corralling the coronavirus
… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As always, do your research and due diligence before you commit to anything (particularly anything expensive), but now is a great time to book some great travel if you can book smart!