For fully vaccinated people, travel has opened up again. Many countries are welcoming visitors who are vaccinated. Others still require a negative COVID test, which shouldn’t be a big concern if you’ve already received a COVID vaccine. While there are various places to visit, there are also many popular locations that haven’t opened up to visitors.
Countries like New Zealand and Australia have no plans to reopen anytime soon. Other countries, like Singapore, have released reopening plans without any timeline attached. Then some places have announced a reopening date, only to push those dates back when cases in the area start to rise again.
While I don’t think anyone is making leisure travel plans to visit Australia right now, it’s not unreasonable for someone to look to make plans to visit Singapore or Bali that are several months away, even if they aren’t open at the moment. I’d make sure those reservations are refundable if the trip doesn’t happen.
But what do you do when you already have a trip planned to somewhere that hasn’t announced plans about reopening?
After originally postponing it at the end of 2020, we still have a trip to Japan planned for the end of the year. The country is getting ready to host the Olympics and I’m sure any future plans will depend on how that all turns out. At the moment, less than 5% of the population have received 2 shots but the country hopes to finish its vaccination program by November.
I’m not confident Japan will reopen its borders to international tourists, but I don’t want to cancel the trip for the following reasons:
- I may not be able to get this block of time off from work again. I requested this vacation time back in 2020. Not many people were thinking about vacations and it was easy to get off for 2 weeks at the end of 2021. The same will not be true for 2022 as people want to travel and have plenty of saved up vacation time.
- I doubt that I’ll find the flights I booked for the same amount of miles. I booked a flight in JAL business class with American AAdvantage miles and a return on ANA first using United MileagePlus. I don’t know if I’ll find saver award space if I’m looking for flights in 2022 or 2023.
- As we’ve seen, things can change quickly due to COVID. Just as places shut down seemingly overnight, the same thing is happening as areas reopen. If their vaccination program is effective and cases drop, Japan could decide in October that the border will reopen in November.
- While there are other places we want to visit, we want to see what will actually be open during our trip. No sense going somewhere if the only things we can do are things we’ve already done.
I’ll leave the trip on the books for now, but I’ll keep looking for other options. I want to get our first post-COVID international trip under our belt before I think about changing our second one.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary