Tag Archives: travel agent

International travel in uncertain times

My husband and I, like many other people, have been desperate to travel. Our trip from the US to Scotland has been postponed since Covid reared its ugly head in 2019. A couple months ago it began looking like the pandemic would soon be in the rearview mirror, so we snagged some airline tickets and booked our gas/food/lodging. Then, Covid bounced back with yet another variant and our trip has turned into a house of rearview mirrors.

There are so many things to consider now that travelers never had to think about before:

  • Are the places we want to visit even open?
  • What are the local mask mandates and what’s the current mask status for US airports and flights? Will it change … again? Should I wear a mask anyway, even if I don’t have to? Will my fellow passengers behave like a-holes if I do or don’t wear one?
  • Will any of my flights be cancelled? The airlines are having a hard time staffing and flights are being cancelled left and right. Our airline, specifically, has flights falling off the schedule like dominoes.
  • If we are cancelled, what’s our Plan B?
  • Will we be able to get to the other terminal and through the passport/security check between our connecting flights in time, since so many other people are traveling now as well?
  • How the heck do we get that damned required Covid test to re-enter the US?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We also have to test at home before we go, not because it’s legally required to travel to the UK, but because if either of us test positive, we can’t/won’t go. Thank goodness we bought travel insurance (this is our first time doing so … previously, we took our chances and always got lucky).

Then, by law, we have to test negative the day before our flights home in order to return to the US, which means we have to figure out how/where that works. I’ve read so many conflicting reports that it seems there is no standardized method. This makes my head hurt and definitely takes a lot of fun out of the trip.

Then, if we do test positive, we have to figure out what to do, where to stay, how to pay for it? Yes, travel insurance is our friend, but that’s not immediate relief. We have to have a Plan B set up for this possibility.

Chances are very good that we will not get infected: we’re both vaxxed and boosted, and we both had Covid this year. So, yeah, slim chances, but never say never with this virus. Expect the unexpected — make like a Boy Scout and be prepared.

Here are a few helpful hints I’ve discovered:

  • Working with a travel agent is a huge stress reliever. Rickesia Macon of K.I. Home & Away has been a godsend.
  • Hang out in Facebook travel groups. They are populated with people who are in the exact same boat, and are happy to share information and advice.
  • An app called TripIt looks really helpful. Enter your trip info and you and your traveling companions will each have it handy, on your phones. I haven’t used it yet on an actual trip, but it’s filled in and ready for even my tech-challenged husband to use!

One week from this moment, God willing and the creek don’t rise, we’ll be drinking a pint in an Edinburgh pub. Meantime, I’ll keep you posted if/when I discover any more helpful hints.

Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author whose “day job” is as a Program Host at The Shift Network, where she hosts summits on ancestral healing, life after death, and intuition and medicine.

Her most recent book is a metaphysical comedy novel entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.