BY MELISSA MACKEY
Melissa Mackey is no stranger to travel. With 17 years in the industry combined with a wealth of worldwide globe trotting, Melissa has seen it all. She shares her insights and advice about travel as we now know it. As borders begin to open and restrictions start to lift, this travel veteran doesn’t expect the travel & tourism industry to hit all-time highs in Canada until late 2022.
There is still hope for future travelers. One thing she stands behind is booking with a travel agent. An agent, especially within these uncertain times, saves you so much time, energy and often times even the pocketbook. Navigating the travel landscape can feel daunting, overwhelming, and confusing from a typical consumer’s perspective. This is one of the main reasons Melissa suggests booking with an agent. An agent helps you prepare for your trip and can certainly provide the most relevant and up-to-date information regarding the ever-changing covid protocols and more.
The new normal for travel in the short term, is that guests can expect a cleaner, safer experience. Mask wearing is now standard. New travel protocols shouldn’t deter you from booking your much-needed vacation. Travel is and will still be at the top of many people’s to-do lists and travel is encouraged for so many reasons.
Tour operators, hotels, cruise lines; travel companies and groups are protecting travellers with decreased group size limits and enhanced cleaning protocols in destination. Positive changes prior to and while onboard airplanes include a substantial increase in the quality of air circulation. Inside the cabin, the air quality here is now considered almost better than anywhere on earth. There’s also an increase in the cleaning/sanitizing of seats, table trays and public areas on both the planes and inside the airports
Some things to keep in mind when travelling nowadays are to make certain you give yourself ample time before your flight. Don’t leave your house without travel insurance or your mask. Expect longer wait times at the airport. Be prepared and don’t forget to download the ArriveCan app prior to entering back into Canada. ArriveCAN is a user-friendly digital tool to help travellers comply with Canada’s border measures quickly and securely. Within the 72 hours before your arrival in Canada, ArriveCAN can be used to submit:
- your contact and travel details, including where you’ve been and where you’re going
- your COVID-19 vaccination information
- your pre-entry COVID-19 test results
- your quarantine plan; and
- your COVID-19 symptom self-assessment
Beginning November 30, as the government stated, all travellers leaving Canadian airports will need to provide proof of full vaccination from approved lists. As of now, we don’t know the protocols beyond November 30. This program begins October 30 and there is a 30 day grace period whereby, those who do not qualify as fully vaccinated can provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of flight in order to board a plane.
Melissa encourages people to book now if they want to travel because supply is limited. Many trips that have been cancelled in 2020 have been rebooked for 2022 and beyond, which also leaves less availability for future travellers. The world is changing rapidly. Yet for some, travel is everything and travel is life. So, as long as you are prepared, flexible, patient and educated as required, you should still be able to live out your travel dreams.
As the quote by Anthony Bourdain states, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Melissa Mackey (Herweier) is a CEO, published author, motivational speaker and specializes in all things travel including female group retreats and solo female travel. You can reach her at travelchicks.ca