Enjoying Your Options

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

During this Covid period I have been stressing the importance of using travel experts, giving tips on how to build your businesses stronger, and create a bigger clientele by promoting how good you are.

Now (if you haven’t started already) it is time to show your prospective and regular clients where they can travel and feel good about it.

Before I give you the list of countries that you can offer them, let me make two observations:

1) I see that the younger generation is very protective towards their seniors. When Covid started, my husband and I became very protective of my 90-year-old mother in law. She is very independent and got very depressed from being confined inside her home. She told us she would rather go to the supermarket and take the risk of dying even after taking all the necessary precautions, rather than being miserable at home all the time. We listened to her wishes and going to the supermarket makes her very happy, and so far, she has been very healthy.

Keep this in mind when talking to your clients. If they take the proper measures, they can enjoy life and be happy, despite their loved ones worrying so much.

2) If you haven’t heard yet, there are flights and cruises to nowhere for those who want to just “put their toes in the water” but are not yet ready to go swimming.  Check those out, see where they are available, and maybe you have the kind of clients interested in that.

Now, a list of countries where US citizens don’t need to quarantine. This list can change at any time, so make sure it is accurate before booking your clients.

Where US citizens can visit with no testing or quarantine required

Note that though a test isn’t required, you may be tested upon arrival (randomly, or if you’re showing symptoms) and asked to isolate until you get your results. If you’re sick and do need to quarantine, it may be at your own expense.

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Brazil (health insurance covering Covid is required)
  • Dominican Republic (passengers will be randomly selected for a breath test)
  • Kosovo
  • Maldives (confirmed hotel required)
  • Malta (only if you spend 14 days in an approved country first)
  • Mexico (travelers must arrive by plane)
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Tanzania (health screening may include a test on arrival)
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

Where US citizens can visit with a negative Covid test and no quarantine required

Testing rules are all over the place. Some countries require a negative test from the last 72 hours while some allow tests that are five days old; some require a test before you board, and others test on arrival. In some countries, a single test is all that’s needed and in others you may need to be tested again depending on the length of your stay. Bottom line: check each country’s requirements carefully.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Armenia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Costa Rica (only visitors from select states are allowed)
  • Croatia (with proof of booked accommodation)
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • French Polynesia
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya (travelers from California, Florida, and Texas must quarantine for 14 days)
  • Montenegro
  • Rwanda
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Barts
  • St. Maarten
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The Seychelles
  • Turks and Caicos

Additionally, Belize, El Salvador, and Namibia have announced plans to reopen soon. Unfortunately, at this time there’s no word on when other countries, including those in the EU, may begin welcoming Americans again.

Bon Voyage!

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Is it time now?

Dear All,

For those who feel resilient and uplifted, this is not a blog for you!

I am writing to those who are truly feeling “When is this going to be over?” “What is really the new normal?” “What facts do scientists know?” “Am I going to be happy again?” – and thoughts like that.

If you are asking any of the questions above, despite what you tell others or post on your social media, I recommend you read this. Feel free to comment, like it, or “pretend” you didn’t see it 😜.

For those who feel sad, let me tell you that you are not alone. Psychiatrists and psychologists are working full time. Divorce attorneys are being called, people are gaining weight and drinking booze like there is no tomorrow. The sales of cigarettes and vapes is going up. Americans are not welcome in lots of countries because of Covid, so traveling is prohibited for those who used to travel to recharge from stressful times.

I encourage each of everyone to verify the information I’ve provided. Check which countries prohibit Americans flying into them, especially those that have safer levels of Covid. Check how psychiatrists and psychologists are busy dealing with patients.  Also see the news about the increased sales of booze, cigarettes and vapes.

Let me give you the good news now: Everyone who was born without the gene called “patience” and have a hard time “seeing” the light at the end of the tunnel, should remember that time will pass and when we all least expect it (even though it seems like light years from today) we will be in a much better place!

Cheers and God bless you!

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Testing on Cruises

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

We have good news to share about rapid tests being approved for cruise lines once they reopen for the United States. This is really the silver lining for cruise lovers.

So far, cruise passengers have experienced 3 different approaches:

1- The one we have all heard about has no tests, only temperature checks and passenger screening questions: the most famous case of this was the Hurtigruten cruise line outbreak where many got Covid and they had to cancel all cruises.

2- When testing 72 or 48 hours before a cruise, many found out about their results once they had already sailed out. One cruise line partner of RCL had a passenger who got positive test results for Covid once they were already arriving in Alaska. They had to come back. Once they retested everyone, even the person who got positive results was then negative (false positive) but by then, they had already cancelled all their Alaska season.

3- MSC was checking all passengers before embarking and since the test did not have rapid results, the boarding was taking over 3 hours. Once everyone was on the cruise, all passengers were kept in a bubble, meaning all excursions could only be done by the cruise line. There was one French passenger who tested positive for Covid, and his embarkation was declined, together with his whole family.

Royal Caribbean group, including Celebrity, Silversea and Azamara stated that they very likely will be using the rapid test. Norwegian will be doing the same.

Carnival Group was less explicit about what they will be doing but they are already using rapid tests for Costa Cruises (Italy) and Aida Cruises (Germany).

Virgin will definitely use the rapid tests.

We should keep in mind that rapid tests are never 100% accurate; with a false positive all your group can miss the embarkation, and most Travel Insurance policies do not include missing a trip because of Covid.

I predict that cruises will come back even better than before, and cruise lovers will be able to enjoy life at sea!


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What is your journey?


Dear All,

Life is a great journey and a beautiful trip. We are in charge, and we create own journey and our own trips (safely, and with the help of experts).

We are not in this life to compete with others, nor are we here to prove to others that ours is better than theirs (despite what social media tries to show).

Each and every person is in this life (especially now with this pandemic) trying to do our best, finding our best path in life and in travel, the one that will make us feel the happiest.

As I have said so many times before, nobody leaves this life alive – but between now and then we owe it to ourselves to be happy and to do what feels right.

Laugh like there is no tomorrow, love yourself first in order to love someone else, don’t rush towards anything and don’t feel pressure to prove anything to anyone. Pause, breathe, and smile. Smell the coffee and the roses, connect to all sorts of people and all cultures. Live with a pure heart, and most importantly, do what your heart tells you to do.

Who cares what others will think of you! Care how you see yourself and explore this beautiful world because you are unique!

This is to you, to every individual who cares about life, travel and happiness.


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Free Excursions


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

As I read about the family that was kicked off of a MSC ship in Europe because they didn’t follow protocols and decided to take their “own” excursion at one of the ports, I started to wonder how Americans will feel about having to book all their excursions through the cruise line.

As a cruise lover and a cruise addict myself, I know my husband and I enjoy private excursions. We get recommendations of great tour guides in different cities and enjoy being selfish and going to places that we choose, and not having to wait for the last of the other passenger to ask all their questions, go to the toilet or buy a new souvenir. Honestly, we don’t like those bus excursions – even if they give them to us for free.

It makes complete sense though, that with the pandemic still not totally in control, cruise lines are trying to foresee any possible situation that could bring in outside contagion, such as cruisers going on private excursions and not being careful.

I believe travel agents/advisors should make sure that these are the precautions that all cruises are taking and advise your clients. Many Americans feel like me and prefer to save money and explore the port/city by themselves with a map and speaking to locals. Lots of cruisers do this in the Caribbean.

Apply the same idea and make sure to understand about the concept of “free time” on land group packages. Do travelers have really free time or free days to explore on their own, or will that be monitored as well?

The last thing travel agents need is to deal with regretful clients demanding refunds because they had to spend “extra” on excursions or tours when they did not expect to. Let it all be known in advance to avoid inconvenience and headaches.


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