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What You Need to Know About International Travel This Summer

Published by Scott Hershman

As the world gradually begins to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of nations have begun easing their travel restrictions. The European Union announced on May 19 that vaccinated Americans would soon be allowed to travel to EU nations. And many Americans would like nothing better than getting on a plane to enjoy a foreign vacation.

Those feelings are completely understandable. But before finalizing your travel plans and booking a flight to Paris or Rome, there are several things you need to know and do.

1) Flight options remain limited.
The U.S. currently remains closed to travelers from most of Europe, which limits flights in both directions. Airlines need passengers traveling both ways to turn a profit. And given the ongoing restrictions, the number of international flights remains limited.

As of July 2021, 2.5 million passenger seats will be available on flights to Europe, compared to 4.5 million flight seats to Europe in July 2019. So if you’re planning a summer trip to Europe, you’d better start booking now.

Conversely, some airlines are opening new routes. As an example, Delta now offers direct flights from Boston to Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik. So these new routes could be the perfect excuse for you to visit Iceland and see the volcanic eruptions. 

2) Pay close attention to hotel cancellation policies.
During the height of the pandemic, many hotel chains eased their cancellation policies, and some, like Hilton and Four Seasons, are still flexible. But others are beginning to return to their pre-pandemic cancellation restrictions. So when booking your hotel, be sure to read the fine print carefully.

3) Don’t expect a complete return to normality.
In a number of EU countries, curfews remain in effect. And many still impose seating limitations in restaurants. Some, like Germany and the Netherlands, remain entirely closed to American tourists.

4) Plan visits to local sights carefully.
As in the U.S., many European attractions require timed tickets to space out crowds and limit capacity. That’s great for avoiding long waiting lines. But remember that most timed tickets are non-refundable, rain or shine.

Foreign Currency Exchange Services

In saying these things we don’t want to “rain on your vacation.” We just want you to be fully prepared for your upcoming holiday. And being prepared means having an adequate amount of foreign currency to meet your needs abroad.

So before boarding your flight, come by any of the convenient locations of West Suburban Currency Exchanges. If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway, we specialize in foreign currency exchange near Chicago. Thus, we can provide you with the foreign currency needed to make your upcoming trip as convenient and comfortable as possible.

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