The European travel info in 2021 autumn
I posted a few articles about the future of tourism last summer – when I tried to predict the destiny of the travel business and now, we can clearly see that what we discussed there is not the future anymore but has been the reality since this June. I have had four tours in a row in October alone hitting France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary and would like to share my experiences. Tourism started to kick in at start of this summer. At the beginning there were few tourists and even fewer buses, but museums were open, and you could book a hotel room or rent a car. All what you had to and still must be able to show are one of the followings: proof of your vaccination (full that is two shots at least) or proof of your recovery from the virus or a PCR test. My advice though from my travels are the following: do not consider traveling without being fully vaccinated (having a boost that is the third shot – is a plus but it is not necessary as of today) and please carry a proof your vaccination with you all the time what you can show at hotels, restaurants, museums etc. My understanding is that authorities and governments let people travel who are fully vaccinated.
October fog at the Nazi party Rally Grounds: Hitler's Grand Stand. Courtroom 600 where the Nazi war criminals were put on trial My small group in downtown Nuremberg
Always have a mask on you just in case. You do not have to wear them outside (unless a site you visit requires it – for instance ABMC cemeteries) but on public transport, and when being indoor. Side note 1: in Austrian hotels once you are checked in no masks are required at all; side note 2: it is not compulsory in every country (Hungary, Denmark, Sweden), but people wear them inside anyways anyhow. Please keep it mind that these measures are in effect as of today – they might change, but I strongly believe that tourism will not be stopped, compulsory masks inside can be introduced, and other measures can be taken but tourism will continue to grow slowly. When flying always contact the carrier whether a test is needed to board the plane. Transatlantic flights you can take if you have a test prior to your departures anyways. When crossing from one country to the other you are supposed to have a PLF on you, but my groups have never been checked for any PLFs at any crossings speaking of which once you are in the EU if enter another country not via air, nobody cares much.
I have been guiding again for four month and share what I have experienced: as I said earlier few tour groups in early summer, but it changed kind of suddenly in August – September when tour buses started to appear again, and river cruises welcomed more and more passengers from overseas. The groups are still smaller than usual, but you can see them in cities, and sites of various interest. Since – beside my own small business – I work for bigger companies as a local guide as well, I can give you firsthand info on passengers traveling with bigger companies are being tested by the travel agency while on board of a ship or a bus. It still happens that on my private tours I have as many pax as big tour companies on their tours – but it will change in the future.
The Operation Anthropoid Memorial in the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Prague
Whatever your beliefs are in connection with Covid: be fully vaccinated and be ready for your boost – this is what I have already done myself, too. Travel is one of the most important activity for all of us who are on this site of mine and Covid is not going to stop us and not going to ruin our lives. “Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse”