The 27 countries of the European Union have put the United States on the "white list". That means Americans can visit Europe as of now. As the threat of COVID diminishes, restrictions are being relaxed and tourists are being welcomed.
So, should you travel to Europe this year? Is cancelling a trip to Europe in 2021 a mistake? Here are some things to consider before making that decision:
Safety: Travel is safe for vaccinated travelers. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says you have a very small percentage of becoming infected after becoming fully vaccinated. On top of that, infection rates in Europe are dropping day-by-day. So, there is hardly any reason for vaccinated travelers to fear getting COVID. We do hear stories of COVID variants, but the CDC says that the current vaccines protect against these variants.
Small Crowds: 2021 will present a unique situation to travelers that we may never see again - small crowds. Imagine visiting the Louvre, Sistine Chapel, Basílica de la Sagrada Família, or Michelangelo's David with few crowds? 2022 will look much different than 2021 as travelers have re-booked their previously cancelled trips and new travelers exercise their pent-up demand to go overseas.
Low Airfares: International airline prices are the lowest we have seen in years. $495 to Madrid? $649 to Paris? $735 to London? $634 to Edinburgh? Yes, you read it right. It is time to get those airfare bargains this year. Will we see the same airfares next year as travelers return to Europe? What do you think?
Other Travel Bargains: Hotels are doing everything they can to lure travelers back to Europe. They have a lot of lost ground to recover and they are aggressively offering bargains to stay at their hotels. Restaurants and museums want you to come back too, and they will do everything they can to get you started as quickly as possible. However, they know 2022 will be booked at records levels. Do you want to get that great travel deal now, or do you want to wait and pay a lot more next year?
Comfort Level: It all comes down to how comfortable you feel about traveling in 2021. That's all that really matters. For some reason, if a traveler does not feel comfortable getting on a half-empty airplane this year at an incredible fare, getting a hotel at a bargain price, or visiting the great cities of Europe without the crush of the large crowds, they should not go. But again, only you can make that decision.