Greetings from Dublin, Ireland. This is my eighth straight week of travels throughout Europe. Since May 2022, our small and large groups have travelled in 15 different countries and explored as well experienced more then 32 must-visit destinations. During the same time, we have also provided travel support and logistical services to individuals, couples and small groups of friends as they discovered and explored Europe’s most authentic destinations in comfort and style, via our concierge travel services.
Here is summary of “new normal” in European travels:
COVID and pandemic-related travel restrictions are mostly gone: no quarantines, no testing, no masks (expect on public transportation in Germany). And even the US has removed – as of late June – requirement of COVID testing to return to the US. Travel logistics are back to the pre-pandemic ways.
FLIGHT disruption, mainly due to slow airport security lines and even slower airline check-ins (all due to staffing shortages) are much more common nowadays. Long-haul flights (= “cash cow” of airline industry pre-pandemic) operate mostly as usual. But short haul flights, in the US and within Europe, are seeing major disruptions and airlines are still canceling many flights (ASK us how to avoid these flight disruptions via our FLIGHTS ONLY program)
SIGHTSEEING is another area with many post-pandemic changes. A major difference is that most museums and sightseeing venues have moved to online reservations and so controlled and often limited access (= keeping crowd size low for the purpose of social distancing). In practice, lines to get into many museums are longer, slower, and crowds are greater! Ask us to find comparable sites with fewer crowds! For example, you can experience Monet and other impressionist masterpieces in Orangerie (no lines, no crowds) vs the Louvre (where three weeks ago, lines for security screening alone exceeded 30 minutes wait time!).
We continue to travel. We continue to discover new and exciting, often off the beaten path, places with fewer tourist, unspoiled mayoral beauty, incredible food, and locals eager to share their stories and time with us.