COVID and age have changed the way I am planning for our next vacation. COVID has made travel dates more uncertain that ever before. Age has changed what want to do on our travels.

Planning for 2022

In 2022 we would like to travel to Europe. I like to plan trips well in advance — researching locations, checking transportation, and finally putting together a rough budget. In a ‘normal’ year I would be starting to plan for a spring vacation. COVID, has changed what I need to plan for, and, unfortunately, age has changed what we will be doing on our trip.

COVID Check List

  • Be fully vaccinated — Vaccination requirements are not going away any time soon. As long as COVID-19 exists anywhere it exists everywhere. Just as some countries require a ‘Yellow Card’ as proof of vaccinations for diseases such as Yellow Fever, proof of vaccination for COVID-19 will be require well into the future.
  • Booster Shot — Not being offered right now, but is something I can see coming by 2022. 
  • Masks — Currently, in the US, and possibly elsewhere, masks with valves are not allowed. Some airlines in Europe don’t allow cloth masks — only surgical masks. Have a supply of surgical or N95 masks with you.
  • Travel Insurance — With many countries requiring a COVID test before entry, make sure your insurance covers you if you test positive before you depart for you vacation. 
  • Testing — The requirements on testing daily and vary from country to country.
    - Check on the requirements for each country you intend to visit
    - Know where you can get a test in each country you visit
    - Have a ‘Plan B’ — false positives do happen, you need to be prepared

A Different Plan

Assumption: Currently, (Sept. 2021) fully vaccinated EU residents qualify for a European Covid Digital Certificate (EUDCC) which allows them to travel within the EU. In addition, some countries are using a ‘Green Pass’ for entry into indoor restaurants, bars, cafes and other indoor venues. I am assuming that this will be available to tourists from other countries by 2022.

How We Travel

One of the benefits of taking a cruise ship was you only had to unpack once. This comes at a cost — you don’t get to spend much time in any of the cities you visit, which is one of the reasons we don’t go on cruises any more. On our last trip to Europe we stayed four nights in each of the cities we visited. We soon found out that wasn’t enough.

In planning for 2022 I will be looking for cities that are not only interesting, but where I can take day trips to other interesting locations. Our plan is to spend a week to ten days in a few locations. Since our preferred method of travel in Europe is the train, good train connections are paramount.

Possible Hub Cities

  • Amsterdam — Connections to:
    - Delft — approx. 1 hour by train
    - Utrecht — approx. 30 min by train
    - Haarlem — approx. 15 min by train
    - Leiden — approx. 45 min by train
  • Bologna — Connections to:
    - Modena — approx. 1 hour by train
    - Florence — approx. 1 hour by train
    - Verona — approx. 1 hour by train
    - Raveena — approx. 1 hour 30 min by train