The announcement that vaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed back into the US in November after an 18-month ban was welcome news for families struggling with cross-border separations, airlines itching to relaunch long-haul routes, and eager tourists and industry insiders. … But as excited as US-bound travelers may be to reunite with loved ones, attend an IRL business conference or snap selfies in front of landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, they should be equally prepared for a travel experience that’s vastly different these days — and still constantly changing.
In federally regulated spaces like airports and on airplanes, masks are mandatory, as well as on regional and local transport like trains and subways. But the actual enforcement at places like hotels is tricky to assess from afar — which is where a travel advisor or agent can be invaluable.“As a travel advisor, my job is to be able to gauge the comfort level of my client and to know not only the destination, but the properties themselves,” said Maria Diego, co-founder of Miami-based luxury travel agency Diego Travel.“Who has taken this down time to renovate and innovate versus who has let things deteriorate? I’m able to stay up to date with what the hotels are truly enforcing, because I have access to agencies that are constantly doing site inspections. It’s one thing to put on your website your policies, and it’s another thing to practice it.”