In an article I wrote for TravelPulse last week about the latest travel advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I noted that it would be easier to count the few nations and territories that weren’t listed. on the list than the plethora of countries that were in the CDC’s crosshairs.
I wasn’t trying to be flippant; there is nothing even remotely humorous about a pandemic that has caused millions of deaths over the past two years. Rather, I was trying to point out the disparity between the countries the CDC considers safe and the areas they don’t consider safe.
But it got me wondering: At this point, do people still care about the CDC’s travel advisories?
In a nutshell… No.
Not at all.
If these travel advisories worry travelers, they are clearly in the minority. I say this out of personal conviction, from the thoughts of friends and family and trusted travel advisors.
We are exactly two years away from the start of the pandemic. There was the initial period of nearly nine months trying to evade the virus, the later introduction of the vaccines, the Delta variant and the Omicron variant.
Now that the number of cases is falling, we have a better understanding of how to deal with the virus, and even the CDC has revised its guidelines here in the United States to the point where 70% of the country can ditch masks.
I won’t say that warnings are ignored now; tolerated is probably the best word. We take these “do not travel” warnings under advisement, for lack of a better term.
Oh dear, who are we kidding. We’re dropping caution because, well, it’s been too long and we’re better equipped to handle the outbreak.
“People don’t care,” said TravelPulse contributor and travel consultant Tammy Levent, owner of Elite Travel Management Group in Palm Harbor, Florida. “I have complete families traveling overseas together.”
Tammy added that people not only travel, they spend. Lots – including taking European trips to multiple cities. Its most popular routes at the moment include London-Dublin-Scotland, as well as Egypt-Italy-Greece.
“I have a lot of clients who travel a lot and they’re spending money they haven’t spent in the last two years,” Tammy said.
In my own circle, I have four family members heading to Morocco and three friends a few days away from a trip to Vietnam.
Me? Describe it however you like – apathy, indifference, fearlessness, recklessness, whatever – but I have my own to-do list. I’ve seen 143 Bruce Springsteen concerts in my 57 years, but none in a foreign country. I have only read and seen video clips of some of his amazing overseas shows.
If and when he goes on tour again, my plane tickets and concert tickets will be booked for the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, better known as San Siro, in Milan.
Because, well… I don’t care about CDC warnings anymore.