Europe has finally swung open its door to American tourists for the first time since March 2020. But how hard is it to get there—and once you have landed, how do you cross the Continent’s many borders? Is California’s digital vaccination record going to ease your way past Covid-19 checks in Paris? Will New York’s Excelsior Pass get you preferential treatment in Rome?
Before digging out the passport and springing for a ticket, here are some things to consider while planning a European trip this summer.
With the coronavirus still circulating, traveling this year won’t be like anything we have seen in the past. You will need to do more planning than normal, since rules can vary between countries, even within the European Union. If you don’t usually buy travel insurance, you might want to reconsider this year. A last-minute positive Covid-19 test for an unvaccinated youngster, or even a vaccinated adult, could result in the loss of thousands of dollars on tickets and hotel reservations.
Infection rates in most of continental Europe have remained relatively low in recent weeks, though the Delta variant is gaining ground and sowing uncertainty, countering what had until recently been rising optimism for both the summer tourism season and the economy more generally.
All the unknowns have some Americans rejiggering their travel plans while still looking for a way to get to Europe this summer.