why you should plan that trip to Europe NOW!

itinerary of Tauck's river cruise The Rhine and Moselle

Now is the time to plan your next trip to Europe. Though most of Europe is currently closed to travelers from the USA, just as the US is currently closed to travelers from the EU, that's going to change. Here's why you should make your plans now.

COVID vaccines. I received my first Pfizer shot earlier this week, with an appointment set for my second shot on February 19. Within several months, vaccines should be available to everyone who wants them in the US, the EU, and the UK. Inexpensive, at-home COVID tests are also promised. Once a critical mass of people have been vaccinated, the travel floodgates should open up wide.

Hotel availability. With hotels are showing plenty of availability at reasonable room rates, you should take advantage. Once travel opens up, those rooms will quickly sell ... and as inventory goes down, prices will rise. If you can get a cancellable reservation with just a credit card guarantee, grab it! (You can even do it yourself on the Virtuoso booking engine for reservations with Virtuoso amenities — free breakfasts and $100 hotel credits).

High demand for cruises and tours. I just rebooked the Tauck river cruise I had originally planned to take last April, The Rhine and Moselle. Eight of the nine cruises in 2021 were already sold out, but I was able to secure a cabin on the one available sailing. I'm so excited to be flying to Amsterdam in October and experiencing Tauck's all-inclusive luxury river cruise to Basel.

Award flights. Before COVID struck, it was practically impossible to get "Saver Awards," but it can be done if you act now. I speak from experience. As soon as I booked my Tauck river cruise, I researched flights using miles in United Business Class from AVL-AMS and ZRH-AVL. I just had to make one small change to find Saver Award availability (departing for Amsterdam one day earlier). There were two available Saver Award seats for the flights I wanted, so I grabbed them!

I recommend planning travel to Europe this fall. Now's the time to contact your travel advisor while she or he has lots of time to work with you.

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