Should travelers rethink holiday plans with the arrival of the omicron variant?


The rapidly-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19 comes at the worst possible time, just as millions of Americans are getting on planes and hitting the road for Christmas.

There are more reports about the postponement of sporting events and Broadway shows every day. So, should travelers rethink their holiday trips?

Experts say it all depends on the destination and the traveler’s comfort level.

Over the weekend, the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and Broadway blockbusters “Hamilton” and “Moulin Rouge!,” among others, canceled their holiday-week shows. More cancellations seem likely.

Those who have Broadway tickets may want to consider delaying a trip to New York City until springtime, as many other tourists are doing right now.

Most travelers sticking to plans, for now

A tourist recently quoted by USA Today in a piece about omicron’s effect on travel said it best: “What a mess we are all in.”

But USA Today travel experts said those who feel comfortable with their health and vaccination status shouldn’t feel the need to cancel travel at this point.

The exception is those leaving the country, where international travelers could face mandatory quarantines in the event of a positive COVID-19 test. In addition, many European countries are canceling Christmas events and closing bars and restaurants are early.

But domestically, USA Today said most travelers are going ahead with their Christmas week plans. Travelers should just make sure their families are comfortable with everyone coming and being in close quarters.

The omicron variant is one more reminder of why it is worth purchasing trip cancellation insurance, especially when booking any vacation during the pandemic. A “cancel for any reason” insurance policy would refund money for travelers who decide to bail on a Mexico, Caribbean, or European trip, so you don’t waste your money.

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