How To Travel Safely to Belize During The Holidays

by Gisselle Hernandez

Last year’s holiday season was all around a grim endeavor as the pandemic drove a wedge between family plans. Meeting for Christmas or Thanksgiving was looked at with an abundance of caution as the risk of contracting the virus was still prevalent. While we are not out of the woods just yet, hopes for curbing infections seem to have lifted compared to 2020. Vaccinations and health protocols have given rise to perhaps a holiday season the likes of pre-pandemic. This includes trips where snowbirds are looking to flock to Belize as soon as that temperature hits below 60 degrees F. Belize has been open since October 1st, 2020, but if you weren’t able to make it then, now’s your chance to spend your holidays in the tropics just like you always wanted. Here are some tips to keep in mind when booking a holiday flight to Belize

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The stunning Silk Cayes of Belize. Photo by Leonardo Melendez

Know before you go. 

Like most countries today, Belize has safety protocols in place for those looking to enter the country. Make sure to keep updated on all the current and changing requirements before entry to Belize. This includes whether you need a vaccination or not, where can you stay, where are you allowed to go, and any other protocols. For instance, at the time of writing, travelers are encouraged to stay at Gold Standard Certified hotels since these accommodations have been regarded as very safe. There is also a curfew in place in certain destinations and social distancing rules across the country. You can find all the requirements here. 

Be Prepared.

Ranguana Caye - Image courtesy Dylan Hetelle
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Poolside in Punta Gorda. Image courtesy Roeming Belize

Traveling today is not like it was prior to 2020. The industry has shifted, and so have its needs and requirements. When flying to Belize for the holidays, be prepared for plans to change. Depending on whether you contract the virus during your trip, you need to be prepared and make arrangements for quarantining. Understand that being flexible is a must, since you may need extra time you hadn’t planned for. Prepare to change your entire itinerary if there’s an outbreak at your resort, or if your flight gets canceled suddenly. 

Plan ahead.

 

 

In that same vein, it’s smart to plan ahead and don’t book anything that cannot be canceled/changed without hefty fees. Most airlines and resorts in Belize are being very flexible on this front since anything can happen in a COVID-era. Book all flights and hotels far out in advance to make sure you have everything set before you leave. Make sure all tour operators and guides understand the fluid status that is traveling during a pandemic. Research your holiday activities and attractions beforehand, so you know exactly what’s open, what isn’t and where you can’t and can go. 

Have a backup plan.

Sometimes life throws you curveballs and you have no choice but to pivot. You may have an entire Christmas couple’s getaway to Ambergris Caye planned out, but if for some reason the hotel or the destination goes under lockdown, make sure to have a backup in place. The Cayo district makes an equally stellar alternative, with luxurious lodgings tucked deep in the rainforest, ideal for seclusion. Northern Belize also possesses many activities and smaller resorts, which can prove to be an advantage since there are fewer people. 

Roam safely.

One of the individual suites at Copal Tree Lodge. Image via Life & Thyme

The bottom line, make sure to do your part and travel safely. This means making sure you are wearing your mask wherever it’s mandated, using your hand sanitizer and avoiding large crowds. At the end of the day, every destination’s safety also relies on the persons in said destination. As long as you follow all safety tips and roam as cautiously as possible, you’re bound to have a memorable Belize holiday vacation. 

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