If you’ve traveled during the pandemic, odds are you seemingly became an expert in ever-changing travel restrictions. Hours spent online reading mind-numbing fine print, checking in with the destination’s marketing organization up to the day before, and staying in close contact—thanks to apps like WhatsApp—with your resort’s concierge of what to expect once onsite. Another trend is emerging now, amidst new threats of variant-induced cancellations: Trip Stacking. Essentially, travelers are booking multiple trips for the same vacation slot, just incase one is canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions. Statistically, travelers are more likely to postpone their second trip rather than cancel it, thanks to flexible booking options. So should you ‘trip stack’ for your Caribbean vacation? Here’s what we know.
What traveling in the Caribbean looks right now
CNBC first reported that the practice, known as “trip stacking,” has become more popular as countries change travel rules as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread. However, travelers should also focus on destinations that, historically, have remained open and accessible to travelers. It’s no surprise that Florida, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean have remained popular with travelers throughout the pandemic.
Belize is one country in Caribbean that remained open, with imposing tighter restrictions amidst COVID-related spikes. Besides individual travelers, even travel advisors have taken notice.
“We have found our customers to be more interested in traveling to Caribbean destinations with more strict and firm policies and travel restrictions related to Covid-19.”
Trip stacking involves booking a more expensive and riskier trip, like a vacation abroad or a cruise, alongside a back-up or “safety net” trip to a different geographical area that’s less likely to be canceled, according to CNBC. Mexico and the Caribbean islands are popular backup destinations for Americans as are locations across the US, Bush added.
And many travelers are taking advantage of points and miles to plan their backup trips.
“We have a trip booked to Belize in October,” said TPG reader Gretchen Brown of Nashville. “We are afraid we won’t be able to go so we also booked refundable flights [on points] to Miami with plan B being the Florida Keys.”
Regardless of where your upcoming trips (or backup trips) take you, it’s still important to take precautions to stay safe. Follow mask mandates, maintain a safe physical distance from others and avoid crowds when possible. And protect your investment in travel, too. Whether or not you’re backing up trip plans with alternate itineraries, consider getting travel insurance, and take advantage of easily cancelable and rebookable reservation policies.
Feature Image Courtesy ROEming Belize Travel Agency