European Vacation Restrictions
As we ease out of 2021 there is no doubt that many are fed up with Covid-19 restrictions, isolation and quarantine. This is especially true for those of us that believe vacations are not just a time to rest but a lifestyle of travel, a time to explore and visit new places.
In fact, since travel has been so limited since COVID appeared, it’s easy to waste time surfing online looking at cyber monday sales and sitting on the couch watching a game show while eating the same instant pot turkey meal since Thanksgiving (no judgment here). So we can all agree that sandy beaches and a Mediterranean diet are not just a good idea, they are exactly what the doctor would order!
It’s time to start planning a much needed European vacation and we want to help you get the ball rolling! The following are some ideas and important information to consider as you begin booking deals and dreaming of the world ocean for the upcoming year.
When to Book Your European Vacations
The best time to travel to Europe is truly based on your preference and the type of trip you want. If it’s a family vacation, then the summer months are usually a good time to enjoy the beaches, bodies of water in the mediterranean region and visit many of the popular European destinations such as the French Riviera. If you are want to avoid crowds you may want to plan for May-June or September since there is still good weather during this months but less crowds.
Multiple City European Vacation and Family Travel Considerations
Europe is a fascinating destination filled with options, sights to see and places to be. Start planning your vacation by first getting clear on what you want your family to get out of this vacation. Is it to visit as many places as possible and see new sights? Is it to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches in a foreign place as a family? Or is it to bond and enjoy group tours together?
Once you have a clear intention for your European vacation it is easier to make detailed plans. You are now ready to create an itinerary that takes into consideration time zones, transportation and the different Covid-19 restrictions established in each country.
During a family vacation you may want to spend more time relaxing and exploring a specific city or country. Think quality instead of quantity. Pay attention to the location of the hotel and how connected the city’s transit system is to the museums and places you want to visit. Your family group will have an easier time exploring the area in a way that feels enjoyable and not rushed.
You can have a Multi-city European Vacation by visiting two countries at a time. Some countries that are close to one another have similar requirements and Covid-19 restrictions. The following are countries that are close by and easy to visit in a single vacation: Portugal and Spain, Monaco and France, as well as Italy and Greece. Group tours in these destinations are easy to find and provide a fun guided experience.
European Multi-city Suggestion: Portugal and Spain
You can find packages and tours that include popular places in both Portugal and Spain. The Great Iberian Route is a common route that visits selected cities of Spain. Some cities it includes are: Madrid, sights of Andalucia, as well as Lisbon, Portugal.
COVID 19- RESTRICTIONS in these areas: Everyone traveling to Spain, either by flying into the country or by sea, including children, are required to fill out a Health Control Form. They are also required to have proof of negative COVID test and complete vaccination record of approved COVID vaccine
Those traveling by air (flying into the country) must sign the required form electronically within 48hrs before their flight departs. Those who travel by sea need to fill and sign the form electronically at the official website, here.
When traveling by land the form is not required. Land travel is not limited but if you plan on crossing land borders from Spain into another country such as Portugal, carry your COVID vaccination record.
This information is constantly being updated so please verify directly with the embassy. If you are traveling from within Europe in to or around Spain you can check the official informational website.
If you are traveling from the U.S. into Spain proof of vaccination is required and you can find more detailed travel information and Spain COVID restriction updates here: Also, verify with the embassy requirements for re-entry into the United States.
*Note: As of December 6, 2021, all those flying into the United States that are 2 years or older are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight. Additionally all non-U.S. citizens flying into the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination status before boarding an airplane to the United States.*
European Vacation Multi-city Suggestion: France and Monaco
France is a European favorite. The food and french cooking is certainly recognized world-wide so take time to enjoy this country’s gastronomy a little longer. Some of its most popular cities such as Paris and the French Riviera are all recognized icons of Europe. You can find a variety of day tours or multi-day tours that take you through some of France’s tourist destinations as well as connect you to Monaco.
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world but has some beautiful sights, distinguished architecture, and history. It is located next to the French Riviera and along the mediterranean sea. It may not be big in size but it certainly has its shares of media spotlight, especially because of its royal personalities, including the Grimaldi family and their esteemed Prince Rainier III who married American actress Grace Kelly. You may also notice some buildings and places, including the Foro Grimaldi and the Francisco Grimaldi statue, which are named after personalities of the Grimaldi family.
COVID RESTRICTIONS: Those traveling to France must show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours along with a declaration that they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. This declaration is required whether you travel by flying into the country, through land or by sea. For more detailed and updated information in regards to COVID-19 restrictions in France and surrounding areas visit this official website.
European Vacation Multi-city Suggestion: Italy, Greece and Even Croatia
Italy and Greece are two of the most recognized mediterranean areas. Croatia is near Italy along the Adriatic Sea.It is also a popular tourist destination. The beautiful landscapes, sea-surrounded cities as well as uncomparable food makes these countries a “must visit” when vacationing in Europe. You can find all kinds of tours, and group destination packages that include the most popular cities.
Since these countries are along the mediterranean sea you can take advantage of different boating experiences and you may also consider visiting the Republic of Croatia by sea. In fact when visiting these countries a combination of land based and ocean based experiences is ideal. Some cities to visit include: Rome, Florence, and Venice in Italy as well as Delphi and Athens in Greece. Take advantage of the beautiful ocean sights in the Greek islands through a private boating experience. Find the perfect boat and experience at Navisyo.
COVID Restrictions: Right now COVID restrictions in Italy are a bit more complex than other European countries, ideally these will start to decrease as 2022 rolls in, but always check official websites and embassy announcements first.
Traveling into Italy has been limited for the past years but their list of allowed countries include the U.S. However, guidelines and restrictions in Italy are constantly changing based on their classifications. Some general guidelines are the requirements of a vaccinated record, negative COVID-19 testing and a passenger locator form. These are required when flying into the country as well as for sea, and land travel.
Note: When visiting indoor restaurants, events, museums, theaters, spas, gyms etc in Italy. travelers can be asked to show proof of vaccine or recent COVID-test negative results.
Covid-19 restrictions for Greece similar to Italy’s but land and sea travel is more relaxed. Greece has less regulations in regards to travel by ferry and boat. You can travel within Greece and the Greek islands, as well as between Italy and Greece, by ferry. A negative Covid-19 test and/or vaccination is still required for sea travel within Greece and from Italy to Greece.
More Covid-19 Updates in Regards to Land, Air and Sea Travel
- Needless to say, face masks are required at all times in all destinations. Restrictions between countries can vary and these are regularly being updated.
- When traveling to Europe some countries frown upon layovers in other countries, so try to get direct flights.
- Restrictions also change based on whether you live within Europe or if you are traveling from other continents into Europe.
- Verify with your country of residence the return flight preparations you need to make, before booking anything. If you have a layover in the U.S. or are traveling to the United States after visiting European countries, you could be required to take a covid test (at your expense) before boarding your flight.
5 Tips to Remember When Planning a Family European Vacation
- Create a well-planned itinerary. Make sure you plan your itinerary ahead of time. You can use online resources such as Triptile to create custom itineraries and a map of where you want to visit. Planning for unexpected scenarios is wise, especially when traveling with family and little ones. Have digital files of the personal identification information of each family member traveling.
- Involve the whole family. Its always nice for everyone to be excited, so include everyone as you plan. The last thing you want is a vacation like the one in the movie “European Vacation” starring Chevy Chase, where lack of preparation and unwillingness to work together as a family leads to disappointment.
- Single parent tip. If you are a single parent and want to plan your vacations, this tour company has created special packages for single parents that are worth checking: Intrepidtravel
- Time Zones and Rest. Take into consideration time differences and changes, especially if you will be visiting different countries within Europe. Yes, visiting new places and countries is exciting but your health is important, and the last thing you want is to be burned out from your trip. Be intentional about planning rest and allowing yourself some down time to adapt to jet lag. To make the most of your hotel stay, ask about their flexibility with check-in and check-out times before booking.
- Prioritize your health. Lastly, yes, we are all tired of periods of quarentine we still need to be mindful of public health. If you or someone around you has symptoms of Covid-19 be considerate. Stay home, avoid crowds, seek medical care if needed and postpone your vacation plans so we can all stay safe and start traveling with less restrictions, sooner.
Fun Water Experiences During Your European Vacation
As you can see, some destinations such as Greece and Spain have more relaxed restrictions when it comes to water travel. If you would like to live some unique adventures on the waters of Europe be sure to check out Navisyo’s unmatched boating experiences and learn more, here.