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Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest, Brian King

Traveling Abroad During COVID-19

August 4, 2020

If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to travel to Europe and abroad during the current Covid-19 pandemic, today’s Q&A with Art In Voyage guest, Brian King, is just for you.
While travel from the U.S. to Europe is restricted, flights to Croatia are available and U.S. citizens are being warmly welcomed to this European destination.

Highlights and Delights of Croatia, by Art In Voyage
Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Highlights and Delights of Croatia, by Art In Voyage
Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery, Highlights & Delights of Croatia, May 2021

The dreams have not changed, the timeline has just shifted.

Brian recently returned from a family vacation in Croatia, tailor-made by Art In Voyage.
Our team was available 24/7 to support the King family throughout their travels and time in Croatia.
Read on to hear about the challenges, experiences, tips, and advice from our guest himself. Thank you Brian for sharing your experience with us!

Chat to the Art In Voyage Team about a tailor-made, exclusive journey that we know you will love while having your safety prioritized throughout.

Before departing to Croatia, what were your biggest concerns or challenges about your trip and how did you manage to overcome them?

Prior to our departure, the AIV team provided us with documentation that included letters to the German officials written in German outlining the purpose and extent of our travel, letters to the Croatian border agents written in Croatian addressing the same, confirmation of the reservation for all of our locations and a print out of all the current entry regulations for each country. 

None of this ended up being needed and we felt very secure with the amount of research and work that had been completed by the AIV team that we would have no issue with entry.

The greatest concern that we had prior to our trip was the timing of our COVID-19 test relative to our arrival. The information available referenced that a COVID-19 negative test result must be within 72 hours of arrival and we were losing a day in travel time.

When we arrived we learned that our destination country (Croatia) was less concerned with the timing of the test and entirely concerned with the type of test.

The focus of their inquiry regarding our testing was limited to whether our test type was PCR (referring to Polymerase Chain Reaction) as that was the sole test results that they accepted.

For anyone who is looking to travel in this environment, I would recommend that they complete a PCR test and have those results available in printed form for review by border security.

Flying Internationally During The Pandemic: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia
Travel from US to Europe: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia
Art in Voyage
Travel from San Francisco to Europe: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia
Travel from San Francisco to Europe: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia

Your international flight and connection must have been an interesting experience.
How safe did you feel in the airports and during your flight, and would you travel abroad again under the same circumstances?

Our flights were fantastic.

Although travel from U.S. to Europe is restricted, we were able to take advantage of Germany’s agreement to be an artery of travel to other locations as long as you do not leave the airport.  We had a direct flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany, on a plane that was perhaps 50% occupied giving plenty of space to stretch out.

The flight attendants on the flights encouraged passengers to keep their masks on but this was not policed too severely and we felt very comfortable with the flight conditions.

Upon arrival, we had a short walk to our next departure gate (made that much more convenient by a member of the AIV airport concierge team leading the way) and we boarded our connecting flight to our final destination as we would on any other type of trip, just this time wearing a mask.

Art in Voyage
Art in Voyage
Travel Croatia during Covid-19 Coronavirus
Traveling Internationally During The Coronavirus Covid Pandemic: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia
Art in Voyage

How was your experience in Croatia in terms of having fewer tourists around you? Were you made to feel uncomfortable at any point for being a tourist?

This is a concept that we will likely never gain a full appreciation for.

We have been fortunate to be able to travel all over the world to amazing locations and Croatia is now at the top of our list.  The country offers a unique combination of diverse geography in close proximity, perfect weather, picturesque natural beauty, history, culture, and amazing amenities with surprising affordability.

With the popularity of the Game of Thrones series and the country serving as the filming location for many parts of the show, the explosion of tourism has created a wealth of top tier restaurants, hotels and service amenities, convenient and developed infrastructure that is very easy to navigate where English is spoken everywhere.

Take all of this opportunity and put it into an environment where, literally, no one is there!

Seriously, we were shocked as to how empty Old Town Dubrovnik was and, while traveling in a group of 15 people, never had to wait for a table at any restaurant we went to.

We had 8 children in our party between the ages of 9 and 15 and we had no reservation with them walking to and through the Old Town from our hotel accommodations (about a mile away) and never felt unsafe regardless of the hour of the day. We were welcomed and appreciated by all the local people (patrons and merchants) that we interacted with.

Art in Voyage
Flying Internationally During The Coronavirus Covid Pandemic: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia
Art in Voyage
Experiencing Croatia during Covid-19 Coronavirus
Flying Internationally During The Coronavirus Covid Pandemic: Q&A with Art In Voyage Guest returning from Croatia

The ever-evolving travel rules and regulations within each country, including Croatia, can obviously cause hiccups and interruptions in plans.
How did your plans need to be adjusted along the way, and to what extent did you rely on the Art In Voyage team to assist with these changes?

We only experienced two adjustments to our itinerary during our stay. The first was that we had planned to visit a national park that required us to cross the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After our arrival, the country changed its rules for border crossing and we were not able to go. We were promptly notified by Mikael and the AIV team of the change and were presented with a series of alternative opportunities.

We decided to extend our time at Krka Falls (a must-see) and felt we did not miss anything as we were able to enjoy a more immersive day at this location.

The second adjustment occurred when the country of Montenegro also changed its entry requirements and we were not able to enter. At the time we were in Dubrovnik where we planned to stay 4 nights just outside the ways of the Old City.  Mikael and the AIV team informed us of the restrictions, immediately secured accommodations at our current hotel, and then created a proposal of alternate locations if we wanted a change of scenery.

We decided on a fantastic location just outside the city walls that was right on the water. This location and segment of the trip ended up being everyone’s favorite as we were able to take advantage of the property’s location with amazing views, fantastic restaurants, and direct access to the water.  It literally felt like we were the only ones on the property.  We stayed at this location another 4 nights and would have gladly extended the stay further.

We hope today’s Q&A has provided you with reassurance for an upcoming trip you may have planned, or excitement to start planning your next international adventure.

The dreams have not changed, the timeline has just shifted. We are ready when you are!

Chat to the Art In Voyage Team about creating a tailor-made travel experience to a destination that we know will be safe and enjoyable, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and current travel restrictions.