How to Be a Tourist During the COVID-19 Pandemic


2 minute read

Every year on September 27, the United Nations celebrates World Tourism Day. While the thought of tourists might garner a few eye rolls from those living in popular travel destinations, tourism is a huge economic driver for many countries around the world. While many hoped 2021 was going to be the comeback year for travelers, it’s looking as if leisure travel might not be fully back until 2023.

Things are far from what they were pre-pandemic, but more and more people are hitting the roads and airports this year. In fact, one Card Curator team member went to Morocco when cases were low and managed to have a fun and safe trip by following a few of the tips below.

If you are planning your next trip, be sure to keep these in mind before you pack your bags!

  • Be considerate of local travel warnings. In August 2021, Hawaii famously asked tourists to stop coming to its islands due to overcrowding, a spike in cases, and fears of straining the limited hospital systems. With the pandemic, we all know things can change quickly so it’s best to check on your intended destination 24-48 hours before your departure date so that you aren’t disrespecting any local warnings.

  • Be flexible. So, 2021 might not be the year you get to visit your bucket list destination, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time. When considering a trip, look for destinations that are eager to welcome tourists, have stringent safety protocols in place, and don’t currently have a strained medical system. Looking up the number of cases and hospitalizations a place is experiencing can be a good starting point. Additionally, you can check out the CDC’s recommendations for travel by location.

  •  Get tested before and after your trip. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, it can be a good idea to take a test 24-48 hours out of an abundance of caution to ensure that you’re not spreading the virus unknowingly. For international travel, the CDC recommends taking a test 3-5 days after travel, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Follow local protocols and be gracious. It’s important to follow the local protocols of the destination you’re in, both as a sign of respect and to keep everyone as safe as possible. Also, remember that in some places, you might be one of the first tourists they have seen since the pandemic started and tourism might be their main source of income. If you’re able to and feel comfortable, considering tipping a little extra to show your gratitude.

  •  Support local businesses. It’s no secret that local businesses such as restaurants and shops have been some of the hardest hit throughout the pandemic. Luckily, one of the best parts of traveling to a new place can be the chance to check out the local cuisine! Use your trip as a chance to support local business owners while exploring all the area has to offer.

Are you planning a trip soon? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Email us at with your story and we might feature you in an upcoming post.

Written by John Garner
John Garner is the founder & CEO of Card Curator. John spent 5+ years as a volatility trader for Merrill Lynch before deciding to start Card Curator and follow his real passion: credit card rewards and travel. To date, he has visited almost 90 countries by using rewards earned from 100+ credit cards. He’s an expert in all things related to credit cards and free travel, and loves helping others crack the code in the points and miles game.

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