Aplins in the Alps: Should you travel to Europe in 2022?
If you dream of eating a croissant next to the Eiffel Tower, strolling through the Roman Colosseum, swimming in the Greek islands or visiting a Christmas market in Germany, then 2022 is the year to travel Europe!
What if your pre-pandemic European travel was put on hold or you were inspired by Chevy Chase European holidays2022 is definitely the time to jump across the pond.
I have been to Europe almost every year since 2016. Yes, even during the pandemic, thanks to my dual Italian nationality. And yes, I will be traveling to Europe again this summer. Here’s what you need to know to plan your European vacation in 2022!
What about Covid travel restrictions?
In 2020, international travel was almost non-existent. In 2021, people were ready to go out again, but a complex web of country-by-country restrictions made it difficult.
What is my prediction for 2022? I think most European countries will remove almost all Covid-related entry requirements, but I think mask mandates will remain on public transport (especially flights) and in crowded public spaces.
It’s not just wishful thinking! So far (as of March 18, 2022), Iceland, Ireland, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Romania have fallen all Entry requirements related to Covid for US citizens. And a handful of other countries have reopened their borders but still require pre-arrival testing, regardless of vaccination status.
Ready to plan your vacation in Europe? Here’s how you can get the most out of your travels while staying health conscious:
- Visit the EU reopening website to find specific information about each country’s travel restrictions. (Insider tip: ignore the US travel advice map. It’s often outdated and I find the EU reopening website much more useful!)
- Stay in more local places. If you’re worried about germs and viruses, you should probably avoid tourist hotspots. By opting for smaller villages and off-the-beaten-track destinations, you’ll be less exposed to so many travelers. Bonus: it boosts the local economy and also gives you a more authentic travel experience!
- Support small businesses. More than ever, small businesses need our support! Instead of staying at a mega hotel chain, intentionally stay at a local-run guesthouse or Airbnb. Consider shopping at community markets, eating at family restaurants, or hiring a native guide.
Is it safe to visit Europe since there is a war in Ukraine?
War is scary. Whether it’s in your backyard or halfway around the world, it impacts everyone. However, the current conflict is currently localized in the country of Ukraine. For many reasons, I believe – and desperately hope – that tensions will not intersect outside of Ukraine.
Moreover, Ukraine is on the far eastern border of Europe. As millions of Ukrainian refugees flee to other countries, Western Europe is currently safe.
Here is some background to give you some perspective on the geography of Europe.
- 10 hour drive: Nashville, Tennessee to Orlando, Florida = Salzburg, Austria to Lviv, Ukraine (near Polish border)
- 20 hour drive: Nashville, Tennessee to Bismarck, ND = Paris, France to Lviv, Ukraine AND
- 500 km by car: Nashville, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois = Rome, Italy to Lviv, Ukraine
- 1000 km of road: Nashville, Tennessee to Miami, Florida = Dubrovnik, Croatia to Lviv, Ukraine
Won’t it be expensive to travel to Europe this year?
This conflict will impact you no matter where in the world you live. Together, Russia and Ukraine produce around a quarter of the world’s wheat and sunflower oil. Russia is a major supplier of petroleum, aluminum and lithium batteries. Not to mention fluctuating economies, shipping routes and gas prices.
However, one thing is obvious: Europe needs tourism. Indeed, the European Parliament complaints that “Europe is the number one tourist destination in the world”. In 2018, their tourism industry provided 11.9 million jobs and around 10% of the European Union’s GDP. And in 2019, 1.5 billion tourists visited Europe. After two years of below average seasons, they are ready to welcome guests again.
The best places to visit in Europe in 2022
With tourism and local economies in mind, you can take advantage of great deals now!
- See Sicily. Italy has so much to offer, and now you can stay 3 nights in Sicily and get 1 free – plus 1 free guided tour, 1 entry to a cultural venue and a 50% discount on domestic and international flights or ferries to Sicily. (PS Take inspiration from these photos of Sicily!)
- Visit Ireland. Aer Lingus offers return flights this spring from the US to Ireland for as little as $459! Plus, they have a wide collection of tourism promotions ranging from bike rentals to luxury accommodations to whiskey tastings.
- Discover the Swiss Alps. If Switzerland is on your bucket list, 2022 is the year to visit! When you stay in the Interlaken region you get the Interlaken Guest Card which offers free local transport, discounts on nearby attractions and a discount on the price of some mountain railways. Insider tip: You can travel to Switzerland on a budget — my husband and I show you how this video!
Should you visit Europe in 2022?
With the easing of covid travel restrictions, war near but far and amazing tourism deals, we think so! In fact, this summer, my husband and I are going to spend 3 months in the Swiss Alps! Come and discover Europe with us by subscribing to our Youtube channel or by watching our daily updates on instagram stories!
Jana Apline has been a wordsmith (aka copywriter) since 2015. She reads at least a book a week, can eat ice cream every day, loves training teenage girls, and speaks Italian like a 4-year-old. She and her husband Brett have been married for ten years and have spent nearly three of those years traveling in Europe. Find out how you can travel Europe on a budget by watching their YouTube channel, Aplins in the Alpsor hang out with her on instagram and Facebook.