Here’s when it might be safe to travel again, according to health experts and travel agents

Got the travel bug? You're not alone
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MADISON, Wis.– Round two of Governor Tony Evers’ ‘Safer at Home’ order loosens restrictions on some activities, but the CDC is cautioning Americans against moving too fast.

The nation’s top health experts say the reopening of tourist destinations shouldn’t give Wisconsinites the green light to book their next big trip. They say many sites may reopen with updated safety guideline, but that has more to do with economics and profit anxiety than safety.

Just because the place you’re traveling to doesn’t have any coronavirus cases right now doesn’t mean it’s safe, according to health officials. Even if cases have leveled off, travelers are still passing through airports with thousands of other people.

Here are some signs you can confidently plan your next vacation:

  1. See if your travel agent will book the trip. Since they can be held liable for one of their customers falling sick on a trip they booked, they’ll be hesitant to help you out unless they know it’s safe.
  2. Watch for when you can buy travel insurance again. Many travel insurance companies stopped selling policies after the outbreak. Others added new restrictions, especially on ‘cancel for any reason’ policies. Currently, sites like travelinsurance.com are offering insurance purchases mainly for travel after August 1st, although most policies are for travel in 2021.

Wisconsin lost out on $650 million in travel spending over the past month, and Travel Wisconsin is reporting a 100% increase in requests for its online travel guide compared to this time last year. According to a study by Visit Milwaukee, 70% of Wisconsinites are still planning trips in the next six months, up from 65% last week.

While it’s nearly impossible to predict an exact date it’ll be safe to pack up and leave home, if you have an itch to plan something, travel experts behind Travel Wisconsin say your best bet is booking a road trip for later this summer or fall. They’re calling 2020 “The Year of the Car” and expect regional travel to spike.

Last year was the best year on record for Wisconsin tourism, with record increases in total visitors and visitor spending. So far this year, Travel Wisconsin has pushed back its summer ad campaign. Right now, there aren’t any ads promoting trips to the Dells or Door County airing on TV. Instead, Travel Wisconsin’s website has been updated with a number of interactive resources, like sweepstakes and virtual adventures across the state.

Local travel agents hope these efforts will put Wisconsin on travelers’ ‘must-see’ lists once it’s safe to travel again.

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