We just got back last month from wrapping up three TransforMissional Travel tours during the first half of 2022. That was our first time ever in 25 years of hosting tours that we did three in a six month time period. But we all know, the pandemic changed a lot of things in our world. Our January trip to Israel was from a postponed 2021 trip, the Israel trip in March was as scheduled. And, the June trip to Germany and Switzerland was a make-up from 2020. It appears that travel is nearly back to pre-pandemic days.
There were many changes in travel procedures just during the past six months. We went from rigid vaccine and booster requirements in Israel, Germany and Switzerland to no requirements for vaccinations. We started in January with COVID testing before leaving the USA, testing upon landing in Israel, and a third test before returning to the USA. Now, no tests are required coming or going. We went from masks required everywhere in Israel back in January to only masks being required on the flight to Germany and back home in June. As for masks, they were required everywhere, indoors and outdoors, in January while we were in Israel, In June, only one location in all of Germany or Switzerland, the Neuschwanstein Castle, required masks while we were indoors. Much has changed in the last six months. And, I think most all of us are happy that masks, COVID testing and vaccines are up to the discretion of individual travelers. Yes, COVID is still around and we have plenty of friends who have even recently tested positive. But, it’s been a really long time since I’ve known some one who is seriously ill with COVID. And personally, I still keep my little hand sanitizer bottle in my pocket every day and I use it very regularly.
Now we are now looking forward! Registrations for our March 2023 tour to Israel were fast and furious. That group is maxed out at 45. So, there are two remaining tours available. Registrations for the September/October tour to Greece and Turkey are picking up steam and it is now over half way to its maximum. Even the March 2024 Israel registrations are starting to come in. There is pent-up demand and we are seeing that. The main lesson to learn is that you shouldn’t delay and sit-back and wait to register if you are thinking about going. For one, your investment will always go up from year to year due to the rising costs of airline tickets, hotels, food, etc. But one thing has not changed since we started hosting tours 25 years ago. A $500 deposit still holds your spot and the balance then needs to be paid at the 90-day mark (a few trips have a 120-day mark for the final payment) before the tour starts.
We would love to have you join us. We continue to hear words and phrases like “life-changing,” “incredible,” “a trip of a life-time,” “amazing,” “it exceeded my wildest expectation,” and more at the end of each tour. We are blessed to introduce people to outstanding travel experiences while watching their understanding of history, Scripture, faith and their relationship with God deepen. That is why our mission remains: “to inspire transformissional living through travel.”
Linda & Dennis Gingerich