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COVID great airfares, but is it safe to go to Spain?

Past OR future Camino
June/July 2015 (CF, 100 miles), June/July 2018 (CP, ~40 miles, too hot!)
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Is it safe?... Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait?
No part of the world is safe from Covid at the moment. You will find lots of thoughts on planning ahead versus waiting, here on the forum, but there is no consensus and no guarantees.

Personally, I think planning is a great idea, but it is too soon to book flights. The possibility to save a few hundred dollars is not worth the uncertainty and possible complications to me.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
When were you thinking of going?

If this is for next week, too risky for my blood. Omicron is in full bloom at the moment, and for me, I don't think its a great idea to be travelling at the moment. For reference, I walked in September-October this year (it was a GREAT time to walk!) and I am planning again for this coming April. But right now? Not in my way of balancing risk versus reward versus what is right for our Spanish hosts. Its true that everything is more or less open, but that could change any day. Its also winter, another significant consideration.

If you are talking about Spring/Summer though, by all means, buy some tickets and start planning. You may have your Camino wiped out by another significant Covid wave or closures, but it won't be this one. The future is very tough to predict here. Take your chances, but be flexible when the date gets closer, and the current situation is clearer.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Covid is an obvious issue, not only is there the risk (reduced thanks to your vaccination) of you contracting the Omicron strain, but the more significant risk that you might transmit it to someone more vulnerable, e.g. an elderly Spanish villager. Then again, there's the weather, have you checked out what it is likely to be in North Spain in January - February? Cold and wet is the answer. And returning to the topic of Covid, the so-called sixth wave has thrown transport systems, in particular air travel into possibly temporary but very real chaos. I'm not trying to put you off, really, all I'm saying is if you want to go right now, I would think it through before you buy your ticket. But buen camino when you do go, as I hope you will.
 
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Susan M Fron

SusanM
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (August 2019)
No part of the world is safe from Covid at the moment. You will find lots of thoughts on planning ahead versus waiting, here on the forum, but there is no consensus and no guarantees.

Personally, I think planning is a great idea, but it is too soon to book flights. The possibility to save a few hundred dollars is not worth the uncertainty and possible complications to me.
Flight insurance would be beneficial.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
You need a crystal ball.....
I think now is not a good time to go. But If you're planning in a few months, I would book the ticket as long as you can change it.

Most airlines are offering this but not on every ticket. For instance, United Basic Economy is not changeable, but regular Economy is. Just read the fine print.

And even though they let you change it for no cost, if the new ticket is priced higher, you have to pay the difference (as @trecile already said).

But I say do it as soon as you can. Life has a way of getting in the way of well laid plans. Praise to you for taking care of your elderly father.
 
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nathanael

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
I am from Canada and they don't recommend us travelling at this time. Hopefully in 2022.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018 Portuguese central
I am from South Africa and would love to go in 2022 again, but at this stage waiting rather to see what happens in next 2 months. Last year we struggled too much with our airline to receive a voucher after our flight for April 2020 was obviously cancelled. We keep on hoping and praying for better days in terms of all aspects of daily life.
 

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
Book but buy cancellation insurance as well as medical insurance. Covid insurance may not yet be availble. The booster helps prevent serious illness from Omicron. It does not guarantee you won’t get it. A fourth shot may be available by next Fall.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait?
Like @trecile, I have flights booked to Lisbon in April. So clearly I am in favour of not just planning it, but starting to put that plan into action. My wife and I will be doing some travel to Europe to visit family sooner than that, and our approach has been to keep doing everything necessary to make that happen, and not to back out until it becomes clear that the trip cannot proceed. That has included making flight and accommodation bookings, scheduling activities, arranging insurance, and now arranging COVID19 testing.

There is a risk that we will be a little out of pocket if changes have to be made, but that is something we are prepared to accept in preference to not undertaking the travel we need to visit family or do the camino later in 2022.
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Don't stop moving forward even if it's in tiny increments. I'm coming in April, have ticket insurance and will buy med-i-vac insurance closer to the time. I reserve the right however to change my mind up until the time I literally board the plane. Since I'm not until April I know much could happen; Omnicron could peak and peter-out, someone in my family or me myself could get sick, borders could close. I'd say buy your ticket and remain flexible. If however, the cost of potential changes could harm you financially, then I'd say wait. But to my opening sentence, keep compiling your equipment, take Spanish classes if need, research alburgues, or whatever you need to keep taking tiny steps forward!
There are no guarantees in our futures...but then again, there never has been. Buen Camino 🌻
 

Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, El Norte, Primitivo, Porto, Madrid, Ingles
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
I bought a ticket in 2019 to travel in the April of 2020. The COVID happened. With the value of that ticket in 2019, I was able to buy 2 tickets that can be changed and/or returned for travel vouchers. I used one in October of 2021, and now I have another one to travel in March of 2022. If you are buying a refundable ticket (even if in a form of travel voucher), I recommend buying it. If COVID makes a trip impossible, you will still have the value of the ticket intact for a future purchase assuming you want to do the Camino eventually when it's possible. I check ticket prices often. The trend is that the prices were pretty high the last several months (higher than the pre-COVID level) but started coming down a little last couple week.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving.
Condolences -- though I am happy you provided that care, which is its own reward, and a beautiful means of gratitude for the care given to us in childhood. ❤️
I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe?
Generally speaking yes.

There was exactly *one* case of symptomatic covid among pilgrims in 2021 AFAIK.

If you're particularly vulnerable for whatever reason, then apart from precautions suggested by your doctor, fill yourself with vitamins D & K, and C. And walk outside of the respiratory diseases season, i.e. wait until April or May.

Otherwise, yeah, deffo go for it !!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Consider holding off till April .and better….till after Easter.
Why?

Up Until April much of the CF infastructure is still closed in between the major towns. If you are planning to take 3 months to complete about 800km,you will be averaging,with rest days about 10km per day? In the off season, you likely won’t find enough intrastructure open In between the stages. In February and early March, before Easter, we sometimes found no bars or Albergues open between some of the major towns. In that case you would need to walk perhaps 20km. Or call for a taxi to come get you. Then return by taxitothat spot the next day and continue walking.
 
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Tim Floyd

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2022
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
My wife and I just got back from 2 1/2 weeks in Spain, though not the Camino areas. We returned before Omicron went full bloom. We found everything open, and reasonable precautions indoors and on public transportation. Spain was very accommodating for vaccinated travelers. I’m planning to return in Fall 2022 for a Camino segment.
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
Hello, and sorry for the loss of your dad. It is a lot taking care of anyone, but you'll be blessed for taking care of your father!
As many have said, as long as it's not in the immediate future, I would go ahead and get a ticket as long as there is cancellation insurance built into it. And plan away, start training, and enjoy the "start" of your next Camino journey in all the planning, reading, prepping. I'm hoping to be there next April, God willing!
Buen Camino !
 
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FSP

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF-2013
CP-2016
Fin-2016
Norte-2018
Muxia-2018
Wish I could commit to a plan at this point as well, but this keeps crossing my mind. I can take on the risk of catching the latest variant of covid and hopefully whatever expenses that might entail. I could also be dragging this virus from place to place even if I just stayed in hotel rooms and not the infectious circus an albergue must be in these times. Then there's the daily rate of infections in Spain. On Dec 23 it was at 72912 per day and this is in a country with a very high vax rate. A year ago when we thought things were really bad it was 16063 per day. I'm not judging anyone's plans just putting out there what is going through my mind and likely others. Perhaps the virus will decline in next few months, lets hope.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 SJPP to Logroño
2021 Logroño - SDC
We finished the CF in October 2021 and found Spain safer than the UK.

There is no such thing as a certainty these days, and waiting for a "better time" might never happen.

We have not booked flights for 2022 yet, as being in Europe we can do easily at short notice.

But, we have in our diary to return to Spain early September to do the Norte.

Plan to fail or fail to plan, where do you sit?

Get it in the diary at least, decide closer to time if it suits you or not.

If you can get a fully refundable fare, book it now, why would you not?

Oh yes, we are both on the wrong side of sixty too.

Life is getting shorter by the year, don't wait too long
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Flight insurance would be beneficial.

But make sure the COVID-19 coverage would be included

As I searched for travel insurance last spring, I found that most, if not alll, major travel insurance policies cover medical expenses from covid, though not quarantine costs. But flight insurance/trip cancellation coverage for covid is another story. So research that carefully if that’s what you want.

As others have said, since most tickets now have no change fees, if you are willing to re-schedule instead of cancel when you decide not to go for whatever reason, you are pretty well covered and won’t lose the money. You can’t get a refund, but you can reschedule.

One thing that a good friend found when trying to get covid-based trip cancellation insurance for an expensive package kind of trip was that there are always very specific requirements about what justifies cancellation because of covid. If you test positive two weeks before the flight and are likely to be deemed recovered but don’t feel like going, is that covered? If you see a huge spike in the destination’s rate of covid and you think it’s too risky, are you covered if you cancel? If a dear family member gets covid and you don’t want to leave him/her alone, can you cancel for that reason? I’m just making up scenarios here, but you get the point — if you want ”covid trip cancellationcoverage,” make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
As I searched for travel insurance last spring, I found that most, if not alll, major travel insurance policies cover medical expenses from covid, though not quarantine costs. But flight insurance/trip cancellation coverage for covid is another story. So research that carefully if that’s what you want.

As others have said, since most tickets now have no change fees, if you are willing to re-schedule instead of cancel when you decide not to go for whatever reason, you are pretty well covered and won’t lose the money. You can’t get a refund, but you can reschedule.

One thing that a good friend found when trying to get covid-based trip cancellation insurance for an expensive package kind of trip was that there are always very specific requirements about what justifies cancellation because of covid. If you test positive two weeks before the flight and are likely to be deemed recovered but don’t feel like going, is that covered? If you see a huge spike in the destination’s rate of covid and you think it’s too risky, are you covered if you cancel? If a dear family member gets covid and you don’t want to leave him/her alone, can you cancel for that reason? I’m just making up scenarios here, but you get the point — if you want ”covid trip cancellationcoverage,” make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.
If you can purchase an airline ticket that allows a free change of trip dates, many insurance plans will offer a change of dates for the trip within a year or more for a nominal change fee.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
Condolences -- though I am happy you provided that care, which is its own reward, and a beautiful means of gratitude for the care given to us in childhood. ❤️

Generally speaking yes.

There was exactly *one* case of symptomatic covid among pilgrims in 2021 AFAIK.

If you're particularly vulnerable for whatever reason, then apart from precautions suggested by your doctor, fill yourself with vitamins D & K, and C. And walk outside of the respiratory diseases season, i.e. wait until April or May.

Otherwise, yeah, deffo go for it !!
I was touched to read your opening words and condolences, JabbaPapa.
 
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Central April 2022
Don't stop moving forward even if it's in tiny increments. I'm coming in April, have ticket insurance and will buy med-i-vac insurance closer to the time. I reserve the right however to change my mind up until the time I literally board the plane. Since I'm not until April I know much could happen; Omnicron could peak and peter-out, someone in my family or me myself could get sick, borders could close. I'd say buy your ticket and remain flexible. If however, the cost of potential changes could harm you financially, then I'd say wait. But to my opening sentence, keep compiling your equipment, take Spanish classes if need, research alburgues, or whatever you need to keep taking tiny steps forward!
There are no guarantees in our futures...but then again, there never has been. Buen Camino 🌻
Aloha From Kauai Thanks for your post. I’ve been planning my first Camino (Portuguese Central) since April. I’ve been compiling my equipment, learning Spanish and doing a lot of training. My plan was to fly out of Boston on April 15th, start from Porto on April 17th, be in Spain for my 58th birthday and finally do something for myself instead of everyone else. Due to Omnicron I have recently put it on hold because I’m nervous about getting stuck in Spain alone. I’ve been really down about it and stopped training until I read your post! Others may feel differently, but every singe sentence you wrote resonates with me, especially the last one! “There are no guarantees in our futures” but if I get on that plane on April 15th I will have you to thank!!! Headed out for a walk in the wood now…it’s been about a month since I laced up my boots. Starting 2022 with a new attitude. Happy and healthy 2022 to you and everyone. 😊
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
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Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Aloha From Kauai Thanks for your post. I’ve been planning my first Camino (Portuguese Central) since April. I’ve been compiling my equipment, learning Spanish and doing a lot of training. My plan was to fly out of Boston on April 15th, start from Porto on April 17th, be in Spain for my 58th birthday and finally do something for myself instead of everyone else. Due to Omnicron I have recently put it on hold because I’m nervous about getting stuck in Spain alone. I’ve been really down about it and stopped training until I read your post! Others may feel differently, but every singe sentence you wrote resonates with me, especially the last one! “There are no guarantees in our futures” but if I get on that plane on April 15th I will have you to thank!!! Headed out for a walk in the wood now…it’s been about a month since I laced up my boots. Starting 2022 with a new attitude. Happy and healthy 2022 to you and everyone. 😊
Good for you! Yes, everyone has to find their own path (pun intended). If being stuck in Spain scares you, look unto medivac insurance for Covid.

We have a high end music event coming up where people are coming from spots across the globe, which is managed by very weighty protocols; one of which is providing medivac insurance for each participant so that we minimize or mitigate any burden on our on-island health care system. It is comforting to know it's there.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy journey!
 

Monique Craig

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept - Oct 2014, Camino Portugues Sept - Oct 2017
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
It's as safe as it can be. I went with a friend to France last September to walk the Podiensis. No real problems. We did get the Covid pass QR code while we were there after applying online but only a very few lodgings checked it. I think it's a mixed bag but good to have proof of vaccination card and neg Covid test within 24 to 48 hrs prior to landing just in case. That's what we did. I'm very proactive. Bring your masks and go for it.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I’m here now for a few months and it’s fine. Minor restrictions (75% on Stadium capacities) but otherwise fine at no. Things can of course change!
 

MaryLynn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I am from Canada and they don't recommend us travelling at this time. Hopefully in 2022.
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada With this advisory, if you travel outside
Canada to walk the Camino (essential to me, but the Canadian Government doesn't agree) and need the services of the Canadian Embassy - to replace your lost passport or other services of the Canadian Embassy in Spain - you are out of luck - and very likely your travel insurance is invalid during this advisory. It is not worth the risk.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
I think it is a different choice for all people. Personally, I went in Sept. 2021 from Canada but I made adjustments in sleeping, eating. They were more expensive and truthfully, I missed the carefree aspect of the Camino. I am not sure I would (my own personal choice) do it again until things die down abit. I want the experience I had in 2018 which was much more carefree and serendipitous. I am going to wait and I know it’s a gamble with fares but I don’t want to be holding tickets and be constantly thinking about whether I will go. Just me.
 
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Gabi Wehler

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
You need a booster anyway as many eu countries now won’t let u in without it. Keep an eye on the Spanish government site.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
I can only give you my personal view.

As I write this, Spain's coronaproblem is at its worst. Yesterday (New Year eve 2021) 112 new persons were contaminated in Spain each minute. The region of Navarra (where Pamplona is) is the hardest hit of all Spanish regions.

I have been waiting and waiting in order to go, for more than one year (almost 2), but I have realized; I will not have a Camino in Spain this side of summer. I can only hope for an autumn Camino.

I live in Europe (Norway). A one-way ticket to Spain will only cost me 70-80 USD. But I will not place any order right now. Things have to calm down first; the pandemic must slow down. At the time of writing this there are so many hurdles in Europe: You need to be fully vaccinated to enter a country, and some also demand a 3rd booster. In addition, you need to have a negative PCR test (even if booster vaccinated), you need to have filled out a valid SPTH form, and have a (EU standard) Corona certificate to get into restaurants and many other places, and you must keep your travel schedule, bc if not, all your papers etc. may be invalid.

Bc of this, I keep calm, realistic, and stay at home for now, hoping for an autumn Camino.

On another note: Since you worry if it is safe to travel now/May, well, it says something, doesn't it?.

At sea (I am a sea captain) we have a saying:

If you are in doubt, act as if there is no doubt. It has saved many lives.

But of course, it is up to you to make decisions for your own life.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2018
I can only give you my personal view.

As I write this, Spain's coronaproblem is at its worst. Yesterday (New Year eve 2021) 112 new persons were contaminated in Spain each minute. The region of Navarra (where Pamplona is) is the hardest hit of all Spanish regions.

I have been waiting and waiting in order to go, for more than one year (almost 2), but I have realized; I will not have a Camino in Spain this side of summer. I can only hope for an autumn Camino.

I live in Europe (Norway). A one-way ticket to Spain will only cost me 70-80 USD. But I will not place any order right now. Things have to calm down first; the pandemic must slow down. At the time of writing this there are so many hurdles in Europe: You need to be fully vaccinated to enter a country, and some also demand a 3rd booster. In addition, you need to have a negative PCR test (even if booster vaccinated), you need to have filled out a valid SPTH form, and have a (EU standard) Corona certificate to get into restaurants and many other places, and you must keep your travel schedule, bc if not, all your papers etc. may be invalid.

Bc of this, I keep calm, realistic, and stay at home for now, hoping for an autumn Camino.

On another note: Since you worry if it is save to travel now/May, well it says something.

At sea (I am a sea captain) we have a saying:

If you are in doubt, act as if there is no doubt. It has saved many lives.
I am thinking the same from Canada.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I can only give you my personal view.

As I write this, Spain's coronaproblem is at its worst. Yesterday (New Year eve 2021) 112 new persons were contaminated in Spain each minute. The region of Navarra (where Pamplona is) is the hardest hit of all Spanish regions.

I have been waiting and waiting in order to go, for more than one year (almost 2), but I have realized; I will not have a Camino in Spain this side of summer. I can only hope for an autumn Camino.

I live in Europe (Norway). A one-way ticket to Spain will only cost me 70-80 USD. But I will not place any order right now. Things have to calm down first; the pandemic must slow down. At the time of writing this there are so many hurdles in Europe: You need to be fully vaccinated to enter a country, and some also demand a 3rd booster. In addition, you need to have a negative PCR test (even if booster vaccinated), you need to have filled out a valid SPTH form, and have a (EU standard) Corona certificate to get into restaurants and many other places, and you must keep your travel schedule, bc if not, all your papers etc. may be invalid.

Bc of this, I keep calm, realistic, and stay at home for now, hoping for an autumn Camino.

On another note: Since you worry if it is save to travel now/May, well it says something.

At sea (I am a sea captain) we have a saying:

If you are in doubt, act as if there is no doubt. It has saved many lives.
Hello. I feel I should offer an alternative view as I am in Spain right now travelling across the country. I am EU and British national so not sure how things vary by nationality! Things here are very straightforward. You need the SPTH to enter the country, and a COVID pass to enter bars but that’s about it for me. Oh and you have to wear a mask The bars, restaurant and shops are packed and everyone is largely getting on with life as normal.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
Hello. I feel I should offer an alternative view as I am in Spain right now travelling across the country. I am EU and British national so not sure how things vary by nationality! Things here are very straightforward. You need the SPTH to enter the country, and a COVID pass to enter bars but that’s about it for me. Oh and you have to wear a mask The bars, restaurant and shops are packed and everyone is largely getting on with life as normal.
These are definitely not normal times, but it's good to hear that you are doing fine. Buen Camino! I suspect that I, as fully + booster vaccinated person could go there and survive, but I can get contaminated without symptoms, and thus bring the virus on to others less fortunate. That's where my solidarity and protection instincts turn on.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Cause...
The bars, restaurant and shops are packed and everyone is largely getting on with life as normal.
...and effect?
As I write this, Spain's coronaproblem is at its worst. Yesterday (New Year eve 2021) 112 new persons were contaminated in Spain each minute.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
These are definitely not normal times, but it's good to hear that you are doing fine. Buen Camino! I suspect that I, as fully + booster vaccinated person could go there and survive, but I can get contaminated without symptoms, and thus bring the virus on to others less fortunate. That's where my solidarity and protection instincts turn on.
That’s fine Alex. Each person must do what they feel comfortable with. I just wanted to highlight that life can be pretty normal both here in Spain and across most of Europe to avoid folks thinking things are still as they were in Summer 2020. I am travelling around Europe at moment on a rail pass and have visited lots of countries and the ‘covid pass’ required in many countries has led to a very different feeling across the continent, and I haven’t really felt any restrictions! Well apart from Football stadium capacities being reduced by 25%!
 

danielgzepeda

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016
The major airlines are offering date changes with no change fees, so I'd say go for it. But be aware that they will charge you the difference in fares if you book for new dates that are more expensive.
I've got tickets for Lisbon in April. 🤞
Thanks, Trecile. Very helpful info for me also. On the verge of purchasing a round trip fare to and from Madrid/Barajas from deep South TX early May for CF, Finisterre and Muxia. I am planning slow and enjoyable 45 days total.
 
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smp

Member
Past OR future Camino
spain (2017)
When were you thinking of going?

If this is for next week, too risky for my blood. Omicron is in full bloom at the moment, and for me, I don't think its a great idea to be travelling at the moment. For reference, I walked in September-October this year (it was a GREAT time to walk!) and I am planning again for this coming April. But right now? Not in my way of balancing risk versus reward versus what is right for our Spanish hosts. Its true that everything is more or less open, but that could change any day. Its also winter, another significant consideration.

If you are talking about Spring/Summer though, by all means, buy some tickets and start planning. You may have your Camino wiped out by another significant Covid wave or closures, but it won't be this one. The future is very tough to predict here. Take your chances, but be flexible when the date gets closer, and the current situation is clearer.
I'm curious if you stayed in communal albergues or hotels when you went this fall?
 

Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
I'm curious if you stayed in communal albergues or hotels when you went this fall?

The answer is Yes. Some albergues observed capacity limits for Covid, a few did not, and packed full. We stayed in albergues as well as private rooms in Hostels/CRs....maybe 60/40 albergues. Some places had communal dinners, most did not. It was a real grab bag this year.....some places radically changed their posture and practices, and others were partying like its 1999.
 
Past OR future Camino
June/July 2015 (CF, 100 miles), June/July 2018 (CP, ~40 miles, too hot!)
When were you thinking of going?

If this is for next week, too risky for my blood. Omicron is in full bloom at the moment, and for me, I don't think its a great idea to be travelling at the moment. For reference, I walked in September-October this year (it was a GREAT time to walk!) and I am planning again for this coming April. But right now? Not in my way of balancing risk versus reward versus what is right for our Spanish hosts. Its true that everything is more or less open, but that could change any day. Its also winter, another significant consideration.

If you are talking about Spring/Summer though, by all means, buy some tickets and start planning. You may have your Camino wiped out by another significant Covid wave or closures, but it won't be this one. The future is very tough to predict here. Take your chances, but be flexible when the date gets closer, and the current situation is clearer.
I was thinking April to June. Cool, not snowy, and we'll know more about omicron by then.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I walked 100 miles of the Camino summer of 2015, and now have the opportunity to do it again. My 91 year old father passed August of 2021, so now no more caregiving. I found a fantastic flight from my local airport to Spain for $539, round trip, for three months. I know I'd need a long time to complete the Camino since I'm a slow stroller. Is it safe? I know Covid is now part of the landscape; I'm fully vaxed, and plan on getting the third shot if at all possible. I've gotten J&J, then Pfizer, so I'd like to get Moderna for optimal coverage. Any thoughts on planning ahead, or wait? Thanks.
Is it safe to go to Spain? No one can say what it will be like in a few months. But you can also ask yourself how is it in my own country, can I travel and am I welcome in the country I want to go to and what do I have to do for that.🙏
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
I was thinking April to June. Cool, not snowy, and we'll know more about omicron by then.
I am thinking exactly the same thing. My plans are in place. If there is a new wave of a new covid, or restrictions look onerous in the weeks leading up to departure, I will do what I did in the spring of 2020.....cancel everything, save my flight credit for better times, and stay home. It will be obvious what the right thing to do will be, when the time comes. The last two years have taught us that Covid comes in waves, and an element of luck is essential for those trying to travel. The fall was a good time. Right now is a bad time. Nobody knows about April 2022. Unfortunately, certainty is in short supply these days, and we have to live with that by planning for success, while being prepared for failure.

Buen Camino
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Hmm I am not sure COVID comes in waves! It feels like it’s been ever present to me since March 2020, and I think it will be here as an ‘issue’ for a while to come! For me each person has to decide where they are at personally. I’ve done a lot of travelling over the last 18 months including 3 caminos and it’s felt fine to me, but my fears and concerns are up in other areas of life. Anyway good luck all whatever you decide!
 

Terrri

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May/June 2013
September/October 2016
September/October 2019
My husband and I had to cancel our 2019 fall Camino for health reasons. When covid seemed like it settled down we booked direct tickets to Madrid. Two weeks later this new varient was announced.
Our tickets are for the end of March, and returning the beginning of May. In hindsight we probably should have waited but we did book in the off season hoping for less people. We are doing some planning and prepping as if things are a go but we are prepared to cancel and possibly lose money.
Prepare for the worst but expect the best.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
My husband and I had to cancel our 2019 fall Camino for health reasons. When covid seemed like it settled down we booked direct tickets to Madrid. Two weeks later this new varient was announced.
Our tickets are for the end of March, and returning the beginning of May. In hindsight we probably should have waited but we did book in the off season hoping for less people. We are doing some planning and prepping as if things are a go but we are prepared to cancel and possibly lose money.
Prepare for the worst but expect the best.
Bear in mind that Spain has a high vax rate. I guess the main concern is the highish obesity level.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Concern to the government that high case number will lead to serious illness given obesity levels!
In 62nd place (out of 191 countries), Spain is doing much better than most of the English-speaking countries that most forum members call home, so I wouldn’t factor that in very high on my list of concerns.

 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
In 62nd place (out of 191 countries), Spain is doing much better than most of the English-speaking countries that most forum members call home, so I wouldn’t factor that in very high on my list of concerns.

Thank you! Interesting chart!
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
The restrictions on the airlines as well as France and Spain are a "moveable" target, much like Hemingway's feast. I have an inexpensive ticket on TAP which I purchased for travel in 2020, I have changed it 4 times with out paying lots of fees. My latest plans are August/September 2022. Fingers crossed and I will not be checking the newest restrictions until June or July. Why worry about something you have no control over?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The restrictions on the airlines as well as France and Spain are a "moveable" target, much like Hemingway's feast. I have an inexpensive ticket on TAP which I purchased for travel in 2020, I have changed it 4 times with out paying lots of fees. My latest plans are August/September 2022. Fingers crossed and I will not be checking the newest restrictions until June or July. Why worry about something you have no control over?
My feelings exactly. IMHO, since it is impossible to know what the situation will be a few months down the line, the most sensible thing to do is to purchase a ticket when the price is right for the dates you hope to go. On the theory that anyone booking a ticket to walk a camino is going to go to walk a camino when it is safe, your investment will not go to waste since I believe all airlines are letting you reschedule without change fees.

I also think it is more cost-effective to buy a cheap ticket now than to wait until your level of comfort for travel during covid gives you the green light for travel. At that point, you are likely to be very close to departure date and the fares will be much higher. Worse that can happen is what has happened to @biarritzdon — multiple reschedulings.
 
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Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
When you consider the population is 45-50 million it’s a very small number and at a minimum highlights the level of risk!
 

Terrri

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May/June 2013
September/October 2016
September/October 2019
Since I posted on this thread on Jan 5, our tickets have been changed by the airlines three times. Our return flights are the ones we were expecting changes to, because the layover times were quite tight, but the changes so far have only been to the outgoing flights.

We are two months away from departure time and debating on cancelling altogether, rather than dealing with constant rescheduling of flights.

If they are making so many changes to our departure flights now I can only imagine the changes to our return flights that will happen just before departure or while on the camino.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Let's not debate the significance of various numbers.
Sure sorry! Agree labels aren’t useful!! That said I do feel that numbers are useful to determine degree of risk I.e 2k dividing by 50 million and then factoring in your vax status and general health gives me a number that I can assess my risks versus other risks!
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
Of course COVID will impact size of airlines summer schedules

Lufthansa are already complaining that they are having to fly empty planes to keep airport landing slots/routes, so it appears that there are plenty of flights - but a lack of passengers.

So if the answer to the "is it safe" is "yes" - would that persuade more people to travel - or is it the convenience of flight connections that will determine the travel?
 
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