It’s been tough hearing stories from all of you about how you’ve had your dream trip disrupted or cancelled by Coronavirus (Covid-19).
This era of travel is changing daily and creating new challenges that we hope to help you conquer. Here are 8 tips for your next vacation during Covid-19.
1. CHECK IN WITH THE STATE OR COUNTRY GOVERNMENT THAT YOU WILL BE TRAVELING TO
A great place to start is the the State Department Government site. Here you can find the latest travel advisories for any country. This site will give you a good idea on the state of Covid for that area as well as any travel restrictions. I do find they tend to be overly cautious with their recommendations so keep that in mind.
2. STAY PERMITS AND SPECIAL VISAS MAY BE THE NEW STANDARD
Some popular holiday destinations now demand new tourist visas, with new rules in place to combat COVID-19 and to guarantee visitors who visit their nation are insured against any unforeseen medical expenditures. We’re seeing more countries implement these visas, with some additional criteria that travelers may need to fulfill:
- Recent negative Covid-19 test results
- Verification of health insurance coverage should you become ill overseas
- Written agreement that any required medical treatment while in their country will be paid for by you. Many hospitals require payment upfront by credit card.
Whether or not you’ll need to do this depends on the visa requirements at the countries you are traveling to or through. Also be prepared to use your credit card or have the funds if you’re asked to go to a hospital or need to quarantine on arrival.
These are all great reasons to look into Travel Insurance.
3. ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR AIRPORT CHECK-INS, ESPECIALLY WHEN TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY
If you’ve been given the go-ahead to travel, we envy you; however, it also implies there are a few more hurdles for you to overcome. Extra precautions have been taken in numerous countries, with airport and custom officials taking additional measures to gather health declarations at arrival, as well as visa conditions and contact information. You may be required to complete a travel risk assessment, take a COVID-19 exam, or supply more information about your itinerary and where you’ve been. If you’re traveling in a big group or need to make a flight connection, be prepared to spend an extra two to three hours.
4. PREPARE TO QUARANTINE
Many countries have quarantine rules in place already, but some may not have them until you arrive or will be forced to go into mandatory isolation if officials believe you’ve come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms. Please note that if you need to go into compulsory quarantine as required by the government to return to your home country, you will have to factor in the costs as this is not covered under most Travel Insurance policies
5. BEFORE YOU BOARD YOUR FLIGHT, GET TESTED FOR COVID-19
Now is definitely the time to get a clean bill of health before you go overseas. More and more airlines and governments now demand that passengers submit a PCR test that demonstrates they are free of COVID-19. Many people have been forced to cancel their trips at the last minute or lose money as a result of not getting tested or having their PCR test.
Make sure you know when the test must be taken, because you don’t want it to not count since you took it five hours before the eligible time period began. Test times vary widely, from 48 to 72 hours ahead of your flight, according to current reports; check with the government at the destination you are going to or through for any requirements and to make sure you submit your test on time.
Even if your destination does not require a Covid-19 test we highly recommend getting on within a 72 hour window of your departure time.
6. DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND RESEARCH YOUR TRAVEL BUBBLES, TRAVEL CORRIDORS, AND TRAVEL TIERS
Several nations and regions are creating or have already implemented travel bubbles, corridors, and tiers. It’s difficult to differentiate who can go where and when, so keep an eye on government and travel websites for travel warnings and what levels of travel may be available.
Be aware that some travel bubbles are one-way only, such as between New Zealand and Australia; if you haven’t done your homework, this might result in extra expenses. If the bubble bursts, you may be compelled to enter quarantine if you’re already traveling or have to cancel your trip if you haven’t yet departed. When COVID-19 incidents rise or fall, many travel tiers and corridors can change on a whim, leaving you in a pinch if you’ve booked tours, have connecting flights, and need to alter or reschedule your flight and accommodation dates.
7. IT PAYS TO KEEP GOOD RECORDS
One thing COVID-19 doesn’t change is that you should have copies of your travel receipts and paperwork with you whenever you travel. It’s a good idea to email yourself a copy so you can access them easily if necessary. You may need evidence of your planned or recent travels and keeping track of your receipts is the best way to do that. In addition, if you have any travel insurance or medical claims to make when you return home you’ll need these receipts for that as well.
8. PLAN A RISK-FREE HOLIDAY AND REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN WHILE YOU’RE AT IT
sIf you have a vacation planned and everything goes as planned, you should take every precaution to prevent yourself and others from being exposed to COVID-19. The following are some things that might help you enjoy your holiday stress-free:
- Always remember to keep social distancing
- Wear a face mask and carry hand sanitizer
- Follow regulations and norms in the nation you’re visiting, as well as local customs.
- Consider driving (if properly licenced in the country you’re in) rather than flying or taking a train or bus to your next destination
- Use online or contactless reservation check-ins and contactless payment methods whenever possible.
- Try to avoid large crowds.
At the end of the day, your holiday is supposed to be filled with excitement and not anxiety. The more informed and prepared you are, the more enjoyable your vacation will be! We hope this helps you to have that amazing vacation you deserve.