Traveling in these crazy times can be overwhelming, but with these 5 tips for traveling in a pandemic we hope to empower you to still live your life and travel the world.
I know a lot of people whose travel plans are on hold. However, it appears that covid isn’t going away anytime soon. Rather than put off that dream vacation another year, let’s see if we can offer you some peace of mind now and get those bags packed! The following tips and steps, helped ease our minds and took us to Bora Bora in 2021 and Maldives in 2022 despite the Pandemic.
1 – Use a Travel Agent
Travel agents are experts in their field. They know all the ins and outs of traveling in a pandemic, and stay on top of the constantly changing restrictions and rules of your destination. What you may not know, most travel agents are free! They earn their wage through the resorts, flights, and tours that you book while still getting you fantastic rates and up to date knowledge. In addition, they remain on-call throughout your trip!
Tiffany at Tahitian Vacations was an absolute life saver when booking a trip to Bora Bora. She changed the dates of our travel 4 times, with no penalties, due to border closings and unmet travel requirements.
Kristie at Indulge Maldives made our booking and travel process to the South Ari Atoll seamless. She checked on us throughout our stay and was there to assist when we had to unexpectedly Quarantine.
2- Purchase Travel Insurance Immediately After Your Initial Deposit
Some plans are not allowed to be purchased late in the game. The longer you wait, you will be exempt from purchasing important benefits. To maximize your benefits you will want to purchase your Travel Insurance at the same time as your initial deposit.
We recommend a “Cancel Anytime” policy. This is exactly what it sounds like. You are able to cancel your trip for a full refund for any reason at all. Meanwhile most policies have a list of covered reason such as family death, traffic delay, work emergency, and more – but require proof by police report, doctor’s note, or the like. I would choose the Cancel Anytime policy just in case a country changes their pandemic rules and regulations prior to your departure, and you are unable to meet these requirements or no longer feel comfortable traveling.
Be sure to understand the benefits of your policy and how they would apply to your worst case scenario. During a pandemic the “Trip Interruption” and “Trip Delay” benefit will be of the utmost importance. Trip Interruption covers pre-planned stays and activities that you are interrupted from pursuing. Trip Delay covers additional expenses if you are delayed from returning home. We used The Travel Insurance Center both trips, they are like the expedia or kayak of travel insurance.
**Also be sure that your policy does not exclude covid as a covered reason. If your policy feels too good to be true, it mostly likely excludes covid. If you are in doubt, shoot the company an email so you have their answer in writing. This is not usually the case with big name suppliers.
3- Understand Rules, Regulations, and Possibilities
Research the government website of your destination to find out their latest rules. You may want to know:
- Do I need to be vaccinated? What Qualifies as vaccinated?
- Do I need a Negative Test before I enter? What type of test? How many hours before departure? How many tests throughout my stay? How much do these tests cost?
- Are tests or vaccination cards required for entry to: museums, shops, restaurants, or other places of interest?
- Is a Quarantine required? As soon as I enter the country? If I test positive during my stay? For how long?
Next research your worst case scenario. If you test positive for covid, while overseas, what would happen?
- Do I get to quarantine at the same resort I booked?
- What is the average daily cost to quarantine?
- What are the requirements to be released?
- Do I feel comfortable with their medical facilities if things go south?
Based off these answers, you can take out the correct insurance policy that will cover any and all possible expenses.
4 – Make a Checklist & Travel Folder
Create a checklist! This will help you remember, be prepared, and alleviate stress. Organize everything required for travel in the following categories: Before Arrival, On Arrival, During Stay, Before Departure, & On Departure.
Keep all required travel documents in a folder! This will put everything in one spot, easy to access, and available for each checkpoint at the airport. I keep my passport, vaccination card, waivers, declaration forms, negative PCR results, copy of my travel insurance, flight tickets, typed itinerary, hotel reservation… ALL.THE.THINGS in my folder.
Bonus Tip: Keep a digital folder on your phone, JUST IN CASE. It can be as simple as taking a photo of every document, or as fancy as having a PDF of each saved to your phone. If traveling with a buddy, give them a copy of everything as well. For example, Tappy and I both have a folder with all the same docs. That way if one of us looses our folder, the other still has a copy.
5 – Pack Your Bags & Count Down Your Days
Now that you know all that is required of you, you have a plan with a checklist, an insurance policy if things go awry, it’s time to pack your bags and countdown the days! The stressful part is over, now you can turn your mind to the upcoming vacation. From experience, I can tell you that the extra stress on the planning side is unfortunate, but once you arrive to your destination it will have been worth it. Here are a few things I tell myself:
- Humans still travel every day, and I’m human… so I can do this.
- Once I #insertdestinationgoal, it will be worth it. (Once my feet hit the sand; I’m having a picnic under the Eiffel Tower; I’m eating pizza in Napoli; it will be worth it)
- What is the best that could happen?
Is there anything you would add to the list? I would love your best pandemic travel tips! Let’s all help each other book our next big trip.
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