The ongoing lockdown restrictions leave most avid travelers itchy wanderlust after their next adventure. However, as we have all recognized, the global pandemic is forcing us to redefine our view of “safe travel”.
While extensive globetrotting is currently not advisable, traveling in a pandemic means adapting to a new travel standard: strict COVID-19 safety protocols!
Traveling in a pandemic
The reality is that traveling in the midst of a pandemic carries many risks. As you step into this “new travel normal,” you need to equip yourself with various health and safety guidelines at all times.
While mass international travel may still be a while away, some travelers may have to undertake international business trips or important family visits.
Whether you’re taking an international trip or planning your travels locally, here are some essential tips for traveling safely when traveling in a pandemic.
1. Review entry restrictions and requirements
Traveling during a pandemic means getting used to your research. And we don’t mean just googling the most underrated beaches or local places to explore and label them as day. Before you can start planning your itinerary, make sure you fully understand the COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry requirements of the country you are visiting.
It is important to note that each country has different entry requirements. Regularly visiting the government’s official website will give you full access to all of the specific restrictions.
Most countries also require a negative PCR test result generated within 48 to 72 hours prior to your travel. Remember to allow enough time to get tested and get the results back before heading to the airport to make sure your test is valid.
2. Get travel insurance
Regardless of where you are going, traveling during a pandemic means adding travel insurance to your list of must-haves. For those of you considering foregoing the extra costs, it’s worth noting that this level of insurance is vital.
However, it is important to read through the COVID-19 coverage that the insurer offers. For example, World Nomads does not cover travel to countries with a COVID travel ban. So make yourself familiar with the exclusions (read more about their coronavirus coverage here).
COVID-19 travel insurance is more of a safe trip than a safe travel tip. To put it bluntly, you absolutely NEED it and it’s an extra cost you won’t regret!
Get a travel insurance quote from World Nomads below:
3. Get to the airport early
The days of rushing through the airport doors and ONLY catching your flight in time are over.
With the enforcement of new pandemic regulations, airports are now functioning differently. Once you’ve been given the green light to get to your destination, you’ll need to prepare to jump through a few more hoops once you get to the airport.
The staff will take steps to ensure that they collect all of your health declarations on arrival. You may be asked to do a travel risk assessment, do another rapid COVID-19 test, and provide detailed information about your destination.
As you can imagine, this can be a little time consuming. So, arrive early enough to have any necessary health exams.
Here are some tips on how to chat at the airport.
4. Permits and visas are your new accessories
Paperwork is a huge part of traveling in a pandemic. With the tourism industry heading for a major comeback, the only way to achieve certain goals seems to be with the help of residence permits and special visas.
Without these documents, you can be refused entry at the border or at the airport. Make sure you have all of the necessary things, including your papers and forms, ready in advance! We also recommend that you print out some certified copies of your visa and permit – this will prove to be a lifesaver!
5. Get ready for the quarantine
Again, there are different quarantine measures in each country so you need to familiarize yourself with your specific definition. While security protocols vary from country to country, many destinations require you to be quarantined for two weeks prior to entry.
If you are planning to return to your home country, you will most likely be asked to undergo another two-week quarantine before being allowed to re-enter.
It should also be emphasized that most travel insurances do not cover this mandatory quarantine stay. This means that you will have to pay these costs out of your own pocket. Therefore, you may want to include these costs in your budget planning beforehand.
6. Have flexible plans
Rigorous planning may not be for everyone, but this pandemic is proof that you always need to prepare for the unexpected – especially when it comes to traveling in a pandemic. Once you land at your destination, you need to be aware that many government officials place different travel corridors and levels.
These travel corridors and levels mean that borders and certain areas can be closed at any time if they detect an increase in COVID-19 cases. If you keep up with these travel bubbles and stages it can be a little confusing. Hence, you should keep an eye on the travel websites and government pages to keep up to date with travel moves.
It would be in your best interests to pay a little more for the flexibility of booking when it comes to your accommodations, flights, and tours booked. In this way you can change the data when the borders are closed!
Don’t forget to add reusable eco-friendly masks to your travel kit
An alarming number of disposable masks and gloves have been found on beaches around the world. Obviously, this is not good for the environment. Whenever possible, it is best to choose reusable eco-friendly masks instead of disposable masks.
Here are some options:
The reality is that traveling in a pandemic can seem daunting and overwhelming. However, the point is not to scare you. The goal is to make sure you always understand the importance of staying informed and prepared. If you follow these safe travel tips, you’ll have a fun (and safe) trip!