Getting Help Making Sense Of International Travel During Covid

As I check my mail this AM and receive one from ‘Travel + Leisure’ with the subject line “Where Can Americans Travel Right Now? A Country-by-country Guide.” I prop ,myself up in my bed and look at this?

Yep, dirty laundry and all, that’s my view this morning as I wake up at the Cannua Hotel Resort in Colombia. I’ll share more about this trip and the amazing places I’ve been in Colombia with Out in Colombia in a later post, but going back to that T+L email.  Should I be here?

Looking through the email, it lists off just about every country in the world and if we as Americans should visit. I myself since May have been to Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Miami, Maine and a bunch of other destinations in the US, walking among the unvaccinated and have been fine, but we may want to consider what T+L might say about international destinations.  Since May, I’ve also been to Mexico (Mexico City and Punta de Mita) Dominican Republic (will share soon), now Colombia (Cartagena, Guatape, & Medellin) and will go to the Yucatan and Puerto Rico soon. Should I be doing this?

The big thing I concur with the T+L article is the COVID testing to get back into the United States.  That is a given I feel no matter where you traveled outside of the US, but there will be other forms that you will need to fill out and make sure you have done ahead of time.

The options for those who want to add another stamp to their passport have steadily grown since the world was first put on hold last year — albeit often with more paperwork, testing, and pre-planning required. Those who fly back to the United States will also be required to show a negative test before boarding a flight home. To provide even greater peace of mind to travelers, many airlines and airports have started offering on-site rapid COVID-19 tests.

You’re gonna need that swab, not love it, of course, but you are going to have to have that negative result if you want to return to the US.  Now how you get the test done, and when and how and where you upload your results to the multiple airlines coming into the US is a different story. Jet Blue is usually “show us at the counter”.  Other airlines like Delta (when coming back from Mexico) was easy as I just uploaded the results to their app and had zero worries. Some other airlines have partnered with a third party to handle the verifications of cards and results to be prepared to download another app or go to other websites. Check with your airline as to how they want the results and check with the resort or hotel before booking to see if they will assist with the testing. 

What about before you go?  Yes, many nations and some airlines want you to upload your statement of COVID negativity and vaccination information before you fly. Some nations and airlines will also need you to fill out a web form before even approaching your airport at home or airlines will have a slew of QR codes for you to scan at baggage drop for you to do more paperwork if you didn’t do it already. So definitely DO NOT think this is traveling as usual.  There are most definitely extra steps involved when it comes to travel during COVID and not every nation or airline has the same steps.

And I think that is the best use of this T+L post, see what they say about testing, pre-gaming and what you should be paying attention to.  Here is what they said about Colombia:

Colombia

Level 3: Reconsider Travel

U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Colombia and must complete the Migracion Colombia’s Check-Mig immigration form and show a negative PCR test from no more than 96 hours before departure, according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. Quarantine is not required, but travelers may be greeted with other protocols upon arrival.

Limited international flights have resumed to several of the country’s busiest airports, including Bogota, Cartagena, and Medellin, but the country’s water and land borders remain closed.

I agree with everything they’ve said in here about the “Reconsider Travel”.  I mean, you can say that about any travel to any country at this time.  None are 100% vaccinated and we aren’t even in the US. I think this is just a precautionary reminder that COVID is still out there. 

And what did they say about DR?

Dominican Republic

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution\

As part of the Dominican Republic’s “Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan,” visitors are no longer required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country. Additionally, mass testing will not be performed at the airport upon arrival, but will instead be done at random. Travelers must fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit online before traveling to the DR.

T+L did an excellent job on this post so read it, click through it, click everything that is linked out as it’s great info. 

Yep, countries are lessening their restrictions as they want the tourism dollars.  We just have to remain safe, educated, and pregame on all of the paperwork, forms, etc and don’t forget to keep your smart phone charged at all times as much of this documentation will take place on it. QR coded, bar codes, little forms in foreign languages that need to be blown up.  It is a process, but when you can get views like this, it is all worth it. 

Once again, to wrap up:

  • Be educated
  • pay attention to your airline’s needs
  • pay attention to your specific country’s needs
  • pay attention to your specific resort’s needs
  • consider an annual travel insurance that covers all your trips for a full year (range from $170, $280, $540, or more)
  • realize travel has changed
  • plan ahead
  • ask for help even if you don’t need it. 
  • Work with someone that can just drop all of this into your WhatsApp to complete. 

With so many airlines and countries doing different things, it may be hard to navigate, but realize everyone has to do it and participate accordingly. Your worries will be a lot less, maybe nonexistent if you just pay attention and plan ahead and keep that smart phone charged.

Source: T+L

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