Coronavirus has drastically impacted almost every aspect of our lives, no matter where we live or what we do to make our living. International travel is no exception. You might be in the process of trying to plan an international trip but are unsure of how to do this, given everything that has been going on in the world. The following will break down the steps you need to take to plan your next international trip efficiently.
Learn About The Travel Restrictions In Place
If you are planning on taking an international trip, the first thing you need to do before anything else is researching the travel restrictions in place. This can be done quickly enough online by visiting government websites. There will be a list of countries you are not allowed to travel to or from, as well as a list of countries it is strongly recommended you do not travel to, though it is legal for you to go so if you choose.
Make sure you are looking at the travel advisories posted by the country you are planning on leaving and the one you are planning on arriving in. This is because some states are currently rejecting travelers from certain places. It is important to note that this information is subject to change, and, because of this, you should be referring back to the travel advisory pages throughout your planning process. The last thing you’d want is to come to your travel destination and remain there quarantined.
Sort Out Currency
If you’re traveling internationally, you will likely be required to use a different currency than the one in your home country. Keep an eye on the exchange rates as you plan your trip. For example, if you were heading to the United Kingdom from the United States, you’d want to watch out for the rate of changing Dollars to Pounds. When the ratio is in your favor, switch over the currency you’re expecting to need on your trip. Many people leave this step until the end of their planning season, but you can save some money if you keep this in mind early on.
Book Your Travel And Accommodation
Look into travel arrangements and any accommodation you will need on your trip. You might be surprised to see how drastically prices for international travel have changed recently. If you suspect that there might be delays or alterations to travel advisories and bans, you might want to look into more flexible booking options. Some airlines and hotels offer better cancellation policies for a small upfront fee. Given how unstable things have been lately, it might be wise to consider these options, even if you have not used them in the past.
Set Up Your Travel Insurance
Once your dates are set, and your tickets are booked, you can set up travel insurance. Many banks and credit cards offer a range of health insurance and coverage for lost or stolen baggage at a low price. If COVID-19 is your primary concern, you need to read your health insurance coverage policy carefully. When this article was written, most travel insurance providers were not covering for COVID related costs.
Research The Precautions You Need To Take
There is no way to 100% protect yourself from contracting the coronavirus. There are, however, steps you can take to mitigate your risk.
- Social distancing, which means standing or sitting at least six feet (two meters) away from other people, is important to maintain at all times.
- Face masks should be worn whenever you are in public, and will likely be required as you travel. (You might want to look up the by-laws in the area you are traveling to as well—in many places, face masks are required by law in indoor public spaces).
- You want to be washing your hands regularly and well (using soap and water for at least twenty seconds or using a sanitizing solution of at least 60% alcohol. Hand washing is the number one thing you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID, and it should be done at all the regular points, but also every time you touch something that lots of other people have touched and before you touch your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
With these things in mind, you are well on your way to organizing an international trip efficiently. As with any time you are traveling, it is important to do your own research on the area you will be traveling to and what is expected of you when you are there. There may be additional things you must prepare for that are specific for your travel destination.