Fully vaccinated and eager to don your travelling hat? Well, before you book the ticket to your dream destination, here’s what you need to know.
For over a year now, most of us had to satiate our wanderlust for picturesque international destinations by ogling at celebs and influencers’ travel posts on social media, from the confines of our homes. However, now with rapid vaccination drives being rolled out across the globe and many countries easing the COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated people — international travel finally seems possible again.
While this does call for celebrations, it doesn’t mean you can just pack your bags like usual and hop on to the plane to chalk out your fav destination from your bucket list or go reunite with your family and friends on the other side of the world.
Globetrotting comes with a new set of snags now. It is necessary to take note of the fact that even though fully vaccinated, like many things, travelling won’t be as it used to be before the Covid-19 world, and you need to take a few things into considerations before booking the tickets for the much-awaited vacay.
Here’s a list of things that you need to know about post-vaccine international travel. Read on…
Check Where You Can Travel
So, you are fully vaccinated and eager to travel to your dream destination? Well, before you set about doing your bookings and making your itinerary, first and foremost, it is important to check if the country you would like to visit is open to tourists coming from where you are located. Though several countries are now open for tourism, they still have plenty of regulations for tourists from certain countries and zones, hence it is wise to check on that aspect even before you start planning
Book Cancellable Tickets & Stay
Given the unpredictable status of this pandemic, which can change drastically within a matter of days on personal, local and global levels, it is advisable to book cancellable tickets and hotel stays.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Even if the country you wish to visit is welcoming you, you must choose the destination wisely. You should take note of the fact that though you are fully inoculated, there are still chances of you catching the infection and you may want to avoid places with an increasing number of COVID cases. The places are not only risky but will also have more restrictions. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed down zone-wise recommendations for travel depending on risk assessment for COVID-19 on their website, do check it out before planning your trip.
Review Restrictions At Your Planned Destination
Now that you have zeroed down on a safe destination to visit, the next thing on your to-do list should be to review all the restrictions and rules of that country. Though some countries have thrown their gates open for travellers, they still have stringent entry and exit policies and it’s best to keep yourself well-informed about all the guidelines to avoid last-minute hassles. For example, while some countries are just demanding proof of vaccination, others may require you to do an RTPCR test and even a compulsory quarantine. Check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travellers. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return. Even some hotels are now demanding a COVID-19 negative test report and vaccination proof before check-in. So, it’s better to do your homework before you embark on your trip so as to enjoy the much-awaited vacation thoroughly.
Make Sure You Still Have Your Safety Gear
Being fully inoculated doesn’t mean you have a free pass to travel without any restrictions as it was before the pandemic. The CDC guidelines still emphasize following all COVID-19 protocols in public places, especially when you are travelling because even though all major globally approved vaccines (from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford) have been shown to limit the worst effects of COVID-19, there is still not much clarity about whether they actually make you completely immune to the virus. Moreover, it is also unclear if vaccinated people are asymptomatic carriers, hence health experts still advise masking and social distancing even though you are fully vaccinated. So, ensure to pack some extra face masks, hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes etc., and wherever you go be mindful about not touching your face and maintaining a safe distance while travelling. Also, ensure the hotels you book for your trip are following all WHO safety and hygiene protocols.
Get A Travel Insurance
Up until now, travel insurance had been one of the most ignored aspects of travelling abroad. However, with the onset of COVID-19, getting travel insurance is not only important but also the wisest thing to do. Most countries now insist on travel insurance and medical insurance before entry. Industry experts recommend considering options like ‘cancel for any reason’ and insurance policies that can help you fly home in case of a medical emergency. Read the fine print properly before getting yourself travel insurance.
Check Re-entry Guidelines Back Home
Well, just planning your trip abroad isn’t enough. You need to even strategize your return back home, as you might have to once again do a test and show a negative COVID-19 report upon your arrival. Hence you also need to do your research and figure out how you can get your test done within the accepted time limit. As of now, a negative COVID-19 test is mandatory before entry regardless of vaccination status, and travellers must be fully vaccinated for at least two weeks before they re-enter Canada. You need to also have a suitable quarantine plan in place, in case it is determined at the border that you do not meet the requirements.
Lastly, keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over and being vaccinated doesn’t ensure complete safety, hence act wisely wherever you travel.