Traveling During Covid-19
The question I get asked the most is, "How to you travel with Covid?" The answer is simple: GOOGLE! There are a lot more destinations open than you think. Many countries depend on tourism to survive. Due to this reason, and also the reason that we now have proper COVID-19 protocols in place, there are a multitude of destinations that are OPEN for travel. Travel restrictions are constantly changing so it is important to constantly check the regulations in the country you are traveling to- even up to your day of travel. You can also call the airline you are using the day before your flight, however it is better that you contact a person that resides in the country you are traveling to. I have traveled to 6 different countries since the pandemic hit, and the protocol is pretty similar everywhere. Most countries require a negative PCR test upon arrival. Some countries are more strict than others- some require a mandatory quarantine (you must stay at your designated resort/hotel) while others allow you to tour around town. It is important to search online before making the decision on your destination.
Go With The Flow
One thing this pandemic taught me is to just GO WITH THE FLOW. Everything can change in a second Disappointments happen. Book your trip knowing that there is a possibility of it being rescheduled. I have learned to make the best of situations- something we can all use more of. The great thing about booking travel during COVID-19 is that you don't have to worry about refunds/exchanges. Airlines, hotels, & travel agencies by law must be understanding to sudden change to travel or cancellations. So no stress.
Even if a country does not have a mandatory quarantine law for travelers, your trip is always going to look a bit different than it would pre-covid. Masks must be worn everywhere, famous restaurants closed, some museums or other tourist hot spots may be closed as well. But like I said, you can always make the best out of any situation. Frankly, I have enjoyed the slow down of things. No long lines, non-existent wait times, and- what did you say? There's not a million tourists in the background of my photos?! Sign me up! I could travel like this any day.
"When it is safe again.."
As a travel blogger I constantly get hit with with the "If only I could.." or "you live the dream life" or nowadays "I can never travel again..." and I want to let you know that the purpose of me starting this blog was to show you that it IS possible for you to experience your dream travel. There will always be an excuse. It's your job to make it happen! The most frequent thing I hear nowadays is "If it is ever safe again... I would love to travel." I will let you know now that is IS SAFE. I have traveled to 6 countries since the pandemic hit and I can assure you, it is much safer traveling to these areas than going to your local grocery store. And here's why:
Covid Tests for International Travel
Most countries require a negative PCR Test before entering the country, and sometimes even before boarding your flight. Some countries (such as Jamaica) even require that the test be sent to a certain lab. Don't stress about it too much. Bottom line is, nobody knows what they are doing. They just have to make it look like they do. Regulations are always changing, so make sure you comply with the country you are traveling to out of safety and respect. Some countries require that you submit your covid test online, some only require that you present it upon arrival, and others only require that you use your best judgement and travel without symptoms. Whether the country you are traveling to requires a covid test or not, I would ALWAYS get one no earlier than 72 hours before your departure date just to be safe. For example, Colombia did not require a negative Covid-19 test. However, when we arrived at the airport we discovered that we did need one. Technically you could opt in to get one at the airport upon arrival, but I think we can both agree it is best to just come prepared.
I know some of you (including myself) have already had Covid-19, so it can seem a little bit mundane to get tested when you know for a fact you can not transmit the virus for the time being. But, again, it is better to be safe than sorry.
When getting your PCR test I recommend paying the cost to visit a private testing site that specializes in travel. With the free ones, there is no guarantee on if you will get it back on time. Private labs can also guarantee that you get the right kind of test sent to the correct lab testing site for the particular country you are traveling to. Lab Doctor is a really great one at that.
Where to Travel During Covid:
Nations open to Americans as of January 2021
These are the nations currently open to US Citizens as of January 2021, but always check Google for updates! Remember to research the COVID-19 Requirements for the particular destination that you plan on traveling to.
Live Your Life.
Use your best judgement, don't live in fear.
Don't let anyone bully you into thinking it is selfish to take a family vacation after this crazy year... because Usually these are the same people are posting pictures at a crowded bar with no mask on. And also, please don't be that person that harasses those who do choose to travel. As you can see by reading this post, it is actually a lot safer to travel than people think. Again, use your best judgement.
The truth is, the economies of many different countries are fueled SOLELY based upon tourism. These nations are starving for visitors like us to come in again and boost their economy and well being. I can honestly attest to this. Despite people in my comments saying that I am "ruining another country" (dramatic much, LOL) I have personally worked with individuals, families, tourism boards, local businesses, hotels, and even the governments of other countries and have had a first hand experience of their genuine gratitude and thankfulness for bringing tourism back into their country. The power of influence that we hold as travelers to make someone else's life just a little bit better is immense. Don't take that opportunity for granted. Bless people wherever it is that you go. <3
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