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Navigating the new challenges of COVID travel may seem like a daunting task. But with a little careful planning (and the help of your wonderful travel agent) you will be rewarded with your long-awaited paradise! Our friends at Centrav pieced together some of the top things to be mindful of when traveling in the age of COVID.
1. Missed connections
Missed connections are difficult during any trip, but they can be even trickier during the COVID era. If you miss your connecting flight and get stuck in a country that was not your final destination you might not be able to leave the airport. Build in a little extra time than you normally would in order to make all your flights. Know the COVID regulations for every country and city on your itinerary, not just your final destination
2. Schedule changes
Schedule changes are right up there with missed connections. However, in this case, airline schedule changes are totally out of your (and your travel agent’s) control. What causes airline schedule changes? In a normal travel climate, schedule changes happen due to weather, staffing issues, mechanical failures and so much more. It’s complicated coordinating thousands of flight times, codeshares, and routes. Add COVID to the mix and things just get more complicated. As the demand for travel increases, new flights are added regularly. This causes everything to shift a bit. You can avoid frustrations by checking your flight status frequently and arriving at the airport early.
Check out Centrav's full guide to airline schedule changes here
3. Different/changing COVID travel regulations
COVID travel regulations don’t just change by country. They change by province and even by city. We should know this well from observing the state mask mandates here in the US. But it is important to remember that other countries are also working through the details just like we are. One city at your destination may not have mask requirements while another not only requires masks but requires a specific kind of mask. Write down every place you will visit and double-check requirements as you approach your departure date. Things can change at any time.
4. Added paperwork
Lots of paperwork! Every destination is requiring different information to make sure they can host travelers as safely as possible. Whether it’s COVID test results, health screening forms, vaccination records, or an account of where you plan to go during your stay, every trip will require more paperwork than in the past. No one loves to do paperwork, but it’s important to keep in mind that your host country is only doing this to make sure they can continue to welcome tourists all year long. No one wants travel to shut down again! The best way to handle the added paperwork? Research and read the fine print to know what you need. Keep printed copies AND digital files as a backup.
5. Advanced reservation
While most tourist sites and restaurants have been open in the United States for a while, many countries around the world have been slower to ease back on restrictions. Because of this, you may find things like restaurants, entertainment, and excursions operating at a very limited capacity and or allowing tourists by reservation only. This might prove to be very helpful if you love to plan your trip out anyway. But if you are more of a spontaneous traveler, it might take a little extra planning.
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