Even with new cases of Covid-19 popping up and even varied strains appearing in some places (like the UK and even Netherlands), many people are still considering traveling. This may be for some winter getaways to get to go someplace and relax for early 2021 or it could to visit someplace before mass tourism starts up again. Either way, here are some things you should consider before traveling internationally.
Things to Consider Before Traveling Internationally During Covid-19
The obvious things are things like getting sick far from home so I won’t even mention that one. 🙂 But as our family prepares to head back to Greece (where we currently live), there are some things that we need to do that I think could help others as they consider traveling internationally.
Before you jump on a super cheap ticket to some beautiful beach destination, take a moment to consider these things!
Extra Expenses Involved
Traveling internationally is not the same “cheap” proposition that it used to be for all of us with miles and points. Remember the day you could just redeem miles and go someplace? While that is definitely still possible, now there are added expenses to think about.
One big one is the PRC tests that many places require before arriving in a country. While some countries are shifting and now allowing the negative PRC test to be received up to one week before arrival, many are still 72 hours before arrival. For travel to someplace like Europe, that means getting a test that guarantees results in a much quicker timeframe than many tests are.
We found plenty of locations that were either free or covered by insurance but the timeframe for getting them back was too long. So, we have to use another service that caters primarily to travelers and guarantees a quicker turnaround – but it is almost $200 a test. Multiply that for each person in your family traveling and it can get expensive!
You also need to plan for the potential of getting stuck in someplace should you have to quarantine (like if people on your plane test positive) or if the rules get changed on quarantine requirements while you are traveling. This has happened and this can mean that you have to pay for food delivery and possibly paying to stay in the city you arrive in instead of continuing on to your original destination.
While those expenses many not be huge, the cost could add up if you are required to do it for 7 days or more.
Another expense could be that related to getting sick while visiting another country. I will cover this more in the next section but with many hospitals being pushed to full capacity, you may not have the luxury of going to a hospital that is in your insurance network or you may have to pay a premium to get some kind of treatment during this time.
Health and Insurance
Definitely consider getting some kind of travel or travel health insurance if you are going to travel during this time! Your current health insurance may or may not cover you for getting sick overseas so finding a travel health insurance company for a short-term trip can be a big help.
We use IMGlobal for our international insurance and they have some good short-term trip plans as well. Just keep in mind that any insurance company may be backed up for reimbursements so if you have to pay out of pocket for any kind of health visit, it may be a while before getting reimbursed.
Of course the coronavirus is on top of the list for getting sick but there are other things that still go around that can make you need to seek medical care. Consider the fact that travelers may be pretty far down the line in terms of consideration so you may need to go to someplace that is more expensive to get any treatment at all.
Also make sure your insurance covers some kind of repatriation expenses in case of medical or other emergency. This could be a big expense so having insurance to cover that can be a big help.
Country Closures / Flight Cancelations
This is something we have experienced over and over and something that is going to continue happening for quite a while. Countries are constantly shifting on things concerning who is allowed to enter, quarantine requirements, etc. This is something that could effect you while you are visiting a foreign country – maybe you won’t be able to go to the next country because of where you are now.
You also have to consider the flight cancelations. Right now, many countries are canceling flights from the UK due to the new strain of covid that is going on there right now. If you are in the UK, you may find yourself stuck for a longer time or needing to spend a lot of money to fly one of the remaining flights to another country – if you are even allowed to enter that country!
You have to consider more than just if you can enter the country you want to visit. If your flight schedule changes and you are rerouted, you may have new rules about transiting in that country or having to consider what happens if your last flight is canceled and you get stuck in a country that you are not allowed to enter.
If you still want to travel internationally during all of this, at least make sure you are prepared for anything that may happen! That means considering all the extra expenses you may face (which could be thousands if you face cancellations or quarantines), some kind of insurance to cover your health and travel, and the flight cancelations that may leave you stranded – possibly in a situation where you do not have legal status to be.
There have been some incredible flight deals lately and they can be very attractive. Just be aware before traveling in the next couple of months that those super cheap deals could end up being very expensive due to the constantly changing country situations!
Travel in 2020 and even in early 2021 is far different than it has been before. You can still travel and enjoy it but it pays to consider some of these things before traveling – or just waiting until things calm down.