Gracia Maureen Setyabudhi
International Travel After Covid-19 - Checklist
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
After almost 3 years, I'll be traveling overseas gain!! Covid-19 has changed the way we travel globally. Though no more quarantines in most countries, social distancing measures and mandatory face masks are still in place in some countries. Therefore, it is important to have a checklist before you go. You wouldn't want your holiday ruin just because you're not prepared enough ;). In this article, we will list all the important things you need to prepare so you can travel internationally smoothly after Covid-19.
Tickets and hotels are booked, what next? Before you make your way to the airport, make sure you prepare all the below things as well.
Check Passport: If you haven't travel overseas at all during this crazy Covid-19 period like me, you would want to check your passport. Make sure it haven't expired yet, and still valid at least for another six months. If it's below, I would suggest you extend it first. Having passport with less than six months validity can impact your Visa approval if you are going to a country that required one.
Get the Necessary Visa or Documents for Each Country: Travel after Covid-19 has changed a lot of travel requirements. Some countries have altered their free visa or visa on arrival policies. Before the pandemic, you might not need a visa to go to certain countries, but you might have to now. Some countries have re-implement their free visa or visa on arrival policies, but some have not. Or some might have some alteration in their re-implementation. This policies are different to each traveler depending on the country of origin. So it is crucial for you to check on what applies to you and comply accordingly, unless you want to be denied entry once you arrived at your destination. It'll be holiday gone so horribly wrong :(.
Prepare Arrival Documents & Vaccines Required: Each country has different policy. Some still required you to prepare documents such as Covid-19 Vaccine Certificates, minimum of mandatory vaccines shots (usually 2 shots, with minimum period the last shot has to be taken prior to arrival), as well as downloading a mobile App needed for tracing purposes during your stay in that country. For example, Indonesia is one of the country that applies all the above rules as per November 2022. Some countries also still impose mandatory Covid test for all arriving travelers. These rules are dynamic depending on the current Covid-19 situation in that particular country, so make sure you check these rules near your departure date.
Check Airlines and Hotels Policy on Covid-19: This is important, because different airlines and hotels have different policy regarding Covid-19. Make sure you choose the ones you are comfortable with. This is very subjective, so I won't go into details on this. The important thing is you are going on a holiday, and you would want to enjoy it. So choose wisely.
Read Fine Prints: When you book airlines, hotels and more, make sure you read the fine prints to know whether your bookings are cancellable or flexible for re-schedule. I would suggest that you book a flexible and refundable airlines tickets, as well as booking hotels with flexibility as well. One thing about traveling after Covid-19 is we need to be flexible and expect the unexpected. Booking promotional deals with non refundable terms and conditions are not advisable at this moment. If you are on a tight budget, it's better for you to book way in advance when the prices are still a lot cheaper, and try to avoid the peak season, rather than forcing to buy non refundable promo deals. You might end up throwing money to the bin.
Bring Face Masks: Whether you like it or not, face masks are still mandatory in some countries. Some even still impose the use of it in all the flights going and entering the country. So it doesn't matter which airlines you use, and their policy about wearing masks during the flight, the airlines are obligated by law to follow the rules of the outbound and inbound country. For example, Indonesia and Vietnam are amongst those who still impose this mandatory face masks in all flights going and leaving the countries. While Singapore has lessen this rule and make it optional for passengers. So for example, if you are going from Singapore to Indonesia, you are obligated to wear face mask during the duration of your flight, no matter what airlines you use. On the contrary, if you are traveling from Indonesia to Singapore, even though Singapore has an optional policy on face mask in flight, however, since your flight will be an outbound flight from Indonesia, and Indonesia has a mandatory face mask even in flights leaving from the country, then it is mandatory as well for you to wear it. Inside each country, they also have different rules in regards to face masks. It's still mandatory to wear face masks indoor in some countries. So make sure you are aware of all this, and bring face masks with you.
Travel Insurance: This has become even more crucial than before to have a travel insurance. I would say travel insurance is affordable, and it is something that is compulsory to be calculated in your travel budget. Like I said before, each country has different rules regarding Covid-19. Even though we are no longer needed to be locked down, and the virus has weakened a lot, it is pretty much still there, and infecting one is not a rare thing. Now, even though Covid-19 infection nowadays are pretty much like the flu, however, each country still has different ways of handling the virus. Some will require you to be quarantine for 7-14days. You might need to get hospitalized as well. All these will contribute to unexpected expense. If you are traveling in South East Asia, the expenses for all these might still be affordable, however, if you ever needed to be hospitalized in USA, Europe, or Australia for example, the expenses would be tremendously big. Not to mention if you have to be quarantine, then additional expenses will be added. If you are traveling on a budget, don't risk this, and get your self a decent travel insurance, and make sure it covers for Covid-19 as well.
Pack Hand Sanitizer and More Clothes: Now this one is more optional then compulsory. But if you are like me then it's a must :):). The good side of Covid-19 is making us become more hygienic. If before pandemic sometimes I forgot to wash my hands before having a meal, well now not anymore hahahaha. When we travel, sometimes we don't always have access to nearby toilet to wash our hands before meal, so hand sanitizer, wet tissues, and dry tissues are my must have items in my bag. Especially if traveling with children. I packed more clothes as well now, because I don't prefer to wear the same clothes again the next day, for hygiene sake. I'm on a holiday, I wouldn't want to be sick at least until I got back home :):). If you have a different opinion, then it's fine, these items are not mandatory, you can just opt it out.
Bring Carry On: Expect the unexpected. Travel is just recently starting to bounce back from the death. Airlines and hotels are still very much under staffs. So anything can happen!! Don't expect the top notch services you use to get before the pandemic. Even from the world's best airlines. Lost of luggages are not rare nowadays because of this. Therefore, pack your essentials in a carry on bag, and bring them in with you.
Arrive Early At The Airport: Last thing, please arrive earlier than usual at the airport, especially during peak season. The airlines staffs are still getting used to the hectic and chaotic conditions that they normally so used to handling before. They are still understaff as well. So, avoid the stress and just be there early.
All ready and excited to go?? Let's go and explore the world once again!! Enjoy your end of year Holiday!! Please stay tune to my blog post, as I will be traveling once again in a few days, and I will be sharing a lot here too :) :) See yaaaaa!!
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