Has it been eons since you took a real vacation? Even if you've been up and about, I bet you know many people who haven't taken the leap yet. However, despite your frequent post-pandemic traveler status, these tips are worth paying attention to. It's my job to keep you prepared for travel, so bear with me.
Check your passport now to ensure it is valid for at least another year, with at least one blank page. Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires sooner than that, you must apply to renew your passport. Renewal turnaround time has just about recovered from the pandemic shutdown…mostly. Expedited service is available for an extra fee, of course.
Did you raid your toiletry kit while sheltering in place? Restock your travel basics, and that shabby zip-top plastic bag.
Consult the U.S. State Department’s country-specific Covid-19 pages for up-to-date alerts and entry requirements. Ask your favorite travel advisor about logistics and what to expect on arrival, as well current Covid-19 testing rules.
Purchase travel insurance to protect your investment against trip cancellation or interruption due to job loss, family emergency, or simply a change of heart.
Cleared for takeoff: your private jet. If you can swing it, traveling by private jet helps avoid proximity to others and minimize time in the air – for example, four hours from New York to a Montana ranch versus ten hours with a layover if going commercial. The value is in the time saved, the lack of exposure, and the guarantee of nonstop point-to-point travel.
The pandemic spurred some innovations, so you might encounter some new things in both foreign and domestic airports: onsite covid testing, no-contact technologies like facial recognition, remote temperature sensing, and touch-free bag check kiosks, for example. Cue an episode of the Jetsons.
For your still-mandatory pre-return viral test you can opt to take along your own self-test kit. Just make sure it complies with these CDC requirements:
The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The testing must include a telehealth video call during which someone authorized by the manufacturer supervises the testing procedure in real time. (Note that some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription, according to the CDC.)
The telehealth provider must issue a report confirming the patient’s identity, the name of the laboratory or healthcare entity, the type of test, and the specimen collection date.
Airlines and U.S. officials at ports of entry must be able to review and confirm your identity and paper or digital documents with your test results.
Last but not east, consult a travel advisor. Travel is at an all-time high, if you haven't heard, and the spring break rush isn't helping. Planning several months ahead for your trip is your best and least harried bet. For you and for me! I can make your trip stress free, but I'm not a magician! I'm looking forward to your call :)
'til next week.