Covid Travel Tips and Advice to minimise hassle

Covid Travel Tips and Advice to minimise hassle

January 29, 2021 12 By Kerry

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Covid.19 has had a dramatic effect on the world and the travel industry has suffered greatly. However, travel is different. There are a lot of things you can and can’t do and no two countries are the same. Whether it is testing requirements, changes to departure or arrival documentation or what you can / can’t do when you arrive, travel will ve different. I travelled extensively throughout the pandemic and have experienced many different approaches. Despite country differences, there are also a lot of consistencies. So, if you’re looking for Covid travel tips and advice, then read on for hassle-free travel. 

Travel tips and advice through Covid 19 - female blogger on a ryanair flight wearing a surgical mask making the ok sign as she's ready to depart on another holiday

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Pre-booking – Covid Travel Tips and Advice

Rules and restrictions are changing all of the time. It’s difficult to know where you can travel, which countries will even accept you and whether you’ll have to isolate upon your return. Travelling has become a game of roulette, so make sure you place your bets well so your holiday isn’t impacted.

Only book a holiday with flexible options

Read the small print to see what is covered. I booked flights through with Ethiopian Airlines – they appeared to be flexible but when I tried to change them, they restricted travel to within a year of being purchased which was still in the pandemic! Thankfully the airline changed them for me, but otherwise this would have been a costly mistake. Expedia and Kiwi on the other hand, have good flexibility and provide excellent customer services if things go wrong. This is particularly good if you want to book different things such as flights, hotels or rentals but not necessarily a package deal.

The same thing goes for ensuring you find the right place to stay. Most places have flexible cancellation close to the start of your holiday. However, this varies significantly by country. It is also worth looking into the cleanliness standards to ensure that you feel safe and secure. Expedia has a fantastic policy on this and you can see some of these properties below.

Explore properties that are doing more to make guests feel secure—from extra sanitisation to spacing out time between stays.Sleep with better peace of mind.

If you have annual travel insurance plans, check if they still cover you.

There are a lot of loop holes when you’re travelling in a pandemic. Check your insurance thoroughly to ensure you still have cover. Make sure you have appropriate insurance when you travel to prevent any unexpected issues and costs.

Check your local governments official advice regularly –

Don’t rely on news articles etc. for official advice, or if you do, always cross-check directly with your local government source, as well as information from the destination country. Government pages will advise where is safe to travel, as well as the entry and testing requirements of the destination.

Check the Covid rates of the country you’re intending to visit.

Entry restrictions can change suddenly so look at destinations with low covid rates or that don’t have the new strains. This will increase the chances that your holiday will go ahead, or that there will be less restrictions in place. This worked for me for the Maldives, Germany and Italy.

If you can afford to be flexible, you might get a luxury holiday for a lot less.

I have booked several trips with Tui and every time they cancel it (which they have plenty of times). Each time, Tui has given me an incentive of between 20-40% to re-book. The trips are ATOL protected so it can pay-off to book, even if the holiday might be cancelled.

Pay on a credit card if you can

Paying on a credit card gives you extra security that you can claim your money back. If the travel provider goes bust or doesn’t deliver the service you have paid for you can claim relatively easily. Just aim to pay your credit card off as soon as you can to avoid any additional costs.

Before you travel | Covid Travel Tips and Advice

So you’ve taken the leap and booked somewhere. Good on you! Now you’re sat with your fingers crossed hoping it will go ahead. Here’s some tips to reduce that anxiety.

  • Pre-travel documentation is intense – expect to jump through many hoops so plan it all through. Make sure you’ve got access to a printer and that you research what is needed, when.

  • PCR tests usually need to be done and received back within 78 hours of departure. I used Randox – I ordered the kit way in advance, did it at home and then dropped it off at a secure point. You can send the PCR test through normal mail but there are complexities with this that might create additional issues. I personally chose to drive to the drop off point to make sure it got there on time. I had the results back in less than 48 hours.

  • Pack disposable masks. Some countries have restrictions about the type of mask to wear. So, just to be safe, make sure you have the surgical ones, at least when travelling to/from the airport. Also pack hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean as you travel. Just remember that it will need to fit in one of those clear bags if it is in your hand luggage.
  • Be prepared to wear the mask for the duration of your flight. The only exceptions to this are when you’re eating/drinking. The airlines are also much stricter on changing seats due to the Passenger location forms and covid track and trace requirements.

  • Have a back-up plan – if it doesn’t happen, what are your options? I changed a holiday 3 times and each time I had a cash incentive to rebook, eventually leading to a successful trip to the Maldives at a fraction of the price!

While you’re away | Covid Travel Tips and Advice

  • Understand how the restrictions apply in your destination and follow them. You don’t want to get caught out with a heavy fine or catch the virus when you’re away.

  • If you have any buffet meals included, you can expect that you might need to sit down/queue to order instead. I actually prefer this, although it can be more inconvenient if its busy and it may limit your portion size!

  • Pool and beach areas tend to be mask free. You just need to keep to social distancing and put a mask back on if you then head to a bar/restaurant

  • Expect to have your temperature checked several times – this usually happens at hotels, restaurants and airports. No matter how hot and sweaty you are, you won’t have a high temperature unless you genuinely have a fever.

  • If you think you have caught covid whilst away, isolate yourself in your room and speak to your insurance provider for advice.

Heading Home | Covid Travel Tips and Advice

Its the worst part of the trip, but its time to go home. The majority of the pre-travel tips here, so I won’t repeat them.

Make sure you get a new PCR test from a reputable source when returning, we saw several people on our trips that were refused flights because they didn’t have the right documentation. Don’t stress yourself out over it but make sure you’ve got everything you need and have a safe trip home.

I’d love to hear how you’ve you’ve found my covid travel tips and advice. How have you found travelling?

If you’re looking for places to go, I went to several places in Italy in August 2020 and they were still lively, but safe. Read more about them below:

Sorrento – such a fantastic base to explore southern Italy

Amalfi Coast – three beautiful coastline destinations all in one – why not make a road trip out of it?

Capri – whether you stay for a few nights or visit the island for the day, you won’t be disappointed.

Naples – this is a great city based on the coast and is home to the famous Neapolitan Pizza!

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