Discovering new cultures, savoring different dishes, visiting important monuments, visiting unusual natural landscapes… Traveling is an experience in every way. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has made travel difficult in many parts of the world, complicating the freedom to travel. Does that mean we have to give up the desire to see the world? No. Fortunately, time passes and, although with some setbacks between the waves, travel between countries becomes easier.
Organizing a trip in times of covid doesn’t require much more planning than it took to travel the world years ago. Despite this, it is important to keep an open mind to the possibility of changes and to take into account some tips so that everything goes smoothly.
The choice of an open destiny
Due to different infection rates, several countries have opened or closed their borders since 2020 to prevent the increase in the number of cases. For this reason, it is important to carefully assess which destination to visit. Although the situation may change, it is best to always research a country open to Spain when booking the trip. In this sense, the states of the European Union are generally a good option since the freedom of movement is much greater, especially if the complete schedule of the vaccine is available.
How do you know if you can travel to a foreign country? Very easy. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers a list of travel recommendations on its website. Here, detailed and updated information is presented on the opening of borders and many other interesting facts, such as the valid documentation in each country and the measures against covid in force. However, it is worth confirming these data on the official website of the Ministry of Health of the destination you have in mind.
Is it really safe to travel?
Another concern that arises when traveling is the constant question of whether it can be done safely or if it really entails a health hazard. It is clear that any activity can carry risks, but if it is carried out with the appropriate security measures, the chances of having a problem are reduced. In the case of Covid-19, the lesson is probably more than learned: masks, social distance, places with adequate ventilation…
In times of pandemic, millions of people have traveled the world and had no accidents
In the end, it’s all up to you. It is possible to travel and take great care of yourself and it is also possible to fly nowhere and neglect many basic measures at home. The risk of infection is nowhere on the planet. Despite this, the reality is that even during the pandemic, millions of people have traveled around the world and have had no associated medical accidents.
Beware of flight flexibility
The most common means of transport for international travel is by plane and airlines are aware of the fear many people have when booking a flight in these times. For this reason, many of them have chosen to relax their cancellation and modification policies. Reading these terms carefully is crucial. What happens if you test positive before boarding the plane? What if the country closes the borders or decrees a mandatory quarantine? These are facts to consider.
Some companies allow you to change your destination seven days in advance, others offer reimbursement in vouchers for future travel and, also, some follow strict measures and any change involves an additional cost. If in doubt before booking, customer service should be contacted to confirm what would happen to the flight and the amount paid in the event of certain unforeseen events. Many airlines respond very effectively not only on the phone, but also on social media like Twitter.
In the face of precariousness, good insurance
The subscription of a health insurance is always a guarantee against any unforeseen health. Many of them have expanded their services to adapt to the current situation. These types of products offer PCR tests at destination in the event of suspected contagion, extension of stay in hotels in the event of a positive case, and even return flights to the country of origin in the event of loss due to hospitalization. . Likewise, within the EU, it is always advisable to have the European health card which, although it does not include additional services, grants free medical care.
When booking a trip, you must know the sanitary measures that are followed at the place of destination
Beyond the area of health, if you book activities in the destination, such as guided tours, tickets for monuments or theme parks, it is advisable to minimize the risks by contracting experiences with policies of flexible cancellation. In many cases, it is possible to request a refund up to 24 or 48 hours before the activity, such as at the entrance to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or at the Summit One Vanderbilt viewpoint in New York.
Check the Covid-19 measures of the destination
When booking a trip, you must know the sanitary measures that are followed at the destination. It is important to know mainly the information on the use of masks outdoors and indoors, the authorized hours for hotels and the regulations of nightlife and hotels. For this, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain is also a great ally.
Remember that regulations may change before the trip and even at destination. Checking them a few days before leaving and once a day during the trip, at most, is usually more than enough. From now on, becoming an informed traveler is not synonymous with obsession. You have to travel respecting and applying the regulations, but without constantly thinking about them. Enjoying safely is possible.
covid passport and other important documents
One of the documents we talk about and hear the most on a daily basis is the famous covid passport. This identification, prepared by each autonomous community, offers information on the traveler’s situation in the face of the pandemic. It is indicated, therefore, if you have been vaccinated, if you have overcome the disease or if you have a recent diagnostic test. Whether at the airport, in restaurants or in monuments, it is very likely that you will be asked for this certificate at one time or another during your trip.
Countries like the United States have their borders open to Spaniards who prove, in addition to the vaccine, a negative test
In addition to ensuring you have the certificate, it is also essential to confirm what other documents are required for travel. Countries like the United States, for example, have their borders open to Spanish travelers, provided they prove, in addition to the vaccine, a negative test. Other places, such as Italy or Belgium, have asked during the pandemic to fill in a locator form where the traveler’s hotel and other personal information must be indicated. In the same way Spain will also request this type of form before returning home.
What if everything changed at the last minute?
After knowing the main tips for organizing a trip in times of Covid-19, comes the part you like the least, this remote but possible option. What if the situation worsens and the trip is cancelled? The reasons that determine this situation can be different, but perhaps the most common would be a closure of borders in the country of destination or the establishment of restrictive measures that make it difficult to travel, such as the closure of shops and hotels. Although these regulations tend to become rarer as the pandemic progresses, they are a possibility.
Nothing is 100% certain, but neither was it before this disease. If you are tireless travelers, the desire to see the world will always prevail in the balance. By following the advice described, even in the event that everything changes and there was no luck, you will have insurance and flexibility policies that can protect you to recover the money and be able to organize new escapades.
Goodbye fear and hello to a new opportunity
A weekend in Wroclaw interrupted by the first confinement of the state of alert, an 80th birthday of the matriarch of the family in Tenerife also canceled at the same time, a Christmas in Salzburg… These are some of the trips that the covid has interrupted the life of the one who writes these lines. However, all of them have always been replaced by other destinations that perhaps would never have been in mind. From an approach to the Italian Alps at Vipiteno to the Swedish wonders of Gothenburg. The places to explore are endless!
Living in fear is a constraint for any area of life and, of course, it is also for traveling in times of pandemic. If you want to continue seeing the world, know that it is possible and that, even in the unfortunate cases of cancellations, the possibilities to improvise in other destinations are many and diverse. And, if none of this convinces you, opting for national destinations will always be a great idea. Who can resist rediscovering Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba, Santander and many other places in Spain? The possibilities are limitless.