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8 Tips for Covid Travel

8 Tips for Covid Travel

I'm rediscovering my love of travel after returning from my first international trip in two years. While many factors of travel remain the same, such as the marathon of getting through airports, the hours of finding comfy positions in an airplane seat, and the mediocre food served mid-flight, some travel "norms" have changed due to Covid.

Here are 8 tips to help lessen the stress of international travel:

1. Know the Covid testing requirements. Testing requirements vary between airlines and countries. What is required for entry into the destination country? And what are the testing requirements for layovers in another country? Before you go, research the testing requirements in all of your destinations and understand where and when you can get tested. Also check your airline website. Some airlines offer tests that are guaranteed by the airline to report results within the time limits of the airline, and they are usually less expensive than expedited tests from third parties.

2. Understand mask requirements. Learn the mask requirements for each airline you will be flying with. Some airlines accept cloth masks, and some do not. Some airlines will supply a mask if needed, and some will not. Do not assume that what worked on the first flight will work for the next. Be flexible, patient, and prepared.

3. Make a plan for schedule disruption. Know what you will do if you test positive for a return flight. Have an idea of where you will stay and be sure to purchase flight insurance. Do you need to pack additional medications in case you get delayed or quarantined for 14 days? It is easier to consider these questions before departing rather than having to make all the decisions on the spur of the moment.

4. Learn the expectations of others. Do the people you are going to be working with expect you to wear a mask anytime you are in meetings or are they open to less masking? What is expected in public transportation or public venues? Will you need to show a vaccine card to prove your vaccination status? Ask as many of these questions as you can before your trip.

5. Take a few Covid home test kits with you. What if you start to feel ill while on the trip? Is it Covid or just a normal travel illness? It is important to be able to answer that question. Having a test kit with you will give you a quick way to make a reasonable effort at diagnosis. Know that no tests are 100% accurate, but taking a home test is easier than trying to find a test site quickly in a new city.

6. Be prepared. Pack extra masks, hand sanitizer, and anti-bacterial wipes. Make sure you have all your medications with you. High-protein snacks, granola bars, cough drops, and a sweater or jacket that can serve as a blanket or pillow are also helpful to have when needed.

7. Stay comfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothes and shoes, consider wearing compression socks while flying, stay hydrated, and walk around and stretch when you can.

8. Pack your patience (and your sense of humor). Whatever your personal opinions are regarding all the restrictions and rules, most people are doing their best to live within rules set by their governments and/or employers. We all make mistakes and are doing the best we can with new flight norms. Laugh at yourself and with others when you can, and offer grace and a smile (even behind your mask). 

Remember you are carrying God with you everywhere you go. Lean on him and do your best to represent him well.

About the Author: Mike is the IDEAS Director of Sector Advocacy and Business Sector Advocate. He has over 30 years business experience, primarily IT related, with experience in financial reporting and business process improvement. Enjoy other blogs by Mike, such as 3 Reasons to Rest.