LEXINGTON — Has the COVID-19 pandemic put your international travel plans on hold? Have you had to postpone a dream vacation or a visit to family abroad, waiting to be able to travel again? Restrictions on visitors and tourists are being eased in many parts of the world and people are planning trips to make up for lost time
International travel has changed significantly over the past two years, and some significant challenges remain; it is important to research your destination and plan accordingly. While it’s impossible to be prepared for every situation, here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your summer trips.
Check the restrictions and regulations of your destination.
Each country has its own COVID-19 entry requirements and its own masking, testing and quarantine protocols. Check the State Department Travel Site for up-to-date information about your destination.
There may be additional inoculations recommended for travel, such as for hepatitis and yellow fever. Check the CDC website or ask your doctor what you need to stay safe and healthy at your destination.
Remember the COVID test return requirement.
To return to the United States at the end of your trip, you will need to present a negative COVID test or recovery documentation. If you test positive at the end of your trip, you will need to stay in your host country for at least a few more days, so be sure to prepare for how you would handle this situation.
Let others know about your travel plans.
If you have a chronic or pre-existing mental or physical health condition, it’s a good idea to discuss a plan for your care abroad with your doctor well in advance of your departure. Also consider designating someone as a point of contact in the event of a medical emergency. Keep their contact details with you and contact them regularly.
Remember that your insurance here in the United States may not cover all of your medical expenses, so consider purchasing a travel medical insurance policy. Some policies may even cover the expenses you incur if you find yourself in quarantine. You may also want to consider other insurance, such as trip cancellation insurance in case you are unable to travel at the last minute.
Pack pills? Know before you go.
Keep your medication in your hand luggage in case your luggage is lost. If possible, pack enough medication for your entire trip and bring a few extra in case of a trip delay. Discuss with your doctor the possibility of renewing your medication abroad.
Remember that some drugs are illegal abroad. Each country has its own regulations on what can and cannot be imported; Just because a drug is legal in the United States doesn’t mean it will be legal abroad. If you are unsure of the legality of your medication, the embassy in your destination country may be able to offer advice.
Although it is not possible to anticipate every situation, it is better to be overprepared than to be caught off guard. Ask your doctor for suggestions and recommendations to stay safe and healthy.