Top 3 Travel Guidelines in 2021

All of the digital nomads, the frequent flyers, ardent vacationers, RTW adventurers, the Cruiser’s, travel clubs and yes, even the Travel-preneurs are all anxiously awaiting the big announcement; “travel is back to normal”. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, “that big announcement isn't happening.” At least not in the way we are all wishing.

We will all start traveling the world again and soon. But it won’t be in a “Back to Normal” sense. We will have to do things differently. For most of us, no obstacle will deter us. Adjustments will be made and the change welcomed because nothing in this world will keep us from our next destination. So, the only thing we need to know is, what are some of the new Guidelines for Travelers?

For most of us, no obstacle will deter us. Adjustments will be made and the change welcomed because nothing in this world will keep us from our next destination.

In the past, travel insurance was viewed as the OPTIONAL EXPENSE that you really wanted to opt out of even when your better judgment told you to purchase the insurance. If your trip was delayed, you prayed that your luggage would still land with you, intact. If your trip was cancelled, you hoped the airline carrier offered a fair compensation. You were encouraged but not compelled to purchase travel insurance to cover the unforeseeable events that could occur. If you purchased it, you did not pay particular interest to the parts that referred to emergency medical coverage. You most likely assumed that your employer based medical insurance would cover you, if needed, and you buckled up for departure.

Number 1

Approach travel medical insurance as a MUST-HAVE. Starting in 2021 your approach to travel medical insurance should change drastically because countries all around the world are taking drastic measures to protect its citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that "we are our brothers keeper" and, therefore, when traveling it is 1) our responsibility to help one another "stay safe" from this virus and 2) it demonstrates that we respect the country which we are entering enough not to become part of the problem.

When we find ourselves outside of our home country; or as many independent workers are, without any form of employer based International Medical Insurance, we must be prepared to quarantine upon request or seek medical attention if we receive a positive Covid diagnosis. Domestic, U.S. based insurance carriers, do not cover us Internationally. The emergency medical coverage coverage included in travel insurance DOES NOT cover the care that could be needed with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

As an International Traveler, the new normal going forward should include Travel Medical Insurance that covers you in case of a positive COVID diagnosis and more. Don’t confuse the travel insurance sold with your airline ticket with travel medical insurance because there are significant differences in the plans. Get a quote and manage your own plan at Arnitha Webb, Global Strategies for International Living, to learn more about the difference in travel insurance vs travel medical insurance.

Number 2

Take a COVID Test within 72 Hours of traveling or rely on airport PCR RAPID TESTING. This extra step may stick around longer than we anticipate. While not all airports are conducting rapid testing, the list is growing every week. The take-away is be prepared to show Proof of Negative PCR Testing, especially for International Travel; and be prepared for a wide range of testing costs. Costs can range from $69 to $250 depending on location, lab processing the results, and factors unbeknownst to us, the traveler. Guidelines are set country by country, can vary by airline and are subject to change. The commonality is that it is your responsibility to be proactive in this area by providing the documentation when requested. As the logistics get worked out, this can become costly. Look out for testing locations claiming to have a fast turn around to meet your travel needs because many are facing short with that promise.

Number 3

Destination Travel Forms may be an additional request. Some carriers have partnered with Verifly, a touch-free digital documents that provide valid health, identity, travel documents and more. British Airways and American Airlines are in the trial phase of testing Verifly’s Health Passport in the first quarter of 2021. It is important to learn if the country you are entering requires pre-filled documentation.

United States CDC Recommendations for International Travel:

  • Get tested 1–3 days before your flight—make sure to have actual results (not pending results) prior to traveling.

  • If you have a positive result, do not travel.

  • Get tested 3–5 days after your flight.

  • Stay home for 7 days after traveling, even if you test negative.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 after you travel, isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations. Do not travel until you are no longer considered a transmission risk—this includes your return trip home.

Safe Travels.

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