All you need to know when the world is ready for visitors
Around the world, quarantines are being lifted, borders are opening up and museums and restaurants are again hosting visitors. Hopefully, the whole world will be open for business soon. When it does, you and your travel buddies should be ready to hit the road. To make sure you’re prepared, here’s some advice for meeting in the new world order.
1. Register with your government’s foreign affairs office or consulate
You let your parents or partner know where you’re going when you head out on Saturday night. They know where to start looking if you are really late or if something goes wrong at home. Think of the government as your significant other. It just wants to make sure you’re safe. It can’t let you know about an emergency or know if all of its citizens are out of harm’s way if it doesn’t know what citizens are in a foreign destination. A lot of vacationers cut their travel short after their consulates had told them COVID-19 was spreading and governments organized flights home.
Check your government’s website for instructions. Most allow online registration. Some offer frequent traveler accounts, so you only have to update your travel itinerary, not give your vital statistics each time you travel. Governments prefer you register before you travel but registering at a foreign consulate is also OK.
Again, each country has their own rules, but, generally, you are asked for your detailed travel plans, contact information, and the names and contact information for relatives or friends in your home country. When you travel in a group, there’s always someone looking out for you. You can find supporters at JoinMyTrip.
2. Discover new rules.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, countries may change rules for everyday activities or regulations for what items can be brought into the country. Plus, there may be new routine health screenings and vaccination requests. Find all of this out before you get on the plane. One good thing about group travel is that you don’t have to know everything. For instance, one TravelBuddy can find out new rules at restaurants and another can track down information about health care.
3. Carry health insurance.
Before you leave:
- Make sure your health insurance is valid in your holiday destination. Read information about your plan before any tickets or many any reservations.
- If you are going to doing some whitewater rafting or trekking in a canyon, you may need to be rescued by helicopter or special emergency personnel. If this type of rescue is not covered by insurance you have now, buy more extensive coverage. Again, read about what things are covered and not covered before you pay for anything that cannot be cancelled.
4. Get vaccines for each country you are visiting.
This seems obvious but some people skip the doctor’s office before traveling to beautiful, exotic places. Many countries recommend shots for hepatitis A and B, typhoid and yellow fever before visiting Fiji. These may protect you if there’s a local outbreak of one of these diseases. Plus, make sure your routine vaccinations, like measles, are up to date. Unfortunately, the United States grappled with a measles outbreak in 2019.
5. Know your rights.
When you buy your airline ticket, you and the airline officially agree to some things. Few read the terms but everyone should. Airlines are supposed to give refunds, re-book on their own airline or on another, pay for hotel accommodation and buy meals depending on the problem. Also, there are rights and responsibilities that your home country or the European Union demand. Armed with information, you should calmly and carefully request what should be offered to you when an emergency changes your plans.
It’s always good to have a backup. Multiple voices saying the same thing usually get more attention.
6. Have a credit card just for emergencies.
Even if you are totally right, airlines, hotels, cab drivers, and other people, can refuse to help you. That’s when you whip out that credit card with plenty of room on it and pay for the things you need. Your health and safety are more important than being right. Continue the struggle at home.
When you travel in a group, you have money worries, because TravelBuddies can band together to fund emergency medicine, food or hotels.
7. Learn a few foreign phrases.
A lot of people at your campsite may speak your mother tongue or understand your hand motions for a second beer. However, to make sure you are understood at a doctor’s office, in a pharmacy, at a hospital or on the telephone with emergency services, learn how to ask for help and report allergies in the local language. Plus, learn the names of medical supplies. Not only that, practice pronunciation. Some words are written the same but spoken differently. No worries. A few people in your group will probably speak the local language.
8. Find out about new lifestyle changes.
Some people travel just to chow down on inventive street food. After the global health scare, many vendors were put out of work. Check with friends in real life and online to see what activities are still possible where you’re going. In many places, stadium-filling concerts are not going to happen but “drive-in” concerts may be popular where you’re about to go.
You don’t have to do everything. You can rely on your TravelBuddies to bring their ideas and interests to the group and planning sessions.
JoinMyTrip is the best place to find open-minded travelers like you. There’s plenty of travel prep time now. Post a trip with flexible dates and get ready for adventure. Plus, at JoinMyTrip, you can find the latest information on traveling in the time of Coronavirus. Check out these sites:
- JoinMyTrip’s Corona Guidelines
- Last-Minute Travel Tips
- 5 Reasons why traveling in a group is more important than ever