Saturday, December 19, 2020
If you’re traveling outside the U.S., check the current COVID-19 requirements for the country you’re visiting.
Ask the following questions: Will the country allow passport holders from your country to enter? Will you need to show a COVID negative test before boarding or on arrival? Is there a mandatory quarantine? Don’t assume that you can get into a country just because an airline will sell you a ticket there.
Sadly, there’s not a magical website that’s updated daily with this information, so you’ll have to do some digging around. For international travel as an American, try the U.S. embassy website.
If you’re packing for an international flight, particularly if you’re flying to a country with testing requirements, you’ll want to fly prepared for an unexpected quarantine.
Ask yourself, “What would I wish I had packed if someone on my flight tested positive for COVID-19 and I wound up quarantined for 14 days in a government-mandated hotel?” Or, “What if a country I was visiting instituted a mandatory shutdown while I was still there?”
These questions would have seemed crazy in 2019 but we’re packing for 2020 now. My “emergency” prep kit has extra snacks (protein bars and almonds), good espresso packets, some mini bourbons (packed in my toiletry kit) and a very well-stocked kindle.
Airlines in the U.S. are continually pivoting their schedules, restrictions and safety measures as they attempt to stay in business, serve customers and keep you safe. Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian and Southwest are currently keeping middle seats open and flying with lower passenger loads but most will be ending that soon (Alaska ends it Jan. 6, Hawaiian Dec. 16 and Southwest Dec. 1). American, JetBlue and United flights are already booking at full capacity.
If you find yourself anxious about returning to travel or having that extra space is important to you, use those American Express points you’ve been saving to book Delta. Remember that being comfortable with traveling these days is likely more important than making sure you’ve got the best bargain fare.
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