I wasn’t supposed to fly internationally this year, but some unexpected sad news forced me and my boyfriend to board a plane and fly for a two week stay in a foreign country.
I would have been ten times more scared of this prospect if I hadn’t been vaccinated, but luckily for us, we were already fully vaccinated back home for a while.
But that didn’t mean we could lay back and not protect ourselves. Because we certainly did our best, not only for our health, but also out of respect for the others.
I thought I will not be the only one traveling internationally during covid this year, so I decided to write about my experience. Here are the things we did to prepare for the international flight during the pandemic.
Before Traveling Internationally
1. Covid Test / vaccine.
Ideally, having the vaccine would ease your mind and make the experience a bit safer, since it has been proved that vaccines help protect against serious cases of covid.
If you don’t want one or haven’t got the chance yet, then you might need to take a test before traveling internationally during covid. Most countries will require a PCR test at entry (on passport control, before actually entering the foreign country), done no more than 48 hours before arriving in the country. So please take into the consideration time zone changes before taking the test. For example, if there is a 3 hour difference, then you need to take the test 45 hours before.
2. Prepare a safety kit.
What’s a safety kit? It’s my way of saying “make sure you pack the essentials for traveling internationally during covid”:
- Hand sanitizer;
- Hand cream;
- Wet wipes;
Speaking of the mask, it will probably be your best friend. No, really, the mask is MANDATORY in most airports. So make sure you have a cloth one or multiple single use ones on hand, you will need them.
Extra tip for specific countries: Pack more clothes.
This tip is specifically addressed to people who travel to countries where you are required to quarantine after entering the country. Make sure you have extra clothes packed for the quarantine period, you don’t want to be stuck somewhere with no clean clothes. Ugh!
During international flights
1. Sanitize most used items.
This might be considered an unnecessary precaution, but I recommend sanitizing (with wipes) certain items, like your bags’ handles, your seat and the seat in front of you, your phone, etc.
And of course, don’t forget to wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizers often.
2. Always use a mask… except when eating or drinking.
From the time I got onto my Uber to go the airport, until the moment I reached my hotel room in the foreign country, I wore a mask. All the time.
The only exceptions were when I drank water, and when I ate something. The moment after I had my last bite, I put back the mask. And I noticed that most people around me did the same.
3. Keep distance.
This advice (and sometimes rule) applies in most situations, but especially in the airports, at queues or while boarding. Be respectful of people’s spaces and also protect yourself by keeping at least 1 meter / 3 feet between you and the person next to you.
Besides of these 5 rules / suggestions, my experience with traveling internationally during covid was pretty similar to past experiences. I just had to be extra careful.
What do you think? Are the rules too strict? Are they common sense? Let me know in the comments!