Travel

Travel In 2021: What You Need To Know

June 9, 2021

Contributed by:

Gemma Clarke

One question all travel lovers have asked this year is ‘will travel be possible in 2021?’ The good news is that travel in 2021 is certainly possible! The caveat is that more planning and consideration is required. Everything from carefully planned entry requirements to travel insurance - things you may have done without in the past - should now be checked off before you book. 


Let’s break down what you need to know about travel in 2021, including things to consider beforehand and what to expect from traveling in post-pandemic times.

Choosing a travel destination in 2021



Researching travel destinations in 2021 will require more than just looking for restaurants and activities. You need to ensure that your preferred location is open to tourists. Travel search engine Kayak has a regularly updated list of country-by-country travel restrictions. This guide lists the entry requirements so you can estimate what planning you will need to do to go to your ideal destination. 


In some countries, restrictions may vary depending on whether or not you have been vaccinated or when your last covid test was. You will need to check what paperwork is required for proof.


The country you depart from can also determine the entry requirements.  Some countries have formed “travel bubbles” with other countries with low covid rates. On the flip side, some COVID hotspots are considered ‘red zones’ and their citizens and residents, or even people passing through, are blocked from entry. Another thing to look into, before choosing your travel destination in 2021, is if getting from where you are to where you want to go causes you to transit in a restricted country with its own rules and requirements. 


Because of all these additional restrictions, many travelers now choose to travel only to countries with no entry requirements, such as Mexico and Costa Rica Other parts of South America, such as Peru, are flexible with entry as long as you have a pre-flight PCR test. For U.S. travelers, South America is also the cheapest place to travel in 2021 as flight prices are affordable, day-to-day costs are low, and many activities and dining take place outdoors. 


COVID tests



Countries that are allowing limited entry will sometimes require you to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival or before you board the plane. Therefore, you’ll need to find a COVID testing center near you that can supply a certificate for international travel use. 


There will also be a validity period for your COVID test. Most destinations will only accept a negative COVID-19 test obtained no more than 3 days before your flight. So be sure to plan and book your test as close to the day you leave as possible. If you’re in the US, check your state department’s website to see if and where you can get your test results within 72 hours.


Travel insurance



Another must-have for 2021 travel is insurance that specifically covers you for medical care. Some countries will not issue you a visa or permit entry if you do not have COVID insurance.  Not all insurance companies provide COVID-19 coverage, so be sure to read the fine print. Be sure to read the fine print, too, so you know what you are covered for. Some insurance plans will help you recover costs if you have to cancel due to catching COVID-19 before departure or if you test positive before your flight. Take into account that COVID travel insurance may will cost more than standard insurance previously did. 


Cancellation policies



In 2021, you'll need to pay extra attention to the terms and conditions of your bookings. As travel restrictions are constantly changing and countries are in and out of lockdown, it's vital to ensure that you can easily cancel or amend your flight.


The same goes for accommodation, transfers, tours, or group trips that are international. Find out what will happen if circumstances change and the trip is cancelled. Several hotels on popular booking sites and a lot of trips on Tripsha give the traveler flexibility for cancellations due to covid restrictions..

Quarantine or self-isolation requirements



Some countries such as Thailand require all tourists to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, despite showing a negative COVID-19 test. What's more, you can only quarantine in specific hotels, which increases the cost of the stay, which can be a shock if not budgeted for! This is why it's vital to do your research and choose a destination that doesn't require you to quarantine or self-isolate. Not only is this costly, but it will take up to two weeks of your trip.

What to expect at the airport


There are a few significant differences you'll notice when checking in for your flight and while on-board, such as:


  • Wearing a mask is mandatory throughout airports and during your flight.
  • Airports are still pretty quiet compared to pre-covid times, so there should be no long check-in times, and flights are less likely to be full. 
  • Most lounges remain closed, along with many shops.
  • Many airlines will board a few rows at a time for social distancing purposes.
  • Some airlines now use a back-to-front boarding process, so those sitting at the back don't need to pass through a plane full of passengers.
  • There may be no inflight service on short-haul flights. For longer flights, service will be less frequent to reduce interaction between the crew and passengers.


Final thoughts


So there you have it, travel in 2021 will definitely be a different experience from what you’re familiar with. Our advice is to stay up to date on travel restrictions and ensure you won’t be out of pocket if your trip is canceled. By taking these extra precautions, you can still enjoy visiting and exploring new places! And as always, reach out to Hello@tripsha.com if you have any questions!! Safe travels



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