Planning a vacation? 5 COVID-19 travel tips

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel continues to be uncertain, but it’s still possible to have a successful trip with the right planning.

Here are five things to consider when booking your travel vacation:

1. Book flights? Consider upgrades

Vacations don’t come cheap and everyone is looking for the cheapest flight deals.

However, consider upgrading your flight for additional features such as free changes or cancellations, or even flight insurance, in case you experience delays due to COVID-19.

Also compare the ‘pandemic-friendly’ options offered by different airlines – for example, JetBlue currently offers no change or cancellation fees on most of its fares, with the exception of Blue Basic.

Currently (as of January 27, 2022), the airline has waived change/cancellation fees on Blue Basic bookings made between August 25 and October 31, 2021 and before June 7, 2021.

2. Book your accommodation wisely

If you use booking sites for your accommodation, look for booking options with flexible cancellation policies or even options for quarantine stays at worst.

Also, if you’re booking through a booking website, read the fine print carefully – watch out for non-refundable deposits or any other ‘hidden’ fees.

3. Ask about travel/quarantine insurance

You had a great vacation, enjoyed your trip and are ready to go home, but the unthinkable happened: you tested positive for COVID-19.

Currently, travelers entering or returning to Trinidad and Tobago must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival.

If they test positive before their flight home, they may need to ‘shelter in place’ – which can be costly.

However, check with insurers (locally or in your destination country) for available options regarding COVID-19 and emergency quarantine stays.

Depending on the country you are visiting, “quarantine insurance” may be available for international visitors.

4. Have a backup plan

In case your planned route experiences setbacks, have a “plan b” with alternate locations in case of unpredictable changes. Please ensure that all tickets purchased include a full refund for any COVID-19 related cancellations. Some pandemic-friendly events include outdoor activities and secluded areas such as parks and gardens, beaches, open-air restaurants, or even private cabins and villas where families can cook their own meals without much interaction with strangers.

5. Follow health and safety guidelines

Even fully vaccinated, health officials have advised us to continue wearing our face masks, disinfecting ourselves and maintaining a safe distance from others. As another health and safety measure, it’s a good idea to continue to enforce these policies while on vacation, minimizing the risk of testing positive (and ruining your trip).

Travel safely!

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