February 26, 2022
8 mins

COVID Travel: 12 Things to Expect from Our “New Normal”

It's now 2022 and the start of something new. You're probably excited at the chance of a blank slate and new beginnings. Perhaps you're even hoping that the ravages of the pandemic are coming to a close and life will return to normal. You're also likely ready for some post COVID travel.

Well, we're almost there. If you're interested in travelling after COVID, or COVID travel, you're in the right place. Here, we break down 12 things to expect in the new year, “new normal.”

Vaccination for Easier COVID Travel

One of the most important tips we can give you for travel in 2022 is that vaccinations will make things easier. So, if possible, get vaccinated.

Vaccination will make arrivals and departures more seamless. You may not even have to quarantine in some countries if you're vaccinated! Not to mention, it will make travel much safer for you, too.

Are you wondering, “when can I travel after the COVID vaccine?” It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to come into effect. So wait at least two weeks after your last dose to ensure optimized protection while travelling.

And if you're questioning, “when can I travel after having COVID?” you're in luck. Suppose you've contracted the virus and aren't yet eligible to be vaccinated. In that case, you need to show test results confirming you contracted the virus recently but are now testing negative.

Check Testing Regulations

When it comes to COVID travels, regulations and guidelines are constantly changing. So are health and travel advisories.

If you're planning to embark on travels in the summer of 2022, you will need to keep updated with these changes. It might be a good idea to monitor the regulations for a couple of months before making any bookings.

By doing so, you'll know the highs and lows of the rules, and you might be able to see patterns to predict the regulations during your intended time of travel.

Preventative Measures Will Continue

You're likely already well-acquainted with preventative health measures. After all, they've become a staple of our “new normal.”

Well, these measures are likely well into 2022. 

Following are a few of the basics you can expect:

  • Social distancing as much as possible

  • Avoid contact with those who may be sick

  • Limit using high-contact surfaces such as elevator buttons, handrails, and counters

  • Use hand sanitizer and frequently wash your hands

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Sneeze into your elbow

Even if you're double vaccinated or have already got COVID, it is a good idea to continue to follow preventative actions. After all, the latest Omicron BA.2 variant continues to spread, too!

Consider Alternate COVID Travel Methods

While you may prefer a quick flight to get to your destination of choice, it may be prudent to consider other COVID travel methods.

Car travel may give you more control over your environment, while trains are a great way to take the scenic route.

By opening yourself up to these other travel strategies, you'll give yourself more flexibility when it comes time to travel. This approach also helps you stay on top of your finances.

Fewer Bargains but More Flexibility

Don't get us wrong; you might find reasonable rates and deals.

But as the travel industry bounces back, it will be harder to find outstanding bargain tickets and stays. That's because demand is going back up.

However, you can benefit from increased flexibility. Many airlines are already offering cancellations for those who may not travel due to contracting the virus.

Rescheduling and moving around tickets will also be more straightforward. And almost all carriers are waiving fees for changing or cancelling flights. Buy now, pay later options will also be available to help you budget your trip.

Hotel Rooms May Be Cheaper

Depending on the location, booking stays may be cheaper than before the pandemic. Be sure to look up apps to compare rates across different hotels.

While cities and locations with high traffic, such as Hawaii and Miami, are back to selling accommodations at previous rates, some sites will offer reduced rates.

They may also throw in free breakfasts and other perks to make offers more appealing to encourage travel.

Quarantining Regulations for COVID Travel

One basic you can expect is to provide negative COVID tests to your arrival country during travelling. The test would be either a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) type.

However, you may have to quarantine for several days, too. This depends entirely on the regulations in your destination, as well as your originating country.

And don't forget about any quarantine rules for when you arrive back in Canada! You may be asked to check for symptoms and stay at home. If your test comes positive, you will, of course, need to quarantine, too.

Choose Your Destination Carefully

Due to the changing regulations, it will be critical to choose your destination carefully. First, create a list of potential cities or countries that pique your interest.

And then begin researching the COVID risk assessment for that area. Check out this handy map by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to guide you. 

You'll have a good idea of what to expect from your summer travel plans by doing research. You will then be able to tweak your itinerary if needed, well before the trip begins! This level of planning will set you up for a hassle-free and easy journey. 

Set Up Contactless Payment

A great way to prepare yourself for the travel season is to ensure you're accounting for all your travel expenses.

Many vendors and merchants are not currently accepting cash payments. Setting up e-transfer, PayPal, or other digital platforms will be the way to go for easy travel. 

As an added bonus, be sure to set up payment platforms used in your host country. For example, having Venmo in the U.S. will make day-to-day transactions much more accessible. 

Make a Packing List

This list is like a regular packing list – but COVID edition.

You'll want to keep medicines handy as well as safe travel supplies. Face masks, tissues, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes will be an absolute must.

Making a packing list well before you travel will ensure you don't forget things last minute. You may also find deals for the items on your packing list, which is always a win in our books!

Book Things in Advance

Travel is going to boom come summertime. So if you're looking to do a lot of sightseeing during your trip, be sure to book your tickets well in advance to get a spot.

You can expect the same for museums, galleries, tours, wine tastings, and restaurant reservations. After all, the last thing you want to do is get to your getaway and realize that everything you want to do is unavailable!

If you're planning on embarking on local trips requiring a bicycle, local buses, or trains, you should book those in advance, too. Just make sure your bookings are refundable or changeable, and you're good to go!

The well-planned traveller will genuinely have the upper hand come the summer vacation season in 2022.

Be Open to Change

If there's anything COVID has taught us, it's that things can change – really fast. Even the best-laid travel plans may be set aside if it's simply unsafe to travel.

Perhaps your destination country's infection rates have spiked in the summer. Or you are sick and are displaying flu-like symptoms. You may even be waiting for results for a COVID test.

If any of these situations are the case, don't travel. Just don't do it. You'll be putting yourself and others at risk. Instead, take advantage of the increased flexibility of your travels. 

Cancelling or changing plans will be much easier. You could also postpone your exact dates a little. It's worth it to know you'll be travelling safely.

COVID Travel, Here We Come

Summer is five months away, and it's time to start planning your (well-deserved) holiday getaway.

Although life has significantly improved since the worst few months of 2020, we are still a ways away from travel returning entirely to normal. That's why it's better to get familiar with the ins and outs of covid travel.

You might even be able to make the most of lower costs and more flexible cancellation and change policies!

Need help financing your blow-out-making up-for-two years' worth of travel? At Creditpicks, we're all about the information-led approach to making major life decisions, especially financial ones.

Be sure to check out our Vacation Loans page to learn more today!

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