Remember when planning a vacation was so easy? First, deciding where to go — sunny resort in the Caribbean or maybe a tour through a beautiful European country would be nice. Cruising is always a good choice; there is a whole world of choices when it comes to the type of cruise. Maybe hiking while exploring a rain forest or ancient sites of ruins is more your style. Skiing down the peaceful slopes of your favorite mountain location is always a thrill. After all, there are endless choices of where to go and how to spend your valuable vacation time.
Then, select air flights. Some travelers choose a crack-of-dawn departure time to get to their destination as early as possible and start the fun. Or maybe a more leisurely late morning flight time is a better thought. Just grab your passport and you are off! No worries!
Well, today it is not so simple. It seems now it is a good time to travel as clients are finding many destinations less crowded than normal but still packed with enjoyment. With the current conditions in the world today, traveling to an exciting destination is possible but you need to thoroughly do your homework.
If you are planning to leave the United States, it is important to check and re-check your destination because situations and rules change. If a country has specific requirements to enter and you do not have all the correct forms or digital QR codes, you most likely will be denied boarding your first flight and your vacation could be ruined before you even leave. As you are researching a destination, you need to be up to date on the latest entry and screening requirements regardless if you are traveling domestic or internationally. Many destinations have more requirements that require planning.
Passports must be current for at least six months after your return date. Some destinations might require travelers to complete a digital passenger locator or health pass up to several days prior to arriving and will e-mail you an authorization to travel, which could be required to be printed and hand-carried with you. You will be asked about vaccinations and there may be different requirements for each case. Croatia asks for proof of paid accommodations, and if you are traveling to Costa Rica and are unvaccinated, they will require insurance coverage to cover any COVID-related costs, including but not exclusive to illness. You will need a specific insurance rider to your policy for coverage.
Certain locations require you have travel and medical insurance. Many Caribbean nations require proof of health insurance. Chile requires proof of travel medical insurance that covers at least $30,000. It is not just as simple as having travel insurance in case you cannot go. Travel insurance is, in my opinion, a necessity and can prepare you for the unexpected.
Most insurance policies cover trip delays, lost baggage and trip interruption. It is a good idea to check with your health-insurance policies to see if and how you are covered if you get sick while out of your network.
Be aware that just because you have purchased insurance doesn’t mean you are completely covered. All policies are different and it is up to you to make sure you know what is being covered. Is your medical coverage primary or secondary? Secondary means you will pay out-of-pocket medical expenses while on vacation. You then bring your receipts home and turn them into your insurance provider for reimbursement. With primary coverage you call your provider, who will contact the medical facility for direct payment. There are other stipulations and concerns you need to learn about.
There is a whole world waiting to be discovered. Now is a good time to establish a relationship with your professional travel agent for guidance through the latest developments as you stay flexible and travel the world.