Updated: July 19, 2021
How you can travel safely right now is an essential question and the Zicasso team can give you important insight into what you can do to travel smarter, easier, and safer for all regions around the world. Planning a trip always leads to important questions, and now more than ever, many travelers are asking about safety concerns and ensuring they can still plan their dream vacation. As you consider your next trip, this list offers several ways you can ease your logistics by preparing ahead of time.
As more countries open up around the world, each new destination has different travel restrictions. Many more travel doors open when you have proof of full vaccination, but many destinations also accept negative PCR tests with no quarantine requirements. All these prerequisites can vary by country and even region, but a travel specialist can assist you in understanding them all. Make sure you know what would be best for the type of trip you want and how you want to travel by putting your vacation in the hands of a local expert.
Learn more: Countries Open Now to American Travelers
Before planning and setting your travel dates in stone, check your passports to confirm your expiration dates, and number of available pages. Your travel specialist can help you with what is expected for both pages and expiration dates for the country you would like to visit, as many have increased requirements for entry as we emerge from the pandemic. Note: Standard passport requests are currently taking 18 weeks.
Enroll in Global Entry (which automatically includes TSA PreCheck). Global Entry gives you expedited security screening when departing from US airports and expedited US customs screening when re-entering the USA. You may have heard of different screening programs for travelers, but not all the programs are created equal. This TSA article explains the difference between the Trusted Traveler programs, and Zicasso recommends Global Entry over any others.
There are plenty of places to get updated information on where you can travel or important information like safety conditions or emergency government contacts. STEP stands for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which is updated by the US Consulate. The free service is the best way to get the most recent updates on your country of interest and will also help you get in touch with government contacts, family, or friends in case of an emergency.
It is also wise to keep an eye on the US Department of State for updated traveler information. Effective January 26, 2021, the CDC will require all air travelers entering the United States to present a negative Covid-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the last 90 days. Travelers will be denied boarding without necessary documentation.
The best travel route for your trip may consist of the fastest route, could include stopovers in specific cities, or you may need to avoid certain airports due to travel restrictions. By working with our Zicasso Flights team, you can receive information and suggestions on the best routing for your destination. Our expert flight specialists offer a free consultation service to help you reach your destination comfortably and safely.
We recommend planning ahead and securing N95 or KN95 masks. In recent flights, Zicasso travelers have found these to be essential, with the KN95 the most comfortable for long haul flights. Available at Costco, these are both useful for travel and daily life. Not all masks are equal, and this helpful article from the Wall Street Journal explains more.
Airports and other potential indoor areas can make it difficult to physically distance. In these instances, we recommend wearing a face shield in addition to a KN95 or N95 mask. A face shield is great for additional protection but according to the CDC should not be used as a substitute for a mask. The best face shields will wrap around the side of your face and below your chin.
Most airlines require that you wear a face mask while on board during the entirety of the flight and many airlines have removed the restriction of blocking the middle seat. For your comfort, find the mask right for you and make a periodical change to keep yourself safe, your mask fresh, and your flight more pleasant.
You can benefit from keeping your immune system active and engaged in the weeks and months before you travel. Get plenty of rest. Getting enough sleep boosts your immune system and helps you stay healthy during your trip. Along with enough sleep, you can also protect yourself with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes so keep your hands and surrounding surfaces clean.
Our travel specialists are local experts and can ensure a travel experience tailored to your hopes, goals, and expectations. You can speak with a travel specialist to answer your questions about traveling to any of the 92 countries that we serve, and leave the logistics and planning to a destination expert. Now more than ever, local connections and know-how can make all the difference in ensuring a successful travel experience.