If you’re thinking of taking your first post-pandemic trip, it’s time for a refresher course. Covid-19 changed a lot for international and even domestic travel.
But more than that, your comfort level with travel might be at an all-time low.
That’s why we’ve put together these important tips.
They will help make sure your first post-pandemic trip goes off without a hitch.
Keep reading to find out more.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn how to prepare for your first post-pandemic trip, including:
- Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
- What the Statistics Say about Post-pandemic Travel
- Tips to Get Traveling Again
- Important Documents & Travel Requirements
- Final Thoughts on Your First Post-Pandemic Trip
It’s Time to Get Traveling!
If you’ve spent the last three years cooped up at home, baking sourdough rolls and attending endless zoom meetings, it’s likely you’re getting itchy feet.
Adventure is calling and it’s time to jump on a plane and answer it!
However, we’re all a little out of practice when it comes to making travel plans for vacation. After all, this is your first post-pandemic trip.
Researching flights, booking airport van rental, arranging accommodations – it’s a lot to juggle and prepare for.
It’s understandable that it can feel overwhelming and a whole lot easier to slip on some comfy pants and lounge in front of Netflix for a week.
Nothing against staycations, but resist the temptation to stay in your comfort zone.
With these suggestions, you can get yourself traveling again!
Statistics Prove We’re On the Move with Post-Pandemic Trips!
A recent survey showed that 71% of Europeans are planning to travel this summer.
Likewise, 73% of Americans are looking to travel this summer amid rising costs from inflation.
In the summer of 2023, holidaymakers are expected to spend more money than in previous years. Travel budgets have increased by an average of 20 percent as compared to 2021.
The budget for Americans has jumped up by an average of $400 in the last year.
This proves that more people than ever are excited to get traveling again. We are ready for vacation!
Furthermore, the lifting and removal of COVID-19 restrictions has made it easier and a lot less complicated.
As of June 2022, there is no requirement for air passengers arriving in the US to have a negative pre-arrival COVID test. (This was great news for me, as I was returning from a trip to Spain.)
As the pandemic’s threat dwindles, it becomes more possible to remove the testing requirements that have limited travel for so long.
This is expected to further encourage travel.
Many countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean removed their pre-travel testing requirements considerably earlier in than the US.
The infrastructure to travel might be improving, but how about our motivation to take a post-pandemic trip?
While being stuck inside has spurred some to be more enthusiastic about travel than ever, for others, it’s cultivated an apprehension about leaving the house at all.
What can be done to nurture our motivation to travel and get moving again?
Read these tips below if you’re looking for some encouragement to plan your first post-pandemic trip.
Mindset & Practical Tips to Get Traveling Again
Here is the nudge you may need to embrace a life of travel if you’re feeling hesitant.
You can start with one suggestion, or take them all.
Hopefully, these tips below will help you step out of your bubble and back into the larger world.
1. Make Travel Part of Your Routine
We all stay a lot more motivated when we have a schedule.
Planning for travel is no different.
Life is busy and travel plans can get pushed down the list of priorities.
If traveling is something you really want to do, make planning for it part of your daily routine. Otherwise, life goes on and you’re no further from your front door than yesterday.
So, get into the routine of researching places you want to go. You can create a bucket list that includes domestic and international travel.
Then, do some research on what it would take to make it happen once you’re ready for vacation.
Incorporate the following into your day:
- Check out flight prices and browse places you’d like to stay
- Make a list of activities and experiences you’d enjoy
- Think about what foods you’d like to try
- Daydream about what your trip will be like
- Journal about past travel experiences and why travel is important to you now
Once you put your ideas on paper (or a spreadsheet), you’re that much closer to making it a reality.
You may not be ready to book the trip, but you’ve begun dreaming about travel destinations again.
Who knows? You might find a deal that’s impossible to resist.
2. Draw Inspiration from Other Travelers’ Experiences
A good way to find inspiration is to read blogs to hear about other travelers’ adventures.
This can be very helpful, because you’ll discover reviews about places of interest. You’ll also learn the tips and tricks needed to travel successfully.
In one way, you’ll be living vicariously through someone else’s eyes.
However, it may spur you on in your planning.
That’s because you’ll find yourself wishing to enjoy the same experience that they are sharing!
3. Look to Travel Books for Travel Ideas
Blogs aren’t the only place to find travel inspiration. Look also to print publications.
For instance, read travel books and travel magazines in your spare time.
These will delve into your areas of interest in a lot more detail, or showcase beautiful glossy photos.
Therefore, books and magazines can create a greater anticipation than can you might find in a short blog post.
Read about the history of the place, too.
That way, you can fully appreciate the rich past of the destination. This will further encourage you to experience it for yourself, now!
4. Learn a New Language
It might seem like a big commitment, but try learning a new language.
This skill can motivate you to travel somewhere you’d need to use it.
Download a fun app or learning-based game to pick up some useful phrases in an unfamiliar language.
Once you master some conversational phrases, you may find yourself wanting to test out what you’ve learned in the very best place.
5. Meet Up with Other Travelers
Another good way to motivate yourself to travel is to meet up with other travelers.
That way, you’ll get inspiration from their adventures.
You can do this virtually by hanging out on travel forums or linking up with fellow travellers on social media.
Alternatively, socialize the old-fashioned way and chat with other friends who like to travel.
They say you are who your friends are, so you can gain some positive encouragement from other travelers.
That will help get you craving the rush of adventure too!
6. Get Organized for Travel So You’re Ready for Vacation
It’s been so long since we all traveled that you might feel a little rusty.
Are you out of practice with packing your bags and getting going?
That being the case, it’s a good idea to make some checklists and ensure you don’t forget anything important.
Airports are especially busy places now. Therefore, you’ll need to do everything you can to prepare well.
That will help reduce the time needed to get you through the queues in security.
Don’t forget some of the most important preparation for air travel.
Here’s a refresher on some basics:
- Make sure any liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your hand luggage are in travel-sized containers. They must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. Then, store them all in a quart-sized zip-lock bag.
- Separate electronics, like laptops, tablets, phones, cameras, and chargers, so they are ready to remove from your hand luggage for security
- Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and slip off
- Don’t wear a metal belt or under-wire bra, if possible – they set off the metal detectors!
- Come up to speed with any changes in baggage rules, such as size and weight limits for checked and carry-on items. (Be prepared to pay additional fees or be refused if your bags are out of compliance.)
- Familiarize yourself with proper boarding etiquette and other standards for your airline.
So, what else do you need to remember before you set off?
Don’t Forget Important Documents and Travel Requirements
Now that you’re prepared to get through security without a hitch, you’ll want to make sure your documentation is in good order.
7. Check Your Passport’s Expiration Date
It sounds obvious, but the last few years have gone by so quickly you might have an expired passport and not even realize it.
Some countries stipulate that a passport is a certain amount of time away from expiration.
If your passport is due to expire in the next 6 months or less, this puts you at risk.
So, it’s important to check your passport expiration date and the requirements of your destination before you travel.
8. Understand Covid Test Requirements
Even though Covid tests are not required to travel back to the US, they might be needed in different countries.
Some destinations have dropped restrictions altogether.
Others still have regulations in place. You can find out which countries may have restrictions here.
Be sure to research your destination thoroughly. The last thing you want to be is surprised by the entry requirements for that location.
And, check it several times before your trip, right up until the day you travel.
Travel requirements for entry to some countries are in a state of flux. Most have eased or eliminated requirements, but check just the same.
In any case, you’ll want to bring a mask with you.
Even in places where vaccine and masking restrictions have lifted, some public buildings and transportation may still require you wear a mask. Better to have one then to be denied entrance.
9. Know Your Vaccine Status, And How it Affects Travel
Fully vaccinated people will get some travel perks – especially as it relates to Covid testing.
Make sure you know what “fully vaccinated” means for your destination. Sometimes this will have a time constraint since your last dose, or may require a booster, too.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, some countries will only let you in if you take a test instead.
They will likely be very specific about where and what constitutes an accepted test, too.
So, set aside some time in your itinerary and some extra cash for this purpose.
10. Get Travel Insurance for Your Post-Pandemic Trip
If you’ve never invested in travel insurance, now is not the time to skip it.
Some policies will cover flight delays, cancellations, medical expenses abroad, and repatriation if you need to be transported.
It’s easy to find an affordable plan before you take your trip.
These days, travel insurance is no longer a luxury.
11. Find Out if Pre-registration is Required
Some countries require pre-registration of your details before you travel.
For instance, for my recent trip to Spain, I needed to get a QR code for entry. That required downloading a health app, uploading the appropriate documentation, and waiting until 3 days before my trip to activate my QR code.
When I was in Canada, the restrictions for entry and return were dropped.
And for Greece, it’s no longer needed.
Clearly, these requirements can be complex when you’re getting ready for vacation. And they vary by country.
So, set aside some time to research the ins and outs of the entry requirements.
Make sure you understand exactly what you need to do to pre-register for your trip.
If you’re uncertain, you’ll find some helpful Facebook communities geared for your destination. They can offer some insights.
Your airline can be helpful, too. Just expect long hold times.
12. Be Prepared for Long Queues
Speaking of long hold times, airports are understaffed and surging with holiday goers.
This is also impacted by out-of-practice travellers forgetting the simple things and holding things up.
With this in mind, you want to mentally prepare for the inevitable queues.
Do your best to arrive in plenty of time, but not with so much time that you contribute to queues for previous flights.
That can cause others to miss their plane.
Once you get through your security check and have your boarding pass ready, settle in with a good book or your tablet to pass the time.
In no time, you’ll be ready for takeoff!
Final Thoughts on Taking Your First Post-Pandemic Trip
If you’re out of practice, don’t worry.
We all are!
But, now that we are recovering from the pandemic, the travel industry needs us to make up for lost time and money.
And we need to get back to enjoying travel, near and far.
So get ready for vacation!
Your first post-pandemic trip is going to be epic, now that your prepared.
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