What Is It Like Traveling Internationally 2021?
I was extra apprehensive before my flight from Knoxville to Atlanta to Paris to Moscow.
In addition to the typical excitement of overseas travel, I was worried about how things would go and if I had everything I need to cross the ocean with ease. After a successful flight, here are 9 things to keep in mind when traveling overseas this 2021 summer:
1) In addition to your valid passport (or passports as in my case), you need to make sure you have all the Covid protocol requirements. Most countries mandate having a vaccination record and the result of the PCR test done within the past 72 hours.
2) Make sure the laboratory you are using will get your results within at least 48 hours before your departure. If you want assurance of making it to your flight, get a 24 hour PCR test. Consider that your PCR test results are under 72 hours old by the time you will be at your destination. Otherwise, you may neither be allowed to fly nor get your ticket refunded. Think about the day of your flight. If you fly out on Monday or Tuesday morning, definitely plan to do a 24-hour test to get your results on time (as many labs don’t work on Sundays). Also, make sure you use an approved lab. It may mean you have to pay extra. In my case, it was $400 for a 24-hour PCR test to assure I get results before my flight.
3) Before boarding a flight from Atlanta to Paris, all of the Covid related paperwork got checked. It does not matter whether you are passing through the airport or going to be staying in France. Each country has its own rules. Delta has a comprehensive list of all of the requirements for each country on their website. They are strict and they really check all your staff in their system.
4) Make sure you bring a couple of masks for a change so that you have a fresh mask after an overnight flight. Airlines insist and will pester you about wearing a mask during the whole flight, even when you sleep, and even if you have your suite.
5) Getting a business or a first-class is worth the money. I originally booked Economy Plus but upgraded last minute due to my apprehension of being cramped with other passengers. Delta One provides you with your own separate suite with a bed. It is comfortable and you can get some zzzs.
6) Both flights from Knoxville and Paris were full. Hold your breath. Just kidding. Wear your mask, don’t touch your face, and fast if you want to reduce the risk of getting the virus.
7) To ease your anxiety about flying during a pandemic bring some lavender oil drops; a silk sleep mask to rest your eyes and keep mint chewing gum handy in case of nausea or to relieve ear pressure pain during landing.
8) Once you arrive at your destination, follow the rules and procedures of the place. Some countries may want you to quarantine for 14 days. I had to take another PCR test within 5 days of landing in Russia. I had to quarantine for 14-day. And I had to register my 5-day post landing Covid results on a government site. There is a fine for the violators.
9) It is best to time your travel with your peak post-vaccination immunity which is at around 3 weeks post your second dose.
It is much more tedious to travel this summer than ever before. I don’t know if I would travel if I hadn’t had matters to tend to and family to see. These are my bits of experience for the international travel this summer and I hope they can be helpful to you.