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Make sure these 5 things are on your checklist before your next vacation

July 18, 2020
7 min read
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Editor's Note

As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.</strong>

Editor's note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

With countries around the world slowly but surely opening up again, we're thinking about our next vacation.

It's official: U.K. government lifts quarantine restrictions for travel from 59 low-risk countries

With all the excitement in the air, it might be easy to get swept up in the moment and book a trip and head off into the sun without a second thought. However, traveling abroad has changed dramatically from what we're used to so we put together this guide to make sure you're fully prepared.

(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Double and triple check your insurance coverage

Travel insurance should always be on the top of your checklist before any trip abroad. Because we're in the midst of a pandemic, having the right travel insurance and knowing exactly what you're covered for is more important than ever.

It's important for two main reasons:

  • Coverage if something goes wrong, especially if you need medical assistance.
  • If you have to cancel your trip for whatever reason.

Related: The ultimate guide to travel insurance

Whether you already have an existing policy, or you would need to take out a new one, be sure to check out which policies cover COVID-19 first.

Check your airline's coronavirus policy

The in-flight experience is currently very different to what it was at the beginning of March and might not be the same for a very long time. Airlines around the world have implemented a number of changes to make flying during a pandemic safer for passengers and crew.

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The most fundamental and widespread of all is mandatory mask wearing in-flight. Whether or not your airline is enforcing it, it's common courtesy to do so when flying during this time.

While some airlines are slowly bringing back in-flight catering, many airlines are still offering only a skeleton service such as bottled water for those who ask. It's worth checking with your airline so you know whether or not to bring snacks onboard if you're likely to get hungry.

(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/ Getty Images)

Other things to watch out for are temperature checks for departing passengers and, if you. happen to be flying Ryanair, you'll have to ring the call bell to use the bathroom.

Pack extras

Going anywhere these days requires a little extra thought when considering what you need to take with you.

If you're going abroad, you'll likely be flying, so make sure to remember to pack the following items in your carry-on luggage:

Masks
You're likely to already be wearing one on your journey, but it's highly advisable to pack at least one extra per person just in case -- it's better to be safe than sorry when flying during a pandemic. A lot of airlines are not providing them either so you might be able to help out a fellow passenger who forgot one!

Hand sanitizer
Make sure you have easy access to hand sanitizer for when you might need it. Try to get a bottle that's below 12 oz. too so you won't have to throw it away when going through security. If you're checking luggage, then pop a couple of extra bottles in there as well for when you get to your destination.

Antibacterial wipes
Though many airlines are ramping up their cleaning, it might be worth bringing your own antibacterial wipes to give the high touch point areas around your seat an extra once over, just for peace of mind.

Check quarantining rules

It's possible that the list of countries where quarantine is required could change several times again over the next few months, so before booking a trip, make sure to double-check with the government's latest advice.

Plan more of your trip in advance

Before you decide on a destination, it might be worth spending a bit of time researching if there will be enough for you to do. For example, are the beaches open? Do you need to book a time slot at the pool? If there are big tourist attractions that you want to visit, will they be open?

(Photo by tolgart/Getty Images)

Being able to just pop to a restaurant for an evening meal also might not be possible as many places now require advanced bookings which are getting snapped up. Some hotels have even brought in reservations to use the pool.

Another thing to consider is the mandatory wearing of masks in public which some countries are adopting. You might want to consider that beach resort you've been wanting to visit if you'll have to wear a mask on the beach -- imagine the tan lines!

Bottom line

Travel is back, but with a difference. Masks, socially-distanced dining and pool reservations are here and might be here to stay. Wherever you decide to travel this summer, a little extra planning and research will go a long way to make sure you have the dream summer holiday you've been waiting for since lockdown began.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more