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

Jul 18, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Passengers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walk through the arrivals hall after landing at at Terminal Two of London Heathrow Airport in west London, on May 9, 2020. - Britain could introduce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for international arrivals to stem the spread of coronavirus as part of its plan to ease the lockdown, an airline association said Saturday, sparking alarm in an industry already badly hit by the global pandemic. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
(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.

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.

Altered from the usual meal service to paperback with disinfecting napkin, traditional Greek snack and water included in order to avoid opening the tray table. Flying in an Olympic Air De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 Turboprop aircraft during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic era with obligatory usage of face masks for the passengers. The flight crew, female air stewardess are wearing also safety equipment such as facemasks and gloves while the meals are changed and disinfecting napkin is provided. The domestic flight route is from Athens ATH LGAV Airport, the Greek capital to the islands of Cyclades. Greeks and foreign pax travel to popular islands such as Mykonos or Santorini after the Greek Government lifted the traffic ban, lockdown quarantine measures for tourists, easing generally the measures to relaunch the tourism season, with more Covid tests at the airports and the entry points to Greece. Although there are still some countries whose citizens are banned due to the increased numbers of Coronavirus cases. July 14, 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(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)
(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 photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.