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Why I'm still traveling with COVID-19 tests

July 04, 2022
4 min read
At home COVID test with a negative test result
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After two years, the COVID-19 testing requirement for travel to the U.S. has finally been dropped, which means there's one less hurdle for international travelers. However, if you're like me, you still have several unused eMed proctored tests. Is it time to stash them in the back of the closet?

That's not what I'm doing. Here's why:

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There's still a risk of getting COVID-19

COVID-19 at-home tests for sale at a CVS in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

One of the most obvious reasons I still travel with COVID-19 tests is because the pandemic is far from over. In the U.S., we're still averaging around 100,000 cases per day.

Travelers need to be prepared, which is why I'm thinking ahead. I certainly hope to never catch COVID-19 on a trip, but it could happen. Smart travelers need to be ready for that very real possibility. If I test positive, I will want to test myself regularly until I'm once again testing negative. Because of that, I need to carry at least three or four COVID-19 tests.

When I travel, I take at least one eMed proctored test and my NHS Trace & Test box, which was given to me for free during my last trip to London. The NHS box is portable, at about six inches long, and it includes about half a dozen tests.

Related: Updated: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus reopenings

Some countries still ask for negative COVID-19 test results

(Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy)

As you know, each country has specific COVID-19 requirements. COVID-19 testing requirements still remain in place throughout the world, particularly for unvaccinated travelers. Even if you plan to travel to a country that doesn't have a COVID-19 testing requirement, your plans could change. With a proctored test on hand, you have additional flexibility to travel as you please.

You definitely don't want to find yourself in a situation where you can't board a plane because you don't have a negative COVID-19 test result on hand.

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Related: 5 things I learned after testing positive for COVID-19 abroad

The requirement could come back at any point

(Photo by Francis Gonzalez/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Perhaps the most obvious reason to travel with a COVID-19 proctored test is that the testing requirement could come back at any time without significant advance notice — even though it might be unlikely. And there's a chance that if the testing requirement returns, there would be a shortage of COVID-19 proctored tests.

As a result, when my fellow U.S.-bound travelers scurry to get tested, I'll be ready to go.

Related: Do I need a COVID-19 test for my cruise? Your pre- and post-cruise testing questions answered

Bottom line

(Photo courtesy of Delta)

Just because COVID-19 testing is no longer required for travelers bound for the U.S., that doesn't mean you shouldn't pack a few COVID-19 tests. I wouldn't go out and buy new proctored tests today. However, if you still have some unused tests, there's no harm in throwing one into your backpack before you leave for the airport.

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

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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 unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023