Travel in 2022: What You Need to Know
Long gone it seems are the days of simply grabbing your passport and hopping on your flight. It’s no secret that travel is a little more complicated these days and requires a few extra steps. But fear not my friends - travel in 2022 is still very possible with the proper preparation! While every destination has their own specific requirements, here’s an overview of what to keep in mind and what to look for so you’ll be on the road to a successful trip.
This one isn’t new, but if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll of course need a passport. Many destinations require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months past your return travel date. That means that, for example, if you are traveling from July 1-8, 2022, your passport must be good until at least January 8, 2023.
If you’ll need to apply for or renew your passport, be sure to do so with plenty of time, as it can take a few months for processing. Good news is on the horizon though - the Department of State announced that later this year, they are gearing up for passports to be able to be renewed online.
Proof of Vaccination
Many countries are currently only fully open (without quarantine requirements) for travelers that can show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with the last dose at least 14 days before travel, and some destinations are also requiring proof of a booster shot depending on when your original dose was. In most cases, your physical white card with the CDC logo will be all that you need.
Some destinations will additionally require you to show your vaccine card to enter public spaces like hotels and restaurants, so you’ll want to safely carry your card throughout your trip (and keep a photo backup on your phone just in case!).
Certain countries and destinations have specific verification systems, or health passes, in place that you’ll need to utilize rather than just showing your white CDC card. This is usually via an app on your phone that securely stores your vaccine records. When you want to enter an indoor establishment, you can show a QR code to be scanned by the employee, and they’ll get the green light that you meet the vaccination requirements for entry. The ‘Green Pass’ is especially prevalent throughout Europe. Depending on your destination, you can quickly apply online for a health pass before your trip so that you’ll have the app ready when you arrive. And in some cases, you can obtain a health pass on arrival by taking a quick antigen test.
Even if you are planning to travel domestically within the US, some cities, such as New York City, are requiring visitors to obtain a health pass for entry into all attractions, so it’s very important to check for this requirement.
Either in addition to or instead of proof of vaccination, many destinations may require you to show proof of a COVID-19 test that you took before travel in order to enter the country. Each destination sets their own requirements, so it’s very important to look at the test type required (usually either PCR or antigen) as well as the timeframe before travel that you are allowed to test (72 hours before departure, 48 hours before departure, etc). If you take the wrong test type or don’t test within the appropriate timeframe, you’ll likely be denied boarding at the airport. If you're unsure of where to get tested before your trip, check out places like your local CVS or Walgreens.
The US also currently requires that all travelers aged 2 and over, regardless of vaccination status, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within one calendar day of their return flight to the US. Most major US airlines partner with testing companies that will allow you to order an at-home test before you go, pack it in your suitcase, and self administer the test in the comfort of your hotel room with a virtual proctor. In most Caribbean resorts, testing is also available right on site at the resort (and sometimes free of charge for guests). And in other destinations, your hotel can advise the best place to get tested, whether at a pharmacy or a lab. Some airports also have rapid testing centers set up inside, which conveniently allows you to get tested right before you go check in.
Travel with Kids
If you are traveling as a family, some destinations have different requirements in place for children, especially those that are not yet eligible to get vaccinated. In many cases, kids will be able to follow along with their vaccinated parents without any trouble. However, some destinations will require that unvaccinated kids show proof of a COVID-19 test, so be sure to check for these details.
In addition to proof of vaccination and/or testing, many countries are now requiring travelers to fill out an additional health form or entry form before their trip. This usually has to be done just 1-3 days before your departure and asks you to answer a few general health questions and sometimes upload your negative test results. You may be asked to show your completed entry forms at the airport to board your flight, so I suggest having those printed and ready to go.
Resources for Information
Sherpa is a great website that details entry requirements for any destination depending on your nationality.
The US Embassy website for the country that you’re visiting is another great resource for entry requirements specific to American travelers and, in some cases, provides information on where to get tested during your trip.
Check with your specific airline’s website for any information they may require before you travel. Some airlines like Delta and United have detailed information available regarding the requirements for wherever you are headed.
Check the CDC website for the latest health guidance.
Just as the pandemic has been in constant flux, so have the requirements for travel around the world. If you are traveling in 6 months, know that the requirements for your specific destination are likely to change between now and then, so check on things closer to your trip (and again until the day you go!).
If possible, try to keep your plans as flexible as you can just in case you need to make any last minute itinerary changes. And, if you haven’t in the past, now is the time to buy travel insurance to protect you and your investment from any losses or changes related to the pandemic.
Travel in 2022 is not only a possibility but still very much worth it! With the right preparation, you’ll successfully be off on your next great adventure. And if this seems like a lot, you don’t have to navigate it alone. One of my jobs as a travel advisor is to assist my clients with the rules and requirements for travel so that their trip goes off without a hitch. If you’d like to arrange your next vacation stress free, send me a message to get started.
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