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Travel tips for the COVID-19 era

If you are getting ready to travel here are some tips to know before you go

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Key travel insurance tips for traveling in the age of COVID-19

At World Nomads, we’ve heard stories from many travelers telling us about how much they miss traveling and how they have had their dream trip disrupted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dealing with eye-watering medical and quarantine bills is something most of us don’t budget for. To avoid some nasty surprises, we’ve compiled these handy tips that we hope will give you the upper hand for your next trip in this new traveling era of COVID-19.

While we can tell you what you should expect or look out for, we can’t tell you what you’ll need to know for your exact destination, so our number one tip is to check in with the government authority of the country you’re heading to, or through, and familiarize yourself with any new or existing COVID-19 requirements for entry...

Tip 1: Allow extra time at airports, particularly when traveling internationally:

If you’ve been given the greenlight to travel then we envy you, but it also means there may be a few more hoops for you to jump through. Many countries have implemented extra measures at borders, with airport and customs staff taking extra measures to collect health declarations at arrival, as well as travelers’ visa requirements and contact details. You may need to complete a travel risk assessment, undergo a COVID-19 test, or provide more information on where you’ve been and where you’re going. Be ready to add in an extra two to three hours if traveling in a large group or if you need to make a flight connection.

Tip 2: Get ready to quarantine:

While many countries have quarantine measures already in place, some countries may not have them until you arrive, or, you may be asked to go into mandatory quarantine if authorities believe you have come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if an outbreak occurs. Please note that if you need to go into compulsory quarantine as required by the government to return to your home country, you will have to factor in the costs as this is not covered under World Nomads travel insurance policies.

Tip 3: Special visas and stay permits may be the new normal:

To kick-start tourism some popular destinations now require new tourist visas (e.g. Thailand, Costa Rica, Japan) with new rules in place to combat COVID-19 ensuring travellers visiting their country have a level of cover to pay any potential medical costs. We’re seeing more countries introduce these visas and with some new requirements travellers may need to:

  • Buy extra locally-based travel insurance;
  • Pass extra health tests to confirm you’re COVID-19 free;
  • Provide a letter outlining your travel insurance cover benefits;
  • Provide a letter agreeing that any required medical treatment will be paid by you if upon arrival you have a positive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or show symptoms of COVID-19.

Whether or not you’ll need to do this depends on the visa requirements at the countries you are traveling to or through. Also be prepared to use your credit card or have the funds if you’re asked to go to a hospital or need to quarantine on arrival.

 

Tip 4: Get tested for COVID-19 before you board your flight:

Now more than ever there are key benefits to getting a clean bill of health right before you go overseas. A growing number of airlines and governments now require travelers to produce a PCR test that shows they are negative for COVID-19. Many people have had to cancel their trips at the last-minute or have had significant losses because they didn’t get tested, or their PCR test was delayed. Make sure you know when the test needs to be taken – you'd hate to have it not count as you took it five hours before the eligible time period kicked in. Current reports have test times varying from 48 to 72 hours before your flight - check with the government at the destination you are heading to or through for any requirements and be sure you leave enough time to get tested and have the results back in time before you arrive at the airport to avoid delays, having to reschedule or deal with any further losses.

Tip 5: Research your travel bubbles, travel corridors and travel tiers:

Many countries and regions are planning or have implemented travel bubbles, travel corridors and travel tiers. It can get confusing knowing who can go where and when so it’s important to keep an eye on government and travel websites for travel alerts and what levels of travel may be in place, especially if you’ve bought your travel insurance quite far in advance of your travel dates (a lot can change in a week or two when it comes to COVID-19!). Be aware some travel bubbles are one way only – for example between New Zealand and Australia – this could mean added costs if you haven’t done your research. If that bubble does pop you could be required to go into quarantine if you’re already traveling, or you may have to cancel your trip if you haven’t left home. Many travel tiers and corridors can change at a moment’s notice when COVID-19 cases go up or down and may cause a big headache if you’ve booked tours, have connecting flights, and need to cancel or rearrange your flight and accommodation dates.

Tip 6: It pays to be an admin junkie:

One thing that remains super important with COVID-19 is keeping copies of receipts and your paperwork when you travel. It’s a good idea to send a copy to a friend or family member at home, as well as yourself via email, so you can always access them easily. When you first head off on your trip, you may need evidence of your planned travel and accommodation costs, and medical documents confirming you’ve got a clean bill of health. If you need to make a claim after you’ve returned home, you may need to:

  • Provide proof of ownership;
  • Provide any supporting police or carrier reports;
  • Provide any evidence of accommodation, airline and tour operator related charges;
  • Provide any medical evidence especially if you or your loved ones had an accident, fell ill or had to quarantine and had to use a credit card for extra costs and wish to be reimbursed.


Tip 7: Plan for a risk-free holiday and remember to have fun:

If you’re lucky enough to have a holiday planned out and everything goes to plan, you should take every measure possible in place to avoid putting yourself and others at risk of getting COVID-19. Some things that will help you have a stress-free holiday include:

  • Always remember to keep social distancing
  • Wear a face mask and carry hand sanitizer
  • Comply with rules and any customs in the country that you’re visiting
  • Consider driving (if properly licenced in the country you’re in) rather than flying, taking a train or bus to your next destination
  • Use online or contactless reservations and check-in using contactless payment
  • Self-cater when possible
  • Try and avoid large crowds.

At the end of the day, your holiday is meant to be packed with fun and not stress. The better informed and prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have!

You can read more about the latest information on Coronavirus. If you have any unanswered questions our FAQ's section may be able to help out. 

 

About World Nomads

World Nomads polices are designed by travelers for travelers to provide simple and flexible travel insurance – and it’s often cheaper than you might think! Featuring coverage for more than 150 activities, quotes are fast, free and you can do it all online at www.worldnomads.com. All of the information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.

 

Did you know travel insurance covers...

You can also buy away from home or buy more cover if you extend your trip. Plus, you can claim online anytime, anywhere in the world.

True Claims Stories

  • Never travel without insurance. This was the first time I ever purchased travel insurance and I am so glad I did. A few days into my trip to Spain I twisted my foot heading down to the metro. Thanks to World Nomads I was able to get medical attention in Spain and since, as luck would have it, I had a fracture that required surgery, they got me a flight home the next day. Filing a claim was surprisingly easy and when the claim was finally processed, I was reimbursed for all of my expenses including things like the extra week in the hotel I didn't get to take advantage of.
    L.D.
    U.S. resident in Spain
  • I recently had a serious injury traveling on my own & the team was amazing. Being confused with a brain injury they took care of everything. Claiming was no problem, they were on the phone constantly to see if all was OK. I can't recommend them enough. Absolutely fantastic & l will always travel with World Nomads Insurance. Thanks guys for getting me home safely.
    A.B.
    Australian in Thailand
  • I was bitten by a monkey at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. I went to a nearby clinic and they gave me a rabies shot, antibiotics to take for 4 days, pain medicine, and anti-inflammatory medicine.
    T.R.
    Canadian in Malaysia

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Aurelie Menard,
Emergency Assistance, World Nomads

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World Nomads Travel Insurance was reviewed on Trust Pilot on 1st August 2017 and rated 4 stars