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What You Need to Know Before Traveling Outside the U.S.

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Many people have had to cancel or postpone various travel plans this year. With plans cancelled and little to do aside from stay home, it’s understandable that the urge to travel is stronger than ever. Various restrictions have been lifted somewhat as we’ve gained greater understanding of the coronavirus, providing the option for some travel to resume again. That said, if you plan to travel outside the US, there are some things you need to know beforehand.

Check Travel Advisories

At the onset of the pandemic, the travel advisories were to avoid all international travel. Citizens currently traveling abroad were advised to return home immediately. As of August 6th, it was no longer recommended that citizens avoid all travel, and the recommendation to return home was rescinded. Instead, there are country-specific travel advisories. You should be aware that circumstances are in a near constant state of flux, so it’s important to check the travel advisories relating to the country you intend to visit.

Quarantine Rules

In addition to the travel advisories, it’s also wise to understand the ongoing pandemic conditions of the country you’re planning to visit and the response being conducted. Look into numbers like case rates, the percentage of positive tests, death rates, etc. It’s also important to keep in mind that you may be required to quarantine upon arrival at your destination. Quarantine stations are designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Research the requirements at your destination. You’ll need to plan a quarantine period into your travel schedule if you want to do anything other than being stuck in quarantine the whole time.

Flying Safely

The number of people flying dropped significantly at the beginning of the pandemic, and the numbers still haven’t recovered to what they were before. Some airlines are still avoiding packing flights full of passengers in an attempt to slow the spread and reduce the risk of transmission, though others are returning to something more akin to business as usual. To protect yourself, it’s best to wear a mask while flying. Wipe down your seat and high contact surfaces with a sanitizing wipe before you sit down. Try to avoid eating or drinking, as that will require you to remove your mask. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. All that said, try to relax. Flying is actually pretty safe, considering all the measures the airlines are taking to protect their passengers.

One of the basic tenants for successfully traveling abroad is to make sure you’re prepared and have a plan before you go. To that end, make sure you check travel advisories and understand the quarantine rules before you go. Take measures to protect yourself and others while flying. This will help you have a successful experience outside the US and decrease the likelihood of encountering snags along the way.

To keep up with current travel information, check here.

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