Let’s face it….things have changed…a lot…since 2019. Those of you who have traveled recently have experienced 1st hand the differences between traveling now and pre-Covid. This new reality has brought with it new steps in the travel planning journey, but also some unique opportunities to save money. Here are some tips on how to travel in a post-covid era.
Book it if you want to see it
Restrictions differ between country and country, and it´s worth investigating each country´s Covid restrictions prior to arrival. In many countries, there is a cap on capacity for both open spaces and indoor places. For example, if you are traveling to the US and plan to visit the National Parks, you must not only purchase the entrance ticket like before, but in addition, you must make a timed entry reservation the day before. At the time of writing this article, the timed entry slots are launched the day before at 5pm CST, and may quickly vanish due to high demand.
Another example is in Costa Rica – where open spaces and closed areas such as restaurants are limited to 50% occupancy level. So make sure to plan at least 1-2 days ahead if you plan on visiting a popular attraction or restaurant.
Locate a Covid Test Center
Whether we like it or not, we must accept the fact that most countries require a negative Covid-19 test prior to boarding a flight. This adds an additional expense and time expenditure during our last days of vacation. Surprisingly, evaluating different Covid testing centers and comparing prices can be a tedious task. Luckily there are sites like Wiki For Travel that aggregate Covid19 tests (PCR, Antigen and Lateral Flow) for more than 400 cities worldwide.
Make sure to do a thorough comparison a few days prior to your intended date of testing, since you want to investigate about operating hours, possibility of walk ins (vs. making an appointment), price and proximity to your hotel
Use price volatility to your advantage
Hotel and flight pricing now are experiencing a complete roller coaster of a ride nowadays. The reason being is that past occupation trends are completely meaningless for the near future, due to constantly changing Covid restrictions. While these restrictions can lead to flight delays and cancellations, it’s not all gloomy news, because travelers can actually take advantage economically from this volatile situation.
For those of you familiar with the stock markets, you are aware of the phrase “buy the dip”. Well, thanks to technology, a clever app named Pruvo allows you to “buy the dip” when the price of your existing hotel reservation drops. Basically, you forward your existing hotel booking (with free cancellation) to Pruvo and they alert you once the price of that booking drops. Then, you will be guided to rebook the same room at a lower price and cancel the original more expensive booking. Travel in a post-Covid era isn’t all that bad, see?!
Think of this as your sweet revenge for all those times that you were monitoring a price, and came back to buy it a few days later, only to discover that the price has increased.
Not all travel insurance is created equal
Many travelers were burnt back in March and April 2020, because their traveler’s insurance did not cover global pandemics. Yikes. Luckily, some travel insurance companies, such as Trawick, have included a Covid coverage. These unique policies cover you in case you catch the virus while abroad and need either medical attention, or, in case you need to quarantine past your expected departure date. These costs can add up, since some countries require a 10-day quarantine period after testing positive prior to flying back. Make sure to verify if the travel insurance you plan to purchase covers you in case of Covid related incidents.
It might be a few years till things go back to how they were in 2019. In the meantime, this guide on how to travel in a post-covid era should help you lower inconveniences and even take advantage of extreme price volatility caused by this situation.