Your Checklist for International Travel During COVID-19

Do you need to travel overseas soon? Here’s what you’ll need to know before (and during) your time abroad.

Xe Consumer

July 30, 2020 4 min read

Solitary male traveler with backpack

International travel has never been simple. From sorting out your visa and passport to securing lodging, learning a few key phrases in the local language, and remembering to bring those pesky adapters, there’s a lot that you need to take care of in between booking your travel tickets and touching down on new soil.

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, international travel has gone from a fun (if slightly stressful) endeavor to a completely different beast, one that requires even more caution and planning.

Do you need to travel overseas soon? Here’s what you’ll need to know before (and during) your time abroad.

Know your destination’s requirements

It’s no longer as simple as choosing a destination and booking your tickets, particularly if you currently live in (or are traveling to) a country that has a high incidence of COVID-19 infections. Before booking your travel and lodging, make sure you know the answers to the following questions:

  • Are travelers from your country allowed in the country you’re planning on traveling to?

  • How long would you be allowed in the country?

  • If you are allowed to enter the country, will you need to be tested before traveling or tested upon entry?

  • Will you need to quarantine upon arrival? For how long?

  • Do you need a visa? What kind? Has that changed since the pandemic?

  • Do you need to pay a deposit to enter the country?

Know your risk level

Everyone’s risk level is different. Before traveling, experts recommend that you discuss the trip with your doctor. Your doctor will help you to determine your risk level and provide you with some recommendations on how to best keep yourself protected during your travels. Your doctor may also want to check that you’re up-to-date on immunizations, or give you a test before you go (this may be required, depending on where you’re going).

If you’ll be traveling with anyone else, meeting up with people upon arrival, or returning home to a house full of people, it’s important that you consider their risk level as well.

Pack the (new) essentials

We all have our own “essentials” that we need to pack when we travel, no matter where we’re going. But given current circumstances, there are a few additional things that you’re going to want to put on that list.

First, make sure you have copies of all of the necessary documents:

  • Passport

  • Visa

  • Medications and prescriptions

In addition, in order to keep yourself safe, you’ll want to bring a few extra things:

  • Mask or other face covering

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Disinfecting wipes

  • Disposable gloves

  • Medicine (such as a general antibiotic)

  • Food and drinks (if you’re driving)

Have an emergency plan

Let’s say the worst happens: you start feeling sick. Do you know what to do? Do you know where you’d go? Figure this out now, before you’re at your destination and before the worst-case scenario is already happening.

Research which medical facilities are in your destination, which one would be the best to go to, how their billing and payments work, and how long they would keep you. That way, if you do get sick or injured during your trip, you’ll be able to quickly seek help, with minimal panic.

Consider travel insurance

Don’t have travel insurance? It’s recommended that you look into it before your trip. In the event that someone gets sick on the trip or you need to cancel your trip due to an outbreak, travel insurance could offset many of the costs.

Do have travel insurance? Double-check your coverage before taking your trip. Many travel insurance companies don’t cover claims related to epidemics or pandemics. Never assume that you’re covered; always double-check!

Get your currency before touching down

During previous trips abroad, how did you get the local currency for your trip? Odds are you went to the bank, or maybe went to a currency exchange provider at the airport or elsewhere upon arrival. But in current circumstances, you might not want to wait in a long line to receive cash that’s already passed through many pairs of hands.

You can reduce your contact by utilizing online money transfer to get your currency sorted from the comfort of your own home—no contact required. You can check the exchange rates, get a quote, and transfer money to yourself all in one quick, simple process.

We hope that you stay safe and healthy on your travels. If you have any questions before your trip about money transfer or dealing with foreign currency, we’d be happy to assist you. Log in or sign up for an Xe account to access our full suite of money transfer and foreign exchange products and services.