While life has been uncertain these past 18 months, I still wanted to take my wife on the trip of a lifetime. Not only was this our first trip since the start of the pandemic, but it was international. While my “go big or go home” attitude tried to embrace the trip, it was still met with uneasy moments. I wanted to share a few tips for international travel and how to ease any anxieties you may have.
My wife and I chose the Dominican Republic because our friends were celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary and they invited us on the trip, an invitation we could not pass up! My wife had given birth in a pandemic, was working remotely, all while trying to teach preschool to our 4-year-old. If I didn’t whisk her away, this article, and/or I would probably not exist now! We worked with a travel agent and booked the trip at a time we thought the COVID cases were diminishing. We were still instructed to keep abreast with the latest travel guidelines per the CDC. The DR did not require a negative COVID test to enter the country, but other countries might. We were asked to provide an electronic form attesting we were indeed negative and did not possess COVID symptoms to get into the country. The form generated a QR code that we used at the airport to enter the country. I completed this paperwork prior to departing and I highly recommend you take the time to do the same.
The World Health Organization’s website is also a resource I implore you to search as well. Depending on where you travel, you could be asked to provide a negative COVID test, and there is a possibility the country may ask you to quarantine upon entrance pending your vaccination status.
The United States does require a negative COVID test 1-3 days prior to reentry. We were lucky and our resort scheduled this for us at no additional cost. Another tip I would suggest would be to consult the hotel/resort and see which test can be provided (antigen, PCR, etc) so you are able to properly schedule the test and get your results back in time for departure.
While leaving, you will of course have to document the proper customs documentation and attestations. The airline will usually provide the customs paperwork, but I would also review that with the airline prior to departure to make sure they provide it for you. There is nothing worse than standing in a long line through customs just to find out you have the wrong paperwork, or it is incomplete. You will also be asked to provide your negative COVID result to the airline upon departure. Our results were emailed to our accounts which we presented at the airport.
Overall, the experience was a positive one. We know it is a scary and unprecedented time, but with cautions and proper research, you too will have a great time! Below are some helpful links and suggestions for review prior to your trip. Please let us know how we can help make your trip memorable and ease your mind with any concerns you may have.
CDC Travel Information per Destination:
WHO Travel Information:
US Government Travel Advice:
Zac O'Brien, CFP - Managing Director - North