In a semi-post-Covid world, millions of people are embracing their newfound freedom to travel. They’re boarding planes to faraway destinations around the globe, cruising on ships across vast oceans, and zipping cross country on high-speed trains. The impulse to move–the instinct to embrace wanderlust–is strong. And for individuals who can now work remotely, traveling is even more tempting.
The reality is, however, that catching COVID while traveling is still a very real possibility. New strains, a relaxed attitude toward precaution, and vaccination-induced bravado is continuing to spread COVID regularly.
So how can you best plan and prepare in the event that you do catch COVID while traveling?
Don't let the fear of catching COVID stop you from embracing opportunities and living your life to the fullest, but do be smart about it. How? Crafting a COVID contingency plan will give you peace-of-mind as you jet-set.
10 Tips for Creating a COVID Contingency Plan for Travel
1) Order Your Masks in Advance
High quality masks (N95 or KN95) aren’t always easily accessible in foreign destinations (or even in the U.S. for that matter). Order you and your companions a stack of masks so that when that guy in 14B starts hacking on your flight, you can access your mask quickly and easily.
2) Order Some At-Home Tests to Pack in Your Bag
Having a few at-home tests packed in your luggage will save you a ton of hassle trying to get a COVID test in a foreign location. If you start to feel ill while traveling, you can find out right away.
3) Get Your Booster Shot
While a booster doesn’t guarantee your protection against infection, it most definitely gives you a good protective barrier and can prevent the more severe, disruptive symptoms of the disease
4) Print a Copy of Your Medical Records
If you do happen to catch COVID while traveling, attempting to get a copy of your medical records via fax or email across time-zones and language barriers is a huge hassle, especially when you’re not feeling well. If you want to get an antiviral treatment, such as Paxlovid, your prescriber will often require a review of your medications and prior health records. Have yours printed or accessible online to streamline the process.
5) Know Your TeleHealth, Clinic & Pharmacy Options Abroad
In some cases, doctors can see you virtually to prescribe antiviral medications. Find out if your home doctor is able to do this in the event you get ill while traveling. If not, find out if there is a TeleHealth doctor you can access, or, locate the availability of local urgent clinics in your destination city. Knowing where they are in advance will give you peace-of-mind. You won’t have to search for them while you have body aches and mental fog. Also map out a few pharmacy options in your destination cities. Hotel concierges or Air BnB hosts can help you with this, too.
6) Check Your Destination’s COVID Quarantine & Testing Requirements
Check your destination country’s government website to find out their most up-to-date requirements. Some countries are now requiring travelers to carry COVID-specific travel insurance to enter. If the information you find online seems out-of-date (as is often the case), try calling your hotel concierge or emailing your Air BnB host to ask a local.
7) Be Prepared Financially to Quarantine
While you might have the money to stay at a five-star resort and have an expensive rental car for a few days, you might not have the budget to stay extra time in the event you need to quarantine. Have a plan for where you might stay if you do have to post-up someplace for unplanned time. Hotels can usually stop housekeeping service and deliver food and essentials to your door, but check with the hotel about their procedures.
8) Know Your Rental Car Plan
Ask your rental car company if they can retrieve a car or authorize another driver to return your rental car if you are unable to return it yourself in a contact-free way.
9) Buy Quality Traveler’s Insurance
If there’s only one thing you have time to do, buy quality traveler’s insurance!
This is our number one recommendation for both your health and your pocketbook! Most medical insurance companies do not cover you abroad (see our guide to that topic here). When traveling in an era of COVID, it is critical your non-emergency and emergency medical expenses are covered when traveling.
Members of ARREVA Advantage are covered across the board – for medications, medical care, the added costs associated with quarantine, transportation, accommodations, even air evacuation home (should you prefer to get well in your own bed). Our 24/7 help line is available to aid you when you come across any hurdle while traveling, including if you catch COVID. Think of us as your personal assistant. We are here to help you navigate your travel, especially when trouble arises.
We have no age bias and cover pre-existing medical conditions. You can rest easy knowing ARREVA is on your side. Read more about our plans here, or reach out to us today to speak to one of our friendly specialists.
10) Don’t Be Tempted to Travel With COVID
If your symptoms aren’t brutal, you might be tempted to keep traveling, especially if you feel like you are wasting money. But for the sake of others who might have more fragile immune systems and complicating medical factors, it is critical you avoid this temptation. If you have secured traveler’s insurance, you can be sure you will recoup some of the costs of your travel and can even consider air evacuation if you must get home.
In Conclusion | Travel Safely in Spite of COVID
After several years of COVID restriction, traveling in a post-pandemic world is thrilling, but doing so safely is important. Having a traveler’s insurance advocate on your side to help you navigate complications is the easiest way to stay safe, healthy and financially protected. Consider purchasing an ARREVA Advantage plan today!