How to fly during Covid-19? Remember the good old days when traveling pretty much involved just either booking a tour (ideally with YPT), or simply buying a ticket? We personally remember them very well. Alas things have changed mightily!
So, how do you travel during Covid-19? Of course there is no one size fits all to this question, but there are some helpful hints that tend to ring true wherever you are going.
Step 1 of course is booking you flight!
How to book a flight during Covid-19?
Booking a flight might seem like an obvious first step, but this was not necessarily always the case. Pre-Z, I mean Pre-C one could book hotels and leave flights to the last minute.
Your flight is now one of the most complicated parts of traveling, particularly if you are planning on traveling long-haul. Most countries still require negative PCR tests and test centre’s in some countries such as Cambodia require proof of flight before they will even give you your test.
The PCR test is another factor, some countries require one within 48 hours, others 72 hours of arrival, some countries offer test on arrival some do not. These are all factors, as are where you transit. In the old days you could get cheap as chips flight will multiple layovers, something I personally used to really enjoy – mainly because I had lounge access.
In the current climate this is often simply not possible and you will have to pay more to get the most direct flight you can. In this instance it is imperative you check the requirements of all the stops and your final destination before you book.
To read about which countries are open to tourism click here
How to fly during Covid-19? Book directly with the Airline
In the really good old days I personally just did everything through Momondo and simply picked the cheapest flight. There are a number of reasons why you should not do this right now. Things constantly change and this includes flights being moved and, or cancelled.
Airlines usually have much more liberal policies to cancellations and if you need a refund you will get it quicker. There are many horror stories of people maxing our credit cards on flights and then waiting months to be refunded. Quite simply pay the extra and book direct unless you want to be arguing with call centre in New Delhi for months about your refund.
How to fly during Covid-19 – Transit airports
If you are doing long-haul and you geta choice of where to transit then definitely take this into account. For example many countries require negative PCR tests within 48 hours of having been in Changji, Singapore. Singapore’s national airport is also extremely strict and has little open. Not an ideal place to spend 10 hours.
Incheon Airport on the other hand is for all intents business as usual, except you can’t just go to South Korea, well not yet anyway.
To read about the best airports in the world click here.
And again the states of your trust airport with regards to your final destination is very important. I found multiple flights going through Zurich that would have been cheaper then the flight we ended up booking. Alas Switzerland has strict rules, so that was off of the table.
To read about how to leave Cambodia curing Coronavirus click here.
How to fly during Covid-19 – PCR Tests at airports
One day, perhaps having proof of vaccination will be enough to travel, but in the short term negative PCR tests are still the norm. Most airports now offer PCR tests cheaply and quickly, such as Istanbul airport.
If you need an negative PCR because your journey takes too long then factor this in as part of the aforementioned picking of your transit airport.
Not all vaccines are created equally
The World Health Organization (WHO) might recognize Sinovac, but that does mean every country does. This is also true of numerous other vaccines, particularly Sputnik – which the WHO recently announced they would not be recognizing.
There is currently no mystical ravel passport, there are vaccines, vaccine cards and countries that accept the vaccines that they accept. You need to research the value of our vaccine.
How to fly during Covid-19 – Social Distancing and Masks
Vaccinated, not Covid-19 is still out there, new variants are occurring and people are very much still dying. We would not dream of preaching about the rights and wrongs of vaccines, but following health regulations is by no means anything new.
Flights tend to be half empty (or is it half full) right now, so distancing on a plane is easy. There have been stories of people being thrown off of flights for not wearing a mask, don’t be that guy, or girl. I’ve read statements saying that face-masks are both communist and fascist – which not only is quite the paradox, but I for one can confirm that face masks were not mentioned in either Mein Kampf, nor Das Capital.
To read about Hitler’s second (unpublished) book click here.
Pick the right destination
And last, but by no means least think throughly about the country you plan to fly to. Thailand recently reopened to tourism (link to YPT), which is great except that they are also going through terrible times with Covid-19. Remember even if you’ve been vaccinated you can still get the virus, so factor in how healthy you are and if you cold cope with the worst case scenario.
Your destination will also influence what insurance you are eligible for. We personally use World Nomads , but even they have stipulations on not covering so called red-zone countries. Make sure that you get insurance that is valid for your destination and if none is available, simply rethink the destination.
And that is our how to fly during Covid-19 guide, yes it is not easy, but at least it is now possible. More importantly and the moral of the whole story is that you need to do your own research. Times have very much changed and your success in flying now involves lots more hoops that you need to jump through..