Many people are planning to travel this summer, and if you’re one of them, you may be looking forward to a vacation overseas. If so, you should know that different countries have different restrictions and requirements when it comes to pandemic-era travel. So research your choices carefully before booking your stay.
You’ll also want to budget for your trip to avoid landing in debt by the time it’s over. And if you’re going overseas, here are a few added expenses to factor in.
Some countries are requiring visitors from abroad to quarantine upon their arrival. That means you may have to spend extra money on lodging this summer if you take a trip abroad, so make sure you can afford that. For example, Scotland is open for tourists but is requiring travelers to isolate at a rental property or hotel for 10 days once they land. If you plan on traveling somewhere that requires extra nights of lodging, a credit card with hotel points you can cash in could come in handy.
2. COVID-19 testing
Some destinations may require you to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before and upon arrival. In the U.S., COVID-19 testing is generally available at no cost. But if you need a test in another country, you may have to pay for it out of pocket, and it could get expensive. Pad your travel budget with a few extra hundred dollars in case a test becomes mandatory.
3. Trip insurance
When you’re traveling during a pandemic, it’s important to be prepared. And that means having travel insurance in place in case your plans go awry. This holds true even if you’re using a travel rewards credit card to book your itinerary because a separate policy may offer you a lot more coverage than what your credit card gives you.
Even in non-pandemic times, you never know when a delayed flight or another snag might upend your plans, so it’s good to have trip insurance in case that happens. You also never know when you might get injured or sick abroad, in which case having an insurance policy could spare you costly medical bills. (If you receive medical treatment outside the U.S., your health insurance generally won’t kick in. Without travel insurance, you could easily wind up on the hook for thousands of dollars in care-related expenses).
Some trip insurance policies also allow you to cancel your plans for any reason. If you book a trip abroad and find out right before leaving that new restrictions have been imposed that make going there less appealing, you’ll give yourself the option to pull out and get the bulk of your money back.
Traveling abroad is exciting, but in a pandemic, it can be a little daunting — and a little more expensive than usual. Prepare for these added costs now so you’re not caught off guard.