Immunity Passports, Free Flights, and Other Travel Questions, Answered: Women Who Travel Podcast

Jessica Wong

But a lot of places are now offering testing, knowing that to get back into most of North America—so Canada and the U.S.—and then other countries in Europe, really everywhere actually. A lot of places are requiring tests. So most hotels in the Caribbean and resorts will be able to […]

But a lot of places are now offering testing, knowing that to get back into most of North America—so Canada and the U.S.—and then other countries in Europe, really everywhere actually. A lot of places are requiring tests. So most hotels in the Caribbean and resorts will be able to help you without you having to necessarily even leave your room or the property.

The other thing I will say is there are a number of states—Hawaii, New York, Alaska—who are requiring testing either to enter or to get out of an extended quarantine. And again, I would look to local news sources to help you find out the best place to get them where you are.

SW: And I think a few more points just to be aware of, these rules and these guidelines are constantly changing. So you do want to be checking them pretty regularly before you get on a plane.

MC: And during your trip, honestly.

SW: During your trip. We’ve talked about this a little bit, but certainly, even if you’ve got a negative test, you might want to consider quarantining for a few days once you get somewhere, just to be utterly safe and make sure no symptoms develop after you travel. So I think it’s all about personal comfort level. I personally err on the side of being super cautious, especially having been to Taiwan like we talked about earlier, where the quarantine rules are incredibly strict. Should you need to travel, I think you want to make sure you’re really staying safe, protecting yourself, protecting everyone around you, and those you might come into contact with.

LA: I think to someone who hasn’t done any travel in the past year, hearing all this, can, I imagine, sound a little bit overwhelming. What would you say to people who are maybe having to take a trip for some reason and just feel totally daunted by this process?

JP: I would just say, take it one piece at a time. Don’t feel too overwhelmed with your airline saying, what the destination is saying, all of that. A travel specialist can help, if you have the resources for that stuff. As Steph was saying, they can help you research the local guidelines, coordinate all this stuff for you.

From an airline airport perspective, they are really creating all these new online tools, online apps, to help keep track of all these guidelines and restrictions for the destinations where you’re going. And they’re even doing things like helping you find test sites around the world. United Airlines is launching something later this month, it’s basically a directory of 15,000 acceptable testing sites in all their markets where they fly, to help you keep track of all this. Delta has also launched something similar on its website. So I think there are a lot of resources that you can use to synthesize all of this information and not feel so overwhelmed by it all.

MC: I would also just say, I know that in both of these cases we’ve been talking about trips that you need to take, but both the state department and the CDC are still saying, as of the time of we’re recording, that we should be reconsidering non-essential travel abroad, and also postponing trips just for the safety of ourselves and those around us. So if you need to take a trip, please be as well-educated as possible about what you need to do to actually get there and get home.

Speaking of flying travel requirements, Donna in the group was curious what everyone in the group was thinking about potential vaccine passports, immunity certificates, used to prove that you’ve had both doses of the COVID vaccine, and what that could mean for travel and entry into countries around the world. As someone who has traveled with her yellow fever vaccine card for years, I don’t think it’s that wild, but would love to know what you guys think.

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