First the encouraging news :: travel agents, cruise lines and tour companies are all reporting record bookings for 2021. If you’re like so many of us who love to travel, you’re itching to get back out there! But the how, when, where and all the rest have unique protocols in place. Nearly as fast as we read something, there is a new rule.
Following are some great sites help you plan. One of the absolute best I’ve come across is Sherpa via American Airlines. It is so simple and so full of great information regarding entry Visas and in particular COVID restrictions for any country in the world. Amazing, up to date, and beyond helpful.
Next is the CDC website. These links are very comprehensive (if a bit complicated). I just want the bullet points! Regardless, check out the following:
International Travel (this is a biggie with re-entry requirements just published for all US citizens) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html
PLANS (which could be cha-cha-changin’)
I’ve written about our upcoming trip in April to Kenya and Tanzania. American Airlines main partner is British Airways. The vast majority of flights heading east have a stop at Heathrow along with exorbitant taxes. If I can get somewhere and avoid Heathrow, I’m thrilled. That is the case for this trip. Our mileage tickets via American partner Qatar Airlines fly to Doha, then on to Nairobi. Except Qatar now requires a 5-day quarantine. That does not work for our trip schedule.
But, and it’s a big but — some countries allow transit passengers meaning you can transit through the country but not leave the airport. Sounds like a great plan largely depending on the length of said transfer. Say it’s 12 hours. What then? Well, many large international airports (Hamad in Doha included) have hotels inside the terminal. They are pricey, but you can book for as little as a few hours to rest, shower, change and proceed on. It’s not nearly as interesting as departing the airport to actually get a glimpse of the destination or go out for a meal. But it’s certainly beats hanging around a terminal — even if you have lounge access.
The decision for this year’s route is in flux as we speak. That is, until I can confirm transit status through Qatar. Heathrow allows for transit passengers so it might just be easier to add the extra cost and change the tickets. Whatever the route is, it will be with full knowledge of requirements for the trip ahead before leaving. But we are leaving and that’s the best news of all!