A positive Covid test out of the country.

A positive Covid test out of the country.

When I started my blog journey, my goal was to give valuable and relatable information about travel.  I love the great vacation pics, but there are other travel stories beyond the beautiful travel photos.  This week I’d like to focus on the reality of a positive Covid test result while out of the country.

As of January 2021, the CDC mandated that all travelers into the US have a negative test result before entry into the country. The CDC guidelines read as, “If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than three days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”

If you test positive while out of the country, you will have the added expense of staying in your location until you recover. Your stay could be a minimum of 14 days. Research the Covid testing and quarantine guidelines and regulations of the country you are traveling to for information on the process if there is a positive test on arrival or during your stay.  Know that airlines cannot board passengers who cannot show proof of a negative Covid test.

I wrote on a previous blog about travel insurance.  I highly suggest travel insurance and for travelers to give thought to a Covid 19 travel insurance plan. Covid insurance will cover the insured during their stay. It also includes medical expenses incurred during your stay, daily stay rates, and even medical evacuations.  Policies differ, so it is best to research the different options available. Please note that you can purchase basic travel insurance up to 24 hours before departure. However, premium add-ons such as “cancel for any reason” must be purchased based on when you made your travel payments.

Now more than ever, the cheapest flight option might not be the best option for travelers. Flexible and refundable tickets can make a significant difference if you extend your stay in a foreign country.  There are substantial fees associated with canceling or rebooking airline tickets.  Read the fine print to see if you will be refunded or given a voucher.

Consider visa deadlines.  Many tourist visas are for 30 days.  If you test positive, you may have to quarantine between 7 to 21 days.  The forced quarantine stay in addition to your vacation time may have you overstaying your visa.  Consider how you will handle visa technicalities while in quarantine.  Not all hotels will be able to take care of those details for you. Now more than ever, consider registering with the STEP program. It’s free, and you will have access to the nearest embassy or consulate.

The bottom line is that if you test positive for Covid outside the country, do not expect to return until you can provide a negative Covid test result or proof of recovery.  Have you considered the possibility of testing positive while on vacation? Let me know.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

Having flown as a career for over 20 years I have stayed in many hotel rooms and so the experience has taught me a lot about what to look out for in terms of cleanliness.

1. Check the hotel sheets. No one wants to sleep on possible dirty covid sheets. I can’t tell you how many different times I have gone into a hotel room just dying to shower and get into bed and found that the sheets have not been changed. If you do this when you first get into the hotel room, there is plenty of opportunity for the hotel to fix the issue before you are ready to go to bed.

2. Make sure the sheets are visibly dirty before you check out of the hotel and prevent any possible Covid spread. I think it’s just a matter of kindness to the next guest and just plain hygienic. Don’t feel bad as the hotel should automatically be doing this anyhow. I always wiped the bottom of my shoe across the sheets before I checked out.

3.Place a face towel or hand towel on the bathroom counter to place all your items on. Especially in this time of covid you do not want to transfer any germs to your face or hands. It’s also a visual reminder of anything placed on the counter and it helps in not forgetting items like jewelry in the bathroom.

4. Take an extra washcloth and wipe the toilet seats down. I think we all assume that the hotel room has been cleaned thoroughly but my experience has shown that the toilet seat is often overlooked.

5. Treat hotel room floors like airplane bathrooms and never assume it’s just water. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed through hotel corridors and seen the remains of a hotel room party gone wild. Let’s face it, the hotel does not have the manpower or capability to thoroughly clean hotel room floors, nor do they often have time between checkouts. Covid can be easily spread through bodily fluids.

I hope my tips have been helpful, check back in for more of my lived travel experience.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

As an avid world traveler who has done this both professionally and personally, my carry-on is always semi-packed. Here are my tips and advice on the 5 items I consider must-haves and should always be in my carry on.

1. A lingerie organizer bag (details on another blog post). The one I use has two sides, one for clean underwear and the other for dirty. You never want to get them confused!

2. An electronic organizer bag (blog post coming). With people being so connected it is so inconvenient to lose connectivity and most hotels do not provide enough power outlets for the technology we use in our daily lives.

3. A toothbrush which in my opinion is even more needed than the electronic organizer. Many people pack this in their suitcase but with the chances of your luggage being lost, I like to always have this at hand.

4. A medicine bag with items like Tums, ibuprofen, cold medicine, etc. I tend to also have eye masks, face masks, prescription medications, band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol pads, and such (more on another post).

5. Finally I always have a small makeup bag with the basics like mascara, lip moisturizer, lipstick, makeup remover cloths, toner, and face moisturizer. These are always found at beauty supply stores and pharmacies in travel sizes.

You make have other priorities for your carry-on. If so, what are they? I’d love to find out.

Massage, one of the best things for self care.

Massage, one of the best things for self care.

They are plenty of different types of travelers. Backpackers, weekenders, thrill seekers, and holiday travelers are but a few.  I have traveled extensively for work and pleasure and I consider myself a spa traveler.  For me, travel is not just to have been to a destination or to check it off my bucket list, I travel for the experience of travel.  Most importantly, a spa visit to wherever I go is a must as I believe that self care is the best care.

With Covid 19, travel is limited, but it is limitless in my mind.  Inner travel often takes me back to many of my previous travel experiences as well as the ones I’d like to have.  Lately, getting at home massages has been a way for me to elevate my inner travel experience. I believe that a massage is one of the best things for self care, a way to treat yourself and take a break from life.  For an hour, I can do nothing but be still and have someone concentrate on me, the ultimate getaway.

What travel experiences do you think you can bring to your life without leaving the presence of your home?  Can you make a cocktail or cocktail and take an hour for yourself? Can you just sit still and watch the world go by on your street or neighborhood?  Just people watch like we do when we’re on vacation and curious about the people and places we see.  Try it and let me know how bringing the inner travel experience to life works for you.

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