Travel but expect the unexpected.

Travel but expect the unexpected.

When people think of travel, they often have thoughts of all the wonderful things they expect to happen.  Suppose it’s a beach vacation; travelers think of sunny beaches and warm waters.  If it’s a winter vacation, many will think about the snow and the incredible snow activities.  However, for many, vacation expectations can be disappointing and frustrating.  These expectations are because social media often only shows picturesque and positive vacation experiences.  Therefore, it’s best always to have an open mind when traveling and expect the unexpected.  Here are a few things that could go wrong despite all your best-made travel plans.

Missed flights.

Even though travelers may have booked their flights in advance and know the time guidelines for getting to the airport before a flight, many still miss their flights.  Reasons from waking up too late, confusing am times with pm times, long TSA lines, or leaving items at home are common.  It’s always best to prepare and do prechecks the day before departure to ensure none of these scenarios is a factor for your travel plans.

Expired passport.

Many people do not have a passport, but many of those who do, have passports that have been expired or are very close to being expired.  International travel requires having at least six months validity.  Many travelers take the time to plan and pay for their trip then get to the airport with an expired passport.  An expired passport is a traveler’s self-inflicted wound; all related expenses are at the traveler’s cost.  If you plan to travel internationally, check your passport’s expiration date before booking your flight.

Getting sick.

Getting sick is probably one of the most common realities of traveling.  Most often, travelers get sick from consuming contaminated food or water.  However, many often get overexposed to the sun and get sunburnt or are bitten by insects.  Travel, in general, puts us more at risk for sickness as we most often travel to places with persons we are not familiar with.  Traveling by air puts us in close contact with people we don’t know, and the airplanes’ recirculated air makes encountering germs more possible.  If you plan to travel, take precautions like staying hydrated and getting enough sleep.  In addition, traveling with some medicines to combat minor sicknesses is highly recommended.

Lost items.

When traveling, it’s not uncommon to lose personal items.  Items such as passports, mobile phones, losing your wallet or purse, losing luggage, and forgetting to pack certain items are common occurrences for many travelers.  Often, we are so caught up in our new surroundings that we forget our belongings.  It’s best to be organized when you travel.  Use packing lists if you must and keep copies of your important documents like passports, credit cards, and reservations.  If you lose your electronics or wallet, you can more easily make reports if you have more than one way to access your information.

I hope you never experience the unexpected when you travel, but I want to make sure you are prepared if you do.  Have you ever experienced any of these scenarios?  If so, how did you handle it?  Please let me know in the comment section below.

COVID-19  travel restrictions.

COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Recently a friend traveled from Washington DC to Egypt. She discussed with me the harrowing experience of trying to get a required Covid test for travel. With recent federal guidelines, the need for Covid testing has increased, and availability has decreased. As the holidays are a busy travel season, it stands to reason travelers needing testing during the holidays will also surge.  Here are a few things to think about regarding Covid testing and the holidays.

A surge in Covid testing

Many of the issues involved with the current availability of Covid testing affect the recent executive order requiring Covid vaccination for federal employees. Companies with over 100 employees will be required to comply with the order or face significant fines. As expected, there are many questions regarding the order and implementation that need an answer.  However, the demand for Covid testing has risen, and so travelers need to prepare.

Thanksgiving travel

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s usually one of the busiest times for people to travel.  In 2020, many suggested curtailing travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, and many ignored that suggestion.  In preparation for the upcoming busy Thanksgiving travel season, the U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act may require all passengers on domestic airlines to either be fully vaccinated, tested negative, or fully recovered from Covid.

Preparing for holiday travel

In essence, travelers should be aware of travel restrictions and Covid guidelines.  They should know where their Covid testing sites are. Find out if they need to have Covid symptoms or can test as a precaution. Research the timing of their test before seeing friends and family as exposure varies. It’s also good to know the different Covid test options, PCR or antigen.

As with any travel experience, preparation is critical.  Stay safe this holiday season and if you choose to travel, do it safely.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/09/09/executiveorder-on-requiring-coronavirus-disease-2019-vaccination-for-federal-employees/

https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=09C19B4C-EB814CD1-B793-486B573EA1D1

https://ebonytravelers.com/know-before-you-go-covid-testing/

My release from Singapore SHN

My release from Singapore SHN

I finally got released from my seven-day SHN.  Because I was so prepared to stay in a hotel, but not knowing which hotel, 2 star or five stars. I had a lot of anxiety about my arrival in Singapore.  It was a pleasant surprise to spend my SHN at home.  However, not leaving the apartment was limiting, and I’m happy to say I am now officially released from my SHN.

Swab testing appointment

The first step in the process of being released from SHN is a swab test.  I was given an appointment and told to show up.  As I don’t have personal transportation in Singapore, I had to arrange with a designated taxi company for travel to the testing site.

Testing location

The location of my testing was an old school building.  When I first went there, more workers were present than people needing to be swab tested, which soon changed as the lines queue.

The process

The process was the same for everyone.  We were all given a sticker designating us as SHN.  We then had to verify our name with identification.  Answer health questions. Get our temperature taken, then once again queue for the swab test. The process seemed to move relatively smoothly.  Once inside, there was another checking of ID, medical questions, and then I was escorted to the swab testing station, where I again had to verify my particulars. Once my swab test was completed, I was free to return home.

Final release

Tracker no more

My final release from the SHN came the following day.  I had to wait for a text notification of my negative test results.  Once I received that text, I could then cut my tracking bracelet off and throw it away.  Officials picked up the gateway portion that came with the bracelet.

Now I am free to leave my house, but not go everywhere I would like to.  I must install an app that allows the government to track my every movement in Singapore.  In addition, although I have my vaccination cards from the US.  I will need to take a serology blood test to get a vaccination designation on my tracer app.  Unvaccinated people have limited accessibility.  I’ll tell you a bit more about that in my next blog post.

Covid Restrictions and Holiday Travel

Covid Restrictions and Holiday Travel

Recently a friend traveled from Washington DC to Egypt. She discussed with me the harrowing experience of trying to get a required Covid test for travel. With recent federal guidelines, the need for Covid testing has increased, and availability has decreased. As the holidays are a busy travel season, it stands to reason travelers needing testing during the holidays will also surge.  Here are a few things to think about regarding Covid testing and the holidays.

A surge in Covid testing

Many of the issues involved with the current availability of Covid testing affect the recent executive order requiring Covid vaccination for federal employees. Companies with over 100 employees will be required to comply with the order or face significant fines. As expected, there are many questions regarding the order and implementation that need an answer.  However, the demand for Covid testing has risen, and so travelers need to prepare.

Thanksgiving travel

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s usually one of the busiest times for people to travel.  In 2020, many suggested curtailing travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, and many ignored that suggestion.  In preparation for the upcoming busy Thanksgiving travel season, the U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act may require all passengers on domestic airlines to either be fully vaccinated, tested negative, or fully recovered from Covid.

The World and Covid

Preparing for holiday travel

In essence, travelers should be aware of travel restrictions and Covid guidelines. They should know where their Covid testing sites are. Find out if they need to have Covid symptoms or can test as a precaution. Research the timing of their test before seeing friends and family as exposure varies. It’s also good to know the different Covid test options, PCR or antigen.

As with any travel experience, preparation is critical.  Stay safe this holiday season and if you choose to travel, do it safely.

Absolute travel essentials.

Absolute travel essentials.

When it comes to travel essentials, everyone has different choices.  Travel essentials can range anywhere from a travel wallet, change of clothing, toiletries, portable chargers to snacks.  Although those bare travel essentials might be great, I’d like you to consider the absolute travel essentials.  Here is my list of the absolute travel essentials I think you should always have on your person and never travel without.

Your ID

No matter your travel destination, your ID is essential.  There are cases where you have lost your ID and can still travel but know that you will have a few hours delay proving your identity.  In most cases, you need a valid government-issued form of identification, and this identification must match the name under which you are traveling.  If you are traveling internationally, a passport is needed.  Not only should you travel with your ID, but it should always be with you or in your person.

A credit card

A credit card is a traveler’s best friend.  It provides security, convenience, and it makes it easier to make purchases when you travel.  Certain credit cards can get you better exchange rates, can be tied to different travel reward programs or services, and gives you the flexibility to make safer purchases.  Paying with a credit card will allow travelers to monitor their bills and expenses upon returning home.  Most importantly, you can more protect yourself from liability due to fraudulent activity.  Like your ID, every traveler should always keep at least one credit card on their person.

Your cell phone

It is advisable to always travel with a cell phone.  Ideally, travelers should make preparations with data plans for making calls.  However, almost all airports offer free Wi-Fi where you can get connected in an emergency. In addition, your cell phone will provide the ability to access resources such as travel information, destination guides, language apps, or currency converters.  While some of these resources require a data plan, many are also available in offline mode.  Downloading movies and books on your phone is a perfect example of using it in offline mode.  Most importantly, we keep everything on our cell phones.  Even though they can are replaceable, once stolen, the data is not easily replaceable.

In my last blog post, I discussed theft on an airplane.  Theft can happen anywhere, and travelers should always be aware of this possibility.  However, if your bags are stolen or misplaced, your ID, credit card, and cell phone are things you cannot replace very quickly.  Imagine not being able to contact your friends and family in an emergency. Not being able to check into a hotel, rent a car, or purchase an airline ticket back home.  While many things are considered essential for travel comfort, think about what is critical to your travel safety and security.

Have you ever misplaced any absolute travel essentials? Comment and let me know.

Pin It on Pinterest