Millions of people around the world have either reduced their amount of travel or have stopped all together. Covid-19 has paralyzed the movement of people around the world. Traveling during this period is a personal preference and your decision should be based upon how comfortable you feel, the safety measures put into place, and your overall health. On a personal note, my travel experience during the pandemic has been nothing but pleasant. During my last trip, I felt many precautions were put into place to reduce and/or eliminate passengers’ exposure to the virus. I have felt relatively safe and when traveling to Costa Rica, I felt safer there than I did in the US. Costa Rica has taken this virus very seriously.
In the meanwhile, if you enjoy traveling but are staying home during the pandemic let us discuss what you could be doing right now to prep for your next travel experience. If you are like me who has a limited number of pages left in my passport, this is a great time to renew your passport. Those who have never held a valid passport this is an opportunity to apply for your first passport. Additionally, if your passport is expired or within 6 month of expiration this is the perfect time to renew your passport. Many countries require at least 6 months of validity prior to traveling to enter the country.
Click on the link to access the documents needed to obtain a US passport. Routine processing currently is 10 – 12 weeks, but expedited service is 4 – 6 weeks for an additional $60.
This is a great time to get TSA Precheck or Global Entry while you are staying home. When you are ready to begin traveling again both programs will allow you to travel with ease. If you want to know more about both programs refer to my previous blog post “Travel Made Easy”. Both programs require a completed application, application fee, interview, and fingerprinting for the privilege of navigating through security with ease.
Applying for a visa can be a good use of your time. Most visa processes are relatively straight forward and easy, while other visa processes are more stringent and have a longer lead time. Visas allow you to visit a country whether for business or pleasure for a specified amount of time. Many visas are valid for a specific period but have a maximum duration. For example, Turkey’s tourist visa is valid for 6 months and allows a maximum stay of 90 days on the visa. Other visas may be valid for a year, but have a maximum stay allowed. If you need a visa for work apply for those sooner than later. I have a work visa for China that is valid for 10 years and allows multiple entries.
This is a good time to review your credit cards to ensure they are providing the benefits you want and need. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is one of the best for earning miles, or the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express is one of the best credit cards for airline rewards, or the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire credit card is one of the best for hotel perks. The list goes on and on but do you due diligence and find the card(s) that provide you the best value. Many of these cards provide additional perks like refer a friend rewards, free checked bags, priority boarding, fee credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, Companion Certificates, complimentary access to lounges, extended warranty on purchases, limited car rental coverage, and much more.
Lastly, review the requirements for entry into the country or countries you plan to visit. This is a good time to schedule your appointment to get the required inoculations. Some countries require multiple immunizations such as Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Meningococcal, Cholera, Hepatitis A & B, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Flu, Covid-19, etc.
Do not just sit around during this time, prepare yourself for that next trip. Take advantage of the travel deals available and any mistake fares you may see. My daughter and I was able to take advantage of a mistake fare with Delta where we landed round-trip tickets to Santiago, Chile for $65. I know you think this is too good to be true, but this flight is real. Again, do not sit by idle there are deals and opportunities available waiting for you to take advantage.
Visit Ketour Travel’s website (https://ketourtravel.com) read the blogs and updates on current and future trips for 2022, 2023, and 2024. Do not forget to subscribe to the newsletter, follow Ketour on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. #StaySafe #FlattenTheCurve