After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel continues to be uncertain, but it’s still possible to have a successful trip with the right planning.

Here are five things to consider when booking your travel vacation:

1. Booking flights? Consider upgrades

Vacations aren’t cheap and everyone’s looking for the cheapest flight deals.

However, consider upgrading your flight for additional features such as free changes or cancellations, or even flight insurance, in case you experience delays due to COVID-19.

Also, compare ‘pandemic-friendly’ options provided by different airlines – for example, JetBlue currently offers no change or cancellation fees on most of its fares, except Blue Basic.

Currently, (as of January 27, 2022) the airline has waived change/cancel fees on Blue Basic bookings made between August 25-October 31, 2021 and prior to Jun 7 2021.

2. Book your accommodation wisely

If using booking websites for your accommodation, seek out booking options with flexible cancellation policies or even options for quarantine stays, should worst come to worst.

Additionally, if booking via a booking website, read the fine print carefully – watch out for non-refundable deposits or any other ‘hidden’ fees.

3. Enquire about travel/quarantine insurance

You’ve had a great vacation, enjoyed your trip and are ready to return home, however, the unthinkable has happened – you’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

Currently, travellers entering or re-entering Trinidad and Tobago must submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their arrival.

If one tests positive prior to one’s flight home, one may need to ‘shelter in place’ – which can be costly.

However, check with insurance providers (locally or in your destination country) to see what options are available regarding COVID-19 and emergency quarantine stays.

Depending on which country you’re visiting, ‘quarantine insurance’ may be available for international visitors.

4. Have a back-up plan

In case your planned itinerary experiences setbacks, have a ‘plan b’ with alternative venues in case of unforeseeable changes. Ensure any tickets purchased include a full refund for any COVID-19 cancellations. Some pandemic-friendly events include open-air activities and secluded areas such as parks and gardens, beaches, open-air restaurants or even private cabins and villas where families can make their own meals without a lot of interaction with outsiders.

5. Follow health and safety guidelines

Even fully vaccinated, health officials have advised that we continue to wear our face masks, sanitise and maintain a safe distance from others. As another health and safety measure, it’s a good idea to keep practising those policies while on vacation, thereby minimising the risk of testing positive (and spoiling your trip).

Safe travels!


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