South African media personality and blogger Brent Lindeque, who travelled on an international trip recently, shared nine things travellers should know ahead of their international travel trip:
Organise your documents
Lindeque recommends organising all your documents ahead of the trip. These include your passport, plane ticket, vaccination card and visa, if required.
"You will need quite a few documents while travelling, and most places, including airports, restaurants and tourist destinations, do not accept digital copies, so make sure you have a hard copy of these documents.
"Also, print your digital copy and make a copy of the original card," she said.
When venturing abroad, most airlines and destinations require a negative Covid-19 test at least 72 hours before departure.
The country may require you to take more PCR tests while at the destination. You also need a negative PCR test on your return to South Africa.
Plan for extra costs
Travellers need to factor in Covid-19 testing to their travel expenses.
"We had a PCR test before we left South Africa, two rapid antigen tests during our stay, both at the hotel, and another PCR test to get back home 72 hours before our flight.
"We paid for the PCR tests ourselves, and the hotel picked up the cost of the Rapid Antigen Tests, but this may not always be the case.
"My fiancé went to the UK four weeks ago and had to pick up the costs for all the tests himself," he explained.
Get to the airport three hours before you fly
The airport process is much longer due to Covid protocols.
Lindeque said arriving early, at least three hours before departure, provided ample time to undergo the airport process while still having enough time to board the flight.
"Get there early and you should have a stress-free experience," he added.
Wear your mask
Mask wearing is still mandatory. Travellers should travel with an extra few.
The exit South Africa form
These forms are available at the airport. Lindeque suggested printing and filling these forms at home.
"Pre-printing and filling out this form before the time is a massive time saver," he said.
Arrival and leaving forms
Travellers need to hand in an arrival form at their destination.
"It can be found on the country’s government website, the airport or given to you on the plane," he said. Travellers will also need to fill a leaving/visiting country form handed at the airport.
Travellers can also print it ahead of their flight via the country’s government website.
There's also an arrival back in South Africa form, which is the same as the exit form.
"Print two," he suggested.
Comprehensive travel insurance is a must in case of any unforeseen travel incidents. Be sure the travel insurance includes Covid-19 cover.
Pack that additional clothing in case you do get quarantined
Lindeque said packing extra items like clothing, books, and underwear was essential if a destination required a traveller to quarantine.
"We didn’t get quarantined, but a friend did. She was stuck in a hotel room for 10 days, fed three meals a day but was not allowed to leave the room. She had to wash her own clothes in the bath and clean the room herself. It was not fun, but luckily, she did not need hospitalisation and has fully recovered," he recollected. He advised travellers to prepare for the possibility of contracting the virus anywhere along the journey.