Travelling for the first time since the pandemic? Here are some tips to get you started
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Taking your first trip since the pandemic can be rather daunting. FCM General Manager, Bonnie Smith, shares a few tips to help travellers get ready for their first trip during the pandemic:
Check your T&Cs
Travelling in a pandemic world requires flexibility, especially on airfares and accommodation.
“A flexible booking policy could mean the ability to make a penalty-free, last-minute cancellation, or it could mean the ability to make a single and minor change to a booking before penalties are enforced. Read the fine print,” Smith said.
Read up on your destination
In our new norm, having the latest information on travel bans and restrictions as well as Covid-19 protocols are essential.
You have to constantly be updated with new information to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
"Ask what Covid regulations are currently in place. What is your destination’s mask policy? What do the numbers currently look like? What are the experts predicting for the region’s near future? It pays to be prepared," she said.
Smith said travel insurance is now an absolute non-negotiable when venturing further afield. Travellers need to find the right insurance to suit their travel needs.
Get an app
Your smartphone and apps are travel essentials during the pandemic. Find the right app that works for you.
“Interactive travel apps have become indispensable. For example, FCM Mobile app ensures that any flight updates, changes, reminders or alerts instantly go to the traveller on their mobile device. And if they need support, even after hours, it’s available at the touch of a button," she said.
Pre-arrange lounge access
The business-class lounge is the perfect spot in which to unwind and perhaps get some work done before your flight, Smith said. With limited capacity, travellers are urged to pre-book their place before at least 24 hours before their arrival at the airport.
Pack the essentials
Besides packing their clothes, chargers and other essentials, travellers need to also pack sanitisers, face masks, and lots of immune boosters.
"It’s a good idea to draw up a list of the essentials a few days before you’re due to depart for total peace of mind that you haven’t left anything important behind," Smith said.
Know what tests and documents you’ll need
Whether or not you’ve been vaccinated will play a massive role in dictating the options available to you when it comes to international travel.
"Bring along proof of vaccination and get clued up on what other tests are required to seamlessly gain entry into your chosen destination.
“More often than not, proof of a negative PCR test will be required regardless of a traveller’s vaccination status. It’s also important to note that different countries have different restrictions in place regarding the timings of when this test should be conducted ahead of a flight – usually between 48 – 72 hours,” Smith said.
If you want a no fuss check-in, then do it online.
"You’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress by opting to check-in online before your flight. In fact, check-in generally opens 24 hours in advance and so arriving at the airport to check-in is already too late (if you want to avoid standby)," said Smith.