What To Know: Planning Your Route For International Travel

By Jason Zilberbrand

June 11, 2021 Educational

Since COVID-19 caused worldwide shutdowns, international travel has taken a nosedive and left many airlines with unbooked flights. As time has passed, establishments are reopening, and businesses are eager to get back to the new normal of a post-pandemic life.

Along with businesses, individuals are itching to hit those sandy beaches and bustling city streets to make memories with family and friends alike. In addition, companies are ready to get back to regularly scheduled business travel without a hitch.

But international travel isn’t what it used to be.

Former and current restrictions can cause both confusion and frustration. This is especially true as most international flights make several stops between various countries. It’s important to know that not all borders are being treated equally.

What can you do to ensure your international travel plans aren’t disrupted by CDC restrictions and regulations? Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed. But as an increasing number of people get vaccinated and make efforts to book business/vacation flights, it helps to know what to look for when planning your route for international travel.

Planning Your Route For International Travel

To start, it’s important to note that the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not traveling until you’re fully vaccinated. The CDC also suggests that you:

By following each one of these items, you should get to your flight without issue. Make sure you have your correct ticket and flight information. More specifically, there are several things you should bring with you as you plan to travel internationally.

Wear A Mask

Whether you are vaccinated or not, a mask is still needed throughout your trip. This includes wearing your mask on the plane at all times. Please keep in mind that most airlines don’t accept gaiters or neck coverings as masks.

Even if you are flying privately, it’s worth bringing a mask with you because the country you are flying to may have mask mandates.

Negative COVID Test Or Proof Of Recovery

This one is important. You do not need to take a COVID test if you’re flying outbound from the U.S. unless your destination asks for one. But anyone over the age of two needs to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel to come back to the U.S. If you have had COVID within the last 3 months, you need to have documentation of recovery before you may board a flight to the U.S. Yes, this includes all U.S. citizens, too.

If you’ve been vaccinated, keep your vaccination card handy just in case. While it’s not a requirement everywhere, some countries may require you to have it with you.

Destination Check

When planning your route for international travel, it will be completely up to you to check your destination’s guidelines and restrictions. Note that restrictions and limitations can be down to the local level, so nothing about your travel plan is guaranteed.

The CDC offers a resource called COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination. This webpage lists countries and indicates which are “Very High” to “Low” or “Unknown” risks of the COVID-19 virus.

On the other hand, if you have friends visiting, you should also check to see whether they can come into the U.S. at all. Currently, the following countries’ travelers are restricted from coming into the U.S. completely:

  • China

  • Iran

  • European Schengen Area

  • UK

  • Republic Of Ireland

  • Brazil

  • South Africa

  • India

Keep in mind that traveling over differing state lines could result in various new rules or guidelines. Be sure to check all stops in between your flights to ensure you’re following best practices.

Top 5 International Travel Destinations

Considering flying private? The same regulations may be required. If you have not yet purchased a private aircraft, reach out before you buy and ask about our trusted aircraft appraisals and valuation services.

Whether you’re flying private or through a popular airline, chances are you need to plan on what to expect before you go. The following are the top 5 best countries in the world voted by readers of Condé Nast Traveller in The Readers' Choice Awards 2020. We’ll go through each one and offer up what you can plan for before you book.

1. Italy

Italy is home to many tourist destinations and attractions like the Colosseum and world-renowned food and wine. The good news is that American travelers are welcome into Italy as long as they arrive on a "COVID-tested" flight. This type of flight includes a negative test before boarding, again at the airport, and for the third time upon arrival.

2. Sri Lanka

If you’re planning on visiting the lush scenery of Sri Lanka, you may want to pad your vacation with some extra time off. Sri Lanka is open to travelers, but you won’t have the same freedoms of the past.

Sri Lanka is asking visitors to:

  • Stay in a list of approved Level 1 hotels

  • Use specific times to view approved sites

  • Use independent transportation

  • Be subject to frequent Covid-19 testing

  • Avoid mingling with the local population

3. Portugal

At the moment, according to the U.S. Embassy And Consulate In Portugal, U.S. citizens cannot travel to Portugal for tourism. It’s better to push this bucket-list location to a later date.

4. Japan

Again, while Japan is full of beautiful scenery, this is another trip you need to put on pause. Japan is not permitting U.S. travelers to enter right now due to the pandemic.

5. Greece

According to the U.S. Embassy And Consulate In Greece, U.S. travelers can fly into the country. However, it would help if you were fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test before traveling. While in Greece, you should carry your vaccination card with you if you have one.

Flying Private For Future International Travel?

Having a private aircraft may not sound so bad at the moment. While it won’t be completely exempt you from all rules and regulations, you may have more flexibility.

The truth is, aircraft on the market are not plentiful at the moment. However, if you have your hands on a private aircraft you’ve considered buying, don’t forget to check the Carfax® for the skies. With over 30 years in the aviation industry, VREF is the team you should turn to for accurate aircraft appraisals and valuations. Visit us online or contact us to find out more.