When most of the world has been paralised by the devastation of Covid pandemic it seemed like life would never be the same again. And it might as well not be the same, but one thing is certain: travel is back! In fact it’s ‘Covid Travel’ now, a new kind of adventure with a balance of excitement and anxiousness, which is very different from the pre-pandemic times. To help get the most out of Covid travel here at Monshare we give you a travel list: things (and costs) you most certainly want to be ready for before embarking on a journey.
1) PCR Test Cost
Cheap PCR tests are a very rare commodity and a definition of ‘cheap’ widely ranges between the countries. Cheap in the UK comes to around 50GBP at the moment, while minimum PCR test cost in Finland can be as high as 150 euros. It’s worth noting that not all countries require PCR test, and might accept more affordable lateral flow or rapid antigen tests. In the hunt for a cheap PCR test you might be better off checking out comparison websites, like https://www.covid19-testing.org/.
2) Printed copies of your documents from your travel list
More and more paperwork seems to be required for travel both in Europe and around the world. At the same time country officials and the airlines seem to have different attitudes towards digital copies. And if your phone dies before you cross the border you might start your well deserved vacation with more hassle than is needed. Which is why we recommend you printing all your documents to make sure you are never caught of guard, they may include:
- PCR Test result (do include the PCR test cost in the copy, since some border officials might want a confirmation of your paying for the test).
- Copy of your vaccination certificate if you have one
- Copy of hotel booking, especially if it’s mandatory for the destination country
- Copy of documents, which demonstrate the reason for your travel. This is particularly important for countries with relatively closed borders like Russia and EU. So having a copy of your business invitation or passport of your family may save you a lot of time at the border control. Note, that some of the airlines require this paperwork even before you check in, so it’s always better to be on the safe side.
- Passenger locator form in the UK or its equivalent in other countries. At the very least print QR code to save yourself in case technology will give up on you in the worst possible moment.
- Copy of the country regulations at the time of your travel. Changes to travel restrictions often happen on a very short notice and without proper announcement. Having a copy of the page (e.g. countries in the green list) on the date before your travel with you might give you a fighting chance of actually making it to the final destination if things change without notice.
- Copy of your insurance details in case you end up needing medical attention. In COVID times getting medical help in a foreign land might be particularly complicated, so having your insurance close by might save you some trouble.
- Copy of any medical certificates which might be relevant. For example, if you suffer from chronic allergies and sneeze on occasion, it would be helpful to have a paper confirming it. Your Covid Travel list would not be full without it, since some of the particularly eager border control officers might take a sneeze for a Covid symptom and you might end up in isolation until the matters are cleared out.
3) Personal protective equipment
You might or might not be very cautious about your surroundings in your country, but when you travel all odds are off. We recommend being as prepared and as protected as you can. These are things you might want to have on you:
- Single-use face masks or more than 5 reusable ones. It’s way too easy to drop your mask or get it wet and as per guidance they should be changed every 3 hours to stay effective. So with a 2 hour journey to the airport both ways and a 3 hour flight you will need at least 3 masks to keep yourself and others around you safe. And it’s if you are not as clumsy as me, who gets to spill and drop things all the time.
- Hand sanitizers and hand cream. Please do take both, even the most sensitive sanitized can do a lot of damage if used regularly.
- Wet anti-bacterial wipes – these are good both to wipe the surfaces around you, and things you might drop (like I usually do). Most airlines will give you one these days, but trains, restaurants, coffee shops etc. will not.
- A bag to collect all of the used masks, wipes etc. You are likely to get a lot of places where you can dispose of things you used, but you also might end up holding all of that in your hands until you find an appropriate bin. Sort of defeats the purpose if you ask me.
4) Food and an empty bottle of water
If you want to be particularly cautious during your flight, we recommend that you avoid eating in the airplane: for once it means that you will have to take your mask off and will have to touch all sorts of services and products. So please include in your travel list a refillable bottle for water and some food that can be eaten without touching. For example, pieces of fruit and a few plastic forks make very good travel snacks.
5) Rapid antigen tests
You can get them in most countries reasonably cheap in shops or pharmacies. It won’t eliminate the hunt for the cheap PCR test, however it will be helpful on multiple occasions. For example, if you or someone around you gets symptoms while you are travelling, having a test handy might save you some trouble. Besides, some of the companies will even give you a certificate if they supervise you taking rapid antigen tests over a zoom call. So do check for regulations for your respective country.
Covid travel is full of stress and things to think about: but it does not have to! Do review our travel list and we hope you’ll benefit from our advice on cheap PCR test and other items in the list.
You might also find our helpful budgeting tracker useful: it’s more important than ever to have a close eye on your expenses, including PCR test cost. Read more about importance of budgeting.