The Covid-19 vaccination certificate is not the only administrative document to update before your trip. — Image courtesy of ronstik/Shutterstock via ETX Studio

NEW YORK, February 20 – The tourism industry is back in business after the pandemic. To make sure your next trip goes smoothly, we’ve decided to go over some of the paperwork you’ll need to go through to avoid a vacation nightmare. Because there’s more to traveling than complying with Covid-19 vaccination requirements and taking mandatory PCR or antigen tests.

Passport

As border restrictions are gradually being lifted, now is not the time to forget the basics of travel administration that existed long before the pandemic, starting with your passport. While having one is essential, checking its validity is another sometimes overlooked travel imperative. Not only do you need to make sure your passport is still valid after spending so many months on the ground, but you also need to check that it will still be valid when you return, especially if you are traveling to certain countries. Australia, Egypt and the Maldives, for example, require passports to be valid for six months after your return date, to prevent the document from expiring during your trip.

Assurance

Insurance is an expense you might have liked to avoid in order to increase your vacation expenses. But, in light of the pandemic, more and more countries are requiring travelers to have medical coverage in case something goes wrong. Only a few destinations, such as Algeria or China, used to require this kind of measure in the pre-pandemic days.

Now, many countries are following this example, such as Mauritius, Argentina or Singapore. However, getting old insurance is not enough. It is important to check the coverage conditions required by each destination. For example, the Philippines requires insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19 with a minimum amount of US$35,000 (RM146,500). For Thailand, the medical coverage must be at least 50,000 USD. The Jordanian authorities require an international health insurance certificate written in English. In the Sultanate of Oman, meanwhile, travelers will need proof of travel insurance covering at least 30 days of Covid-19 treatment. To be sure you have understood correctly, it is best to check full details of all entry requirements on the official government or embassy website for your intended destination.

Credit card (for car rental)

If you are planning to rent a car abroad, including in Europe, it is best to check the type of credit card required by the car rental company. In fact, many require a “credit” card rather than just a “debit” card. A mistake could result in you being denied keys to your rental car or having to pay extra. Look at your payment card and check if it says “credit” or “debit”, or check with your bank. And while we’re on the subject of driving, you’ll need to check if your driver’s license is valid in the country you’re visiting. Remember that if you are visiting the United States, regulations may differ from state to state.

Compulsory or recommended vaccines (excluding Covid-19)

The shock waves caused by Covid-19 should not make travelers forget that some countries require vaccination against specific diseases. And that was the case long before the pandemic. Some countries, especially in Africa, require the presentation of an international yellow fever vaccination certificate, even if you are only transiting through an airport. This is the case in Benin, for example. Other vaccines may be strongly recommended for travel. For example, it is generally recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis B and/or Japanese encephalitis before going to Thailand. Again, this type of information should be available on relevant government or embassy websites. In any case, it is strongly advised to ensure that all your regular vaccinations are up to date before packing your bags. — Studio ETX