As the variants take hold, it now seems it isn't a matter of IF you will contract COVID, it is WHEN.
You have been planning for months and are determined to take this holiday. It is true, that the chances of contracting COVID while on vacation have been very low In fact, cruise lines and airlines will tell you it has been less than 1%. Pre-OMICRON. As we all know, in order to return to Canada from your vacation a PCR test is required a maximum of 72 hours before your flight. Getting the test is relatively easy in most places. Costs vary. Cuba does testing right on site at most resorts for $30USD per person. Higher end islands like St. Lucia or Antigua, prices can be as much as $300USD per person. You've been enjoying those Pina Coladas all week, taking measures entering common areas of hotel by wearing your mask, using hand sanitizer as much as possible and suddenly a few days before returning home, your test comes back POSITIVE. Let's walk thru what this can look like and hopefully avoid chaos, should it happen to you while out of Canada.
Firstly, ensure you have Out of Country Medical Insurance that includes COVID coverage. For example, I sell Manulife COVID Travel Plan insurance and am now insisting my clients pay the minimal cost for the additional coverage. This will ensure, should you test positive while in destination, your quarantine accommodations and hospital expenses (should there be any) are covered.
Second, I highly recommend you test prior to leaving Canada, even if you are going to a country that doesn't require pre-testing. If you are carrying it and are asymptomatic, wouldn't you rather know here before arriving in a foreign country?
Third, ensure you can actually afford this holiday and any additional expenses that may arise. If you are travelling to Cuba on a $599 sell off just because you only have $599 to your name, please don't travel right now. Yes, I said it. Going forward, when it comes to travel, you need to expect the unexpected. In some locations, you may need to have money on your credit card to pay upfront for your quarantine nights and get reimbursed by insurance upon return. Some resorts are offering discounted quarantine stays but not all and it changes by the minute. Do you have money set aside for emergencies?
Fourth, if you are travelling on a package with a supplier like Air Canada Vacations, Transat or Sunwing, you should consider attending the welcome briefing a mandatory part of your trip. This is where they are not only going to review the optional excursions but they are going to discuss testing locations and costs, as well as what happens should you test positive.
And finally, don't panic. Your professional travel advisor will be there for you. They will walk you thru required entry forms to travel to another country, update you on all the latest info in regards to travel, and guide you in the right direction should you, God forbid, test positive while in destination. They are worth every cent.
Don't have a professional? Click on my website under process and fees, to see how we can work together.
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