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New CDC Travel Requirement for entry to USA from international travel

image of items needed to travel during pandemic--mask, sanitizer, passport, and negative covid test

image of items needed to travel during pandemic--mask, sanitizer, passport, and negative covid test

On Tuesday, 1/12, the US CDC announced that it was adding a mandatory COVID-19 test requirement for all inbound international travelers, regardless of where they are coming from. Starting on Jan. 26, all air passengers will have to get a viral test within three days of their flight to the U.S. and bring documentation of either the test (can be electronic) or documentation that they were infected and recovered, to their airline. Airlines, according to the CDC rules, must then confirm the negative test for all passengers before boarding, and any passenger without the documentation must be denied boarding. While this is the strictest requirement US has issued since the pandemic started, it generally puts the country in line with a lot of European countries who have seen recent case surges and implemented the same requirement.

I have been working on some travel requests for Mexico and Costa Rica for example, as they do not require any testing before traveling.  Now, with this requirement, it puts another roadblock to travel. Where will travelers go get tested? Will they get test results back in time?  What if they tested positive?  Where will they quarantine and how will the cost be paid for? Those were just some of the questions that were jamming travel forums and started a wave of panic phone calls.  But it’s not the end to it all.

Within 48hrs, many of the resorts in Mexico and Caribbean have come up with plans to help travelers get tested in the resort.  Antigen tests are usually free, and the PCR tests are offered free at some resorts or reduced rates at others.  AND… some have dedicated space for quarantines. Some resorts even offer you extended free stay if you tested positive.  Bottom line: If you are ready to travel, there is nothing that can stop you.

Traveling in this new day and age is not the same as the past anymore.  There are constantly changing travel requirements.  We may soon see mask mandates for air travel by the Biden Administration.  Each country has their own travel requirements to protect their citizens.  Some require a test to enter. Some require you to re-test a few days after arrival.  Some require you only stay in certain quarantine resorts, or use certain approved tour providers.  Yet others, many others, require you to have specific travel insurance that will cover expenses for flying home on a medical jet or expenses to stay in destination if you need hospital care or extended hotel stay.  And now, US wants you to get tested when entering.

All I can say is, Please, do yourself a favor and use a travel advisor to plan your next family vacation.  Let us help you navigate all of these overwhelming and confusing travel requirements. It doesn’t have to be with me. But if you work with me, I have partnerships with travel consortium which provides a daily updated dashboard for me to review which country requires what to enter and leave.  I have travel suppliers who not only put together travel packages or custom itinerary for you, but also be available to provide assistance 24×7 in destination should you can’t reach me.  It will not only save you time, it will also make sure that someone is watching out for you and be there to guide you if something just changes suddenly.

So, be brave.  It’s ok to keep planning your vacations.  And if you missed my last newsletter about why NOW is the time to plan 2021 and even 2022 vacations, you can find it on my blog or use this link: https://www.bravobeachvacations.com/why-you-should-start-planning-2021-and-2022-vacations-now/

2021 travel planning with airplane, book, sunglasses and palm trees

 

 

 

 

 

Or, you can also plan some domestic travel and put some happiness back to your calendar.  There are so much to see! Oh and let me remind you, Hawaii does not require another test on return to mainland.  It does require you to get a negative Covid test to travel to Hawaii, but not depart Hawaii! However, it is starting a new Mandatory Contact Tracing requirement if you are visiting Maui.  And for more information about Hawaii, don’t forget to check out our Hawaii travel guide.  We try our best to keep it updated.  You can get it free on the right side bar.

Great ways to see our US National Parks for your next family vacation

Family hiking in Yellowstone National Park

I know many of us enjoy traveling overseas to foreign countries and experience different cultures and local customs.  We get excited visiting iconic sites and creating lifetime memories. But we often forget to take advantage of visiting our own national parks in the US.  Without a passport or long haul flight, it is easy to do and can provide a great family vacation.   Let me show you how to elevate your experience though.  Forget packing your family into the car and do a road trip.  Drop the DIY vacation.  Instead, use a tour operator.  Join a guided tour.  Preferably one that is small group of no more than 12 guests, or better yet, one just for your family, or maybe your own multi-generational family group.  Or another family or friends you enjoy traveling with.  Form your own exclusive tour.

Let me share a few benefits of joining a small group or private guided tour:

1. They can do it better.
You can do all the driving, plan out the lodging, figure out where to eat or what to see or where to hike. But imagine having someone do it all FOR YOU.  And not just anyone, but someone who has experience leading tours every day and know the ins and outs. They're the experts of the destination you're visiting. They can take care of all the details so you can truly      have a vacation.  Doesn’t that feel good???

family hiking in Yellowstone National Park
family hiking in Yellowstone National Park, pc: Austin Adventures

2. The Guides
Guides from great tour companies are passionate about sharing their knowledge and ensuring you have a trip of a lifetime.  They keep the trip fun. They can share about the history of the parks and knowledge of the wildlife and plants you came across. And they can also tell you the best restaurants in town.  More importantly, they show you the best way to see the parks and sites given the limited vacation time you have.  They know the best hikes and bike rides, the best spot for your pictures for the Instagram post, the hidden gems.

3. Connections
In these times of traveling during a pandemic, you want to travel with guidance.  A tour operator who has the behind the scenes access to information or partnerships with a hotel or a sought after activity provider.  Or even insider connections with National Park Service.  Let someone take care of the details so you can enjoy the moment and be present. Someone who takes care of the safety protocols and provide a stress free experience.

Maybe this is something you can consider for next summer vacation. It’s great for our mental and physical health to spend time outdoors.  Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Bryce/Zion, what’s your pick?  I have partnerships with some great tour operators. I work with the best and I know you can trust.   Some of these small group scheduled tours are very popular and already beginning to get booked up for 2021.  I can design custom itineraries. RV guided tours.  Or I can set up a luxury home stay with guided activities for you based on your wish and interests.  I know you miss traveling.  I hope I can send you on another adventure soon.  Reach out if you want to get started with planning.