Interested in traveling abroad but aren’t sure how to begin planning your trip? The process of crossing borders, keeping track of covid restrictions, and organizing accommodations might seem like a challenging process from the outset. However, there are several ways to make this process significantly easier. Everything from an itinerary document to a reliable organization app can help you keep track of what’s important and ensure that all your documents are on hand when you need them.
Last-minute international travel and bookings are your chance to add spontaneity to your life and see more of the world around you. While the prices and availability of certain things might make travel limiting, there are still plenty of options available for ensuring you have a stress-free adventure. In this article, we’ll go over a few of the things you’ll need to do before starting your next around the world journey.
Check Where You Can and Cannot Go
As of early 2022, plenty of countries are open to tourists, but each country has its specific requirements and policies for entry. Your ability to enter a foreign country usually depends on two factors. The first factor is your vaccination status. You’re all set to jet if you have the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccination. The J&J vaccination is not as widely accepted but may still qualify you for entry to international countries. The second factor to entry is a negative covid test, taken before your departure.
To find a particular country’s entry restrictions and requirements, you’ll need to visit their government’s website. Alternatively, you can check the covid-19 entry restrictions information provided by airlines that operate a route within the country you want to visit. Icelandair’s travel restriction map is a good resource and reference for checking requirements, even if you’re traveling anywhere that the airline flies to regularly. By reviewing the entry requirements, you’re ensuring that there’s nothing to worry about prior to travel. However, you’ll need to organize a covid test in your destination country to re-enter the United States. While it is a bit of a hassle, it sure is worth it, as finding beautiful oceanside hotels in California can be done in just a few simple clicks. Find out more, and check if these hotels are a perfect match for all your needs.
Spend Time Comparing Prices With Travel Apps and Websites
Websites like Google Flights and Skyscanner are great to start when searching for last-minute flight deals. You can easily compare prices for tickets from various airlines without the hassle of searching on individual dates on an airline’s website. You can usually select a date window rather than a single day for flying. When it comes to last-minute booking, you must remain flexible if you don’t want to overpay.
A few airlines operate within the United States and Europe that won’t show up on these platforms- Southwest Airlines is one of the popular options that follow this policy. Can’t find the airfare you’re looking for when shopping? Consider planning a short one-day layover to get a more reasonable airfare price. If you’re a student, you may also want to consider using Student Universe to find better, more exclusive deals. Hopper is also a good app for determining when it’s a good time to buy your flights and when it’s a good time to wait.
Pay Extra For a Flexible Booking
Given the uncertainty of changing restrictions and concerns about catching covid before you fly, you should always choose flexible booking options when and where available. Refund or rebooking options ensure that the money you’re investing in your trip isn’t lost in case you need to cancel or shift your plans. Even if it costs extra, and even though you’re booking your trip at the last minute, flexible booking options are always a good idea. As an added benefit, free cancellation means it’s easy to change your travel plans in the middle of your trip if you want to be truly spontaneous.
Make an Itinerary Document
To begin creating an itinerary for your trip, make a wish list of everything you want to do and everywhere you want to go. Following the creation of this list, it’s usually a good idea to prioritize the essential components of the list. Next, you’ll need to create a timeline outlining your available days in each location. Finally, add your most important wish list items to your timeline to map out what your trip is going to look like. Platforms like Google Maps and TripAdvisor can help you get a good idea of where everything is located before you travel, which will let you know what’s feasible and what’s too much for a single day.
Use an Organizational App for Your Documents
A neat, visual organization and file sharing app can prove to be a significant benefit in organizing your last-minute travel plans. While it might sound like a small step to get one of these apps for creating an inventory and keeping track of your documents, the organization and planning options you’ll get as a result are easy to underestimate.
It’s a good idea to keep all your essential travel documents, including scans of your passport and plane tickets, in a secure location online so that they’re accessible from any device, in any country. Many organization apps, such as Bublup and Evernote, also allow you to store bookmarks and save online information that you’ve gathered in the process of planning your adventure.
Consider Travel Insurance
You don’t have to have travel insurance for every trip, particularly if you’re booking at the last minute. Still, it can sometimes be a good purchase if certain aspects of your trip, such as your airfare and accommodations, don’t offer a refund or rebooking. Travel insurance doesn’t cover as much as you think- make sure to read a policy closely before buying.
With the right organizational tools and planning documents, last-minute travel doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are plenty of opportunities for exploring other countries and cultures just around the corner.