After two years of Covid restrictions and canceled travel plans, older Americans are eager to travel again. While taking a trip will give you a much-needed break, there’s no guarantee your summer travel plans won’t be disrupted, especially as US airlines continue to deal with staffing shortages and flight cuts.
Even though most borders are reopening and Covid restrictions are being rolled back, there’s no guarantee that COVID-19 won’t disrupt your travel plans. Here are some helpful tips for seniors looking to get away this summer.
Check Health Advisories
First, checking if any health and travel advisories could impact your travel plans is important. You can stay updated with the current Health Notices and Advisories found on WWW.CDC.GOV/TRAVEL (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Advisory). This site provides insights on COVID-19 travel health information and environmental, political, and other virus information.
Check for Destination Vaccine and Global Entry Requirements
Next, you’ll want to make sure you check COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements. While most US cities have lifted testing and vaccination requirements, traveling abroad will require a little more research as border closures start to shift to vaccine requirements. Many countries have opted to lift their Covid-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, but unvaccinated travelers may still need a negative PCR test. Once you know how COVID restrictions could impact your trip, you’ll want to double-check your health insurance.
Purchase Travel Insurance
Original Medicare plans travel with you between states, but if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have to check your individual policy to see if you may face higher costs if you have to visit a doctor or hospital out of your network. A travel medical insurance policy can cover any unexpected medical bills, hospital, physician and ambulance services, and prescription drugs. Anyone unvaccinated or at high risk for serious COVID-19 infection may also want to consider a COVID-19 Insurance Policy that would cover any medical costs if COVID-19 is contracted.
When considering insurance policies for a trip, it’s important to remember that Trip Cancellation coverage likely won’t be enough, as the loss is limited to the cost of the trip. The risk exposure is unlimited if you don’t purchase emergency travel medical insurance. It is also critical to get policies that cover pre-existing medical conditions because some providers may not cover any stable or unstable pre-existing medical conditions.
Check travel insurance requirements for International Travel
Many countries require that tourists have Medical Insurance upon arrival, including coverage of costs for potential COVID-19 medical expenses and quarantine coverage. In just the past few months, popular tourist destinations have implemented travel insurance requirements for tourists. You can find the list here. Keep in mind that not all travel insurance providers are the same. When comparing plans, carefully review medical coverage, trip cancellation, and pre-existing medical condition exclusions, and always make sure they include COVID-19 coverage
Additional tips for International Travel:
- Most countries do require proof of vaccination, testing with negative results, and some sort of a health form to be completed before boarding.
- Best sources of information are the local embassy and the airline you have your flight booked.
1. Upload your vaccination information to your phone. Take a picture on your iPhone that can also be added to your wallet.
2. Download the airline app – lots of good resources there for entry requirements.
3. Get the Goose Insurance app for travel insurance information, and proof of COVID-19 Insurance policy is right in the app. www.gooseinsurance.com
Goose Insurance app makes buying travel insurance quick and painless from your mobile phone without health checks or dozens of medical history questions to answer. Goose offers International Travel Medical Insurance with up to $5 million in coverage and COVID-19 Insurance to protect you from unexpected pandemic expenses. The best part is that the Goose app travels with you and is there when you need it with the map of local hospitals, 911 equivalent, and 24hr support center.
By Omar Kaywan, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer at Goose Insurance