Travel!! Ahhhhhh, travel. That elusive thing everyone wants to do but is afraid to do so but are always concerned about the price tag.
Here is the real deal. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive unless of course you are a luxury traveler. But even then, you are getting a certain value for your expense. But who doesn’t want to minimize travel expenses, right? I would assume that luxury traveler wants to save if he/she can too.
Below are three ways to save money for or during your travels.
Most people have and use credit cards. Why not exchange one of your cards for one that rewards your purchases with miles and/or travel points. While I don’t advocate running up your credit cards you can use them to pay for your monthly bills (which you would have to pay anyway) and get rewarded in the process. Add these to the miles you are accumulating from being part of the travel rewards loyalty programs and BINGO…you are on the road to some free travel! I follow a podcast called ChooseFI where they talk about the best methods for using credit cards to essentially get free travel. They also have a website and have an entire section dedicated to this subject. They even have a free course for it. Check it out! It’s extremely informational and even I have learned a few things.
And If you travel for business and are required to use your own credit cards to pay for your travel, HELLLLLOOO, this is an amazing way to rack up on those miles or points for basically nothing.
Additionally, find a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Credit card issuers sometimes charge foreign transaction fees on transactions made and processed in a foreign currency or passing through a foreign bank. The charge is a percentage of the amount of the transaction, typically 3%. So consider a credit card that doesn’t assess foreign transaction fees — you’ll thank me on your next international trip. Nerdwallet.com recently published a list of the 6 Excellent No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards in 2022. Some on the list are travel rewards too. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!!
Get Rail Passes
Rail passes (like Eurail) are a great way to save money when it comes to train travel, especially in Europe. If you’re traveling around the region for a while, rail passes will likely be much cheaper than just booking individual trips. If you are booking individual trips, booking ahead of time can usually save you about 50% of the cost of a train ticket. However, that fixes you to a set timeline. If you don’t want to be tied into a fixed schedule, rail passes can save you a lot of money while giving you the flexibility you need.
If you live in the US and want to take advantage of train travel, Amtrak is an option. While living in NYC my friends and I would take the Amtrak train to Montreal for long weekends. It was less expensive than a flight, easier than going to the airports (especially in NYC) and a smooth trip. There is a great blog article at Koopy.com entitled “12 Clever Ways to Save Money On Your Next Amtrak Trip”
Consider an e-SIM Card in Destination:
Never heard of e-SIM cards? They are the next evolution of the SIM card. It’s a SIM card that is embedded into your device, so you don’t require a physical SIM card. You can activate it by installing the “eSIM profile” of a new operator. It’s important to note this only works with unlocked devices. With an eSIM card you can use multiple operators and subscribe simultaneously several data plans to suit your needs: when travelling, working from home or remotely. What’s even better about this is that it can be installed into your phone or laptop. In some cases, you can save up to 90% off roaming costs. One provider of e-SIM cards and service is Ubigi. They offer free e-SIM profiles and one-off (valid for 30 days), monthly and annual plans. For instance, you can purchase 3 Gigabytes of Data in France for $8 or 10GB for $19. It’s all convenient and prepaid with no commitments.
Savvy travelers who are always on the lookout for a good deal and can save money by following even just a few of these simple tips. As you travel more often you will learn new tips and tricks that resonate with you. Every little bit helps.
So, can traveling be expensive? Absolutely, but it can also be inexpensive and doesn’t require backpacking and staying in hostels. If tips and tricks to saving money before and during your travels check out my guide “Ultimate Guide To Reducing Your Travel Costs.”
From family getaways to cultural immersions, there are so many different types of group travel experiences to choose from.
Group travel is a great way to explore new places, make new friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're traveling with your family, friends, or a group of strangers who share your interests, there's something special about experiencing the world with others.
So, let's take a look at some of the different types of group travel options that are available:
These are just a few examples of the many niche travel options that are available. Whatever your interests, there's sure to be a travel experience that caters to your passions and hobbies.
No matter what type of group travel experience you're interested in, there's sure to be an option that's perfect for you. So, start exploring your options today and get ready to create some unforgettable memories with your fellow travelers.
Group trips are often viewed as inflexible and rigid, with a strict itinerary and little room for deviation. However, this simply isn't true. In fact, group trips can be incredibly flexible and allow for a great deal of personalization and individualization.
One of the major benefits of group travel is the convenience and organization it provides. Instead of trying to plan and coordinate every detail of your trip yourself, a group tour operator takes care of all the logistics for you. This can be a huge relief, especially if you're traveling to a foreign country or a destination you're not familiar with.
However, just because the tour operator is handling the details doesn't mean you have to stick to a strict schedule. Many group tours offer a variety of optional activities and excursions that allow you to customize your trip and do the things that interest you the most. For example, if you're on a group tour of Europe and you want to spend an extra day exploring a particular city, you can usually arrange to do so with the tour operator. Or, if you're on a group safari and you want to spend more time observing a particular animal, your guide can usually accommodate your request.
Another way group trips can be flexible is by offering different levels of accommodation. If you're on a budget, you can opt for a more economical hotel or hostel. If you prefer a more luxurious experience, you can choose a higher-end hotel or resort.
Finally, group trips often have a variety of departure dates, so you can choose a time that works best for you. And if you can't find a group trip that fits your schedule, many tour operators are willing to create a custom itinerary just for you.
In conclusion, group trips are not inherently inflexible. With the variety of optional activities, different accommodation options, and the ability to customize your itinerary, you have the power to make your group trip as flexible as you'd like it to be.
Ace Travels offers a variety of group trips to locations across the world. We can curate each trip to be as personalized as you'd like your experience to be. To learn more about what group trips are currently available click here.
As I get older I do my best to give gifts that have sentimental value or are useful. In a world where the average person continues to accumulate more and more nonessentials or has everything it makes it difficult to determine what to gift someone. I know I fit in this bucket and I am trying my hardest to ensure I only have the items I need or deem functional.
As an avid traveler, anything that can help make my travel experience better is a gift I appreciate. If you have someone on your list who is a wanderluster at heart I have some affordable gift ideas that will surely not get tossed in the donation box or gifted forward.
iWalk Compact Portable Charger
riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder/Caddy
LC-dolida 3D Sleep Bluetooth Headphones and Eye Mask
Dock & Bay Quick Drying Towels
Portable Mini Refillable Perfume Atomizer Bottles
Looking for gift ideas for the traveler in your life? Or maybe you could use one of these genius gadgets to make your next trip even better! Even the most seasoned traveler can pick up new tricks every now and then. Have you ever stumbled on the perfect travel gadget — the thing that turned into the item you now would never dream of leaving the house without? Here are some of my favorites right now.
The Paravel Aviator Carry-On Plus
The Riemot Luggage Drink Caddy
Behold for the coolest and most functional travel gadget!!
Ok picture this.....you are walking through the airport. You are pulling or pushing your luggage with one hand. With your other hand you are trying to juggle your phone, your drink and any other item you may be carrying. Can you see it?
Easy Dry Beach Towels
Travel Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
The Gift of Travel
There’s something so satisfying about finding the perfect travel tool that makes your life a million times easier. We think these gifts are a great place to start!
These post may contain affiliate links, which means that Ace Travels may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Halloween Inspired Trip Ideas!
I think using a specific holiday (Easter, Halloween, etc) as a launch pad to planning a trip is a creative way to experience and see things you would not normally have access to. I also think it puts the culture aspect of travel upfront and center because in many cases holidays can be a defining aspect of your destinations culture. It helps you experience that country in a way you normally wouldn’t be able to at other times of the year.
If you weren’t already aware Halloween is one of the oldest holidays. Its origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (sow in). The Celts, who lived mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.
This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Although it stems from religious beliefs, it is still celebrated today by many people of different religious backgrounds.
If you are someone who loves Halloween and traveling you are in for a treat today. I have decided to take us on a quick trip around the world so we can learn how other countries celebrate Halloween. So, if you ever want to take a trip to celebrate Halloween elsewhere here are some countries to consider.
In Mexico Halloween is more of a multiday affair. It’s a time to remember your loved ones who have passed on. Our commercialized Halloween doesn’t hold a candle to El Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which is believed to take place on November 2. It is commemorated with a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31. Dia de los Muertos is a defining aspect of Mexican culture and a joyous holiday.
This celebration is designed to honor the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes during these days. Customs vary across the country, but core traditions remain the same wherever you go. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members. They also make elaborately decorated altars (called ofrendas) in their homes to welcome the spirits.
If you are fortunate to visit Mexico during this time you will find participants will often paint their faces to resemble skulls or create skeleton costumes or dead versions of Mexican historical or cultural figures. In some cities, like Mexico City, there are massive parades. One of the most famous celebrations takes place on a small island names Janitzio in Lake Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan. Thousands of visitors gather at the local cemetery to watch the Purepecha indigenous people perform Dia De Los Muerto rituals. There are also processions with music and folk dances and you will also get to see the local fisherman illuminate the lake with torches.
If you want to visit Ireland for this spooky holiday you will be in for some particularly unique foods and ancient traditions.
Many countries have their own culinary traditions and recipes for holidays and Ireland is no different. As part of tradition, Colcannon (mashed potatoes mixed with Kale or cabbage) and barmbrack (sweet bread with dried fruits) are served. Coins are said to be wrapped in paper and then put into the potatoes for the children to find. Perhaps, the Irish version of trick or treat!! For fortune-telling purposes, charms (coin, a ring or a piece of rag) are added to the Barmbrack. The charm piece you receive in your piece of barmbrack indicates your fortune for the next year. If you get the rag then your financial future is not great, the coin means prosperity and the ring is of course romance in the offing.
In Ireland you will also find lots of bonfires. Bonfires have always been part of the Samhain celebration and it's not uncommon to find many around the country on October 31st, as they're all lit for a reason. Legend says that bonfires could ward off bad fortune as well as evil spirits and they also served as a form of protection as well as metaphorical future insurance for good fortune. It was also believed that bonfires encouraged dreams, and the embers would often be scattered in the fields of farmers in order to ward off bad luck in the face of the following year.
Visit Ireland during this holiday and you will be in for a treat. In Dublin you can attend a family friendly event that begins with an overview of the origins of Halloween including the games often played on this holiday. For instance, he Celts were obsessed with finding out the identity of their future spouses and many games are centered around this including apple snap and bobbing for apples. In Galway over 70,000 people line the stress every year to witness a parade full of magic. You will experience giant creations, sculptural images, pyrotechnics, custom made costumes and performances bringing that years chosen theme to life.
Forget the trick-or-treating, in Japan Halloween is for the adults. It’s all about cosplay and partying. Some people argue that the concept of trick or treating wouldn't work in Japan because Japanese people don't like bothering other people, especially not strangers. Therefore Halloween in Japan is mostly for the grown ups and it's all about partying and dressing up!
If you’re wondering where to celebrate Halloween in Japan, the street parties are a great place to start. They take place throughout Japan in popular spots such as squares and parks. There’s a huge annual Halloween parade at Roppongi Hills which always turns into a huge street party. Another one of the best parties is in Shibuya (Tokyo) where the Scramble Crossing and Center Gai are closed off from traffic and the partying goes on until the early hours!
Add to this the most prestigious event of the day, the Kawasaki Halloween Parade and you are in for a treat. It features around 4,000 costumed participants and over 120,000 spectators. Participants must apply at least two months in advance and pay a 1,000 Japanese Yen fee. Talk about a party!!!
In Romania Halloween is a fairly recent tradition transplanted from the USA. The home of the fictitious Dracula celebrates Halloween with a dance party on All Hallows Eve. As such it would only be right that Bran Castle, is one of the several castles associated with the Halloween festivities. In addition to music the castle organized Vlad Tepes guided tours from dusk until midnight and entertainment includes traditional Romanian folklore dances, the presence of Count Dracula, ghosts and vampires. You can also watch horror movies and animation. The festivities are not just for adults though. Children can attend and at the end of the evening awards are given to those with the best costumes. Requests to attend the party starts as early as January from all around the world.
This is just a small sampling of some of countries that celebrate Halloween. There are actually many more. If you are ever seeking to pull together a Halloween inspired trip I would be thrilled to help. You can always contact me here to get started.
Gift Ideas for the Wanderlust Mom!
Mother’s Day is right around the corner. It’s been a very hard year for us all — but especially for moms. They have had to deal with not only the worry about the pandemic itself, but its effect on their work schedules, their kids’ schooling and socialization, and all of the other issues that have come up over the past year. Let’s add to that the inability to simply get away for some R&R due to travel coming to a halt.
So whether you are shopping for your own mom, your wife or any other “mom” figure, it’s time to buckle up and get ready to be THE FAVORITE because I have a host of awesome gifts for that wanderlust mom.
No Need To Count Sheep Headphones
What can be better than falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the ocean, rain or nature sounds after a long day of moving about, work, or managing the kids? The Perytong Wireless Bluetooth headphones are designed with ultra-thin HD speakers which make it perfect for sleeping without the discomfort especially for side sleepers.
I don’t leave home without these headphones. She can also use them for workouts, jogging, yoga, meditation, or air travel. And hubbies if you are a snorer trust me when I tell you she will LOVE this gift.
Sneakers that will have her walking on Cloud Nine
The Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Leather Sneaker is not just stylish but provides the ultimate in comfort and breathability so that special woman in your life can walk and explore for hours or chase those little ones without the foot pain.
She will be able to rock them with jeans, shorts or even a cute summer dresses. The leather is super soft and of excellent quality. Finally, they come in a variety of colors and patterns. The all-black leather is my all-time favorite but I also have them in white and a soft pink. I love them so much I recommend them to everyone.
Help Her Keep Those Pesky Mosquitoes Away
Going to the beach, camping or any place mosquitoes like to be?
If bugs love her as much as you do there is a bug repellent gear that will be her forever go to! And you need to consider this gear.
This Essential Wrap from Pang Wangle is a light and breathable wrap that is essential for outdoor activities/events or dining al fresco. It will protect her from bug bites with an Insect Shield technology on the fabric. The Essential Wrap is soft and comfy - made of organic cotton and sustainable Tencel modal fabric. And what's even better is that it's so versatile she can wear it as a scarf or wrap. Like, hello......winning!!
But why stop there?
She can also step out in style and without worrying about those pesky mosquitoes with her insect repellent leggings. Designed for outdoor fun with a waistband pocket for money, ID and a key, this high waist and comfortable compression on these leggings are flattering on any shape.
In addition to the built-in Insect Shield® bug repellent they are moisture-wicking and breathable certified organic cotton/spandex. Insect Shield® technology repels insects including those that can carry Zika virus, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, malaria and other insect-borne diseases. She won’t be able to tell it’s there, but the bugs can.
Keep the Adventures Alive
One device that goes everywhere with me is my Amazon Kindle. If your lady is an avid reader and she doesn’t already own one, then the Kindle is a must.
Not only can she purchase and carry thousands of books in one device, but she can also connect her device to her library card and borrow and download books for free via the Libby app. Kindle also allows access magazines and newspaper. Plus, it takes up NO space in her carry-on bag or purse.
And now a days the Kindle comes with so many great features like a backlight so she doesn't keep you awake at night and waterproof so she can read while sitting in the pool. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Help Her Travel in Style
Nothing screams vacation like surprising your love with a beautiful carry-on suitcase. The Paravel Aviator Carry-on Plus is luxurious and sustainable luggage is full of thoughtful features. Equipped with durable recycled polycarbonate exterior, recycled zippers, a lining made from 15 upcycled plastic water bottles, vegan leather details, and an aircraft-grade recycled aluminum handle.
It features impossibly smooth double spinner wheels with carbon steel bearings, an interior compression board, a scuff-hiding textured finish, smart interior pockets, and a removable accessories pouch. Not only will she look great walking through the airport with this in hand, but she will do so in a breeze.
Give Her The Experience of a Lifetime
Want to really surprise that special mother in your life? Book her a new experience to her dream destination. Maybe its day sailing along the Almafi coast in Italy and then a romantic dinner on a cliffside restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Or perhaps, its relaxing in your overwater bungalow, both of you with a glass of champagne in hand, as you take in the tranquility and vastness of the aquamarine ocean that sits before you.
Too much to do yourself or simply want some help? I can put all the details of that experience together and help you wrap it all up for the big reveal. She will be left speechless. Click here to fill out a quote request form and get the process started.
Stress Free Travel Planning
Not quite sure where that special mom in your life wants to go but you know she wants to go somewhere SOON. Then give the gift of travel planning with an Ace Travels Gift Card. Take away her stress and worries of having to plan and coordinate and let Ace Travels handle all the details. We will work with her to determine the best destination, if she doesn't already know, and then all she has to do is pack for that much deserved vacation.
With countries slowly opening, and some now closing, their borders to U.S. travelers, I want to help keep you abreast of the ever-changing entry requirements and restrictions to varying international travel destinations. This is NOT a comprehensive list so if you don't see your specific desired destination my apologies. As you know with so many countries it is difficult to stay updated but I will do my best to keep this as comprehensive as possible.
I will update this every month but as always, if you are considering traveling you should always check with the U.S. Embassy on the country specific information and the airline before finalizing travel plans.
See below, the countries that have opened their borders or closed their borders and updates on the travel entry requirements for U.S. travelers:
Albania: PCR test is not required to enter the country.
Anguilla: Anguilla is open for pre-approved visitors from certain countries, and these people must apply to visit Anguilla. Approved travelers must complete a pre-registration form, take a COVID-19 PCR test within 3 to 5 days of travel, and present negative results. Everyone is required to be tested on day 10 of their visit.
Antigua: All travelers arriving by air must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 7 days of their flight. Not required for children under 12 years of age.
Aruba: All non-resident eligible travelers must obtain an online travel qualification, and 72 hours prior to travel you will be sent a health questionnaire. You must provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure, purchase Aruba’s COVID-19 insurance, agree to health screening and temperature checks on arrival.
The Bahamas: All travelers must apply for an online Health Visa, present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result that has been taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of travel, and anyone staying longer than 5 days will be tested again on day 5.
Barbados: Borders are open to American citizens. Negative PCR must test taken within 72 hours of flight departure. Quarantine in effect. Everyone must fill out an online Immigration and Customs Form 24 hours before travel.
Belize: Passengers must download the Belize Health app and obtain a negative PCR COVID-19 test result 72 hours before departure.
Bermuda: If you are from a country the WHO has classified as having community transmission of COVID-19, you must obtain Travel Authorization, and this requires a negative pre-departure test result taken no more than 7 days before departure. Eligible travelers must fill out a screening form, show proof of health insurance, undergo further COVID-19 testing upon arrival and quarantine until the results are ready.
Bolivia: Negative PCR test taken within 7 days prior to arrival in Bolivia and foreign travelers must have their test result endorsed by the respective Bolivian Consulate before arriving. Anyone who arrives without a medical certificate and negative test result will be subject to quarantine.
Botswana: International borders are open. Negative COVID PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of departure from country of origin. Screening and health questionnaire to be completed upon arrival.
Burkina Faso: All international travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated no more than 5 days prior to departure, and quarantine for 14 days on arrival at a location of your choice and at your own cost.
Burundi: Burundi re-opened for international flights on November 8th. Passengers must have a printed medical certificate with a negative PCR test for COVID-19, issued no more than 72 hours before departure. Arrivals will be tested again, and must quarantine for 72 hours at booked hotel.
Cape Verde: Passengers need a COVID-19 test to enter and exit, and the test has to be done within 72 hours before travel. Anyone without a COVID-19 test within the 72 hour timeframe will not be allowed to board their flight. Inter-island travel requires a form to be filled out prior to flight.
Central African Republic: Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result issued no more than 7 days before arrival. Everyone will be subject to medical screening and quarantine for 14 days.
Chad: Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result issued no more than 7 days before arrival. Everyone will be subject to quarantine for 7 days.
Chile: The country opened borders on November 23rd. Entry is via Santiago [SCL] only. PCR test 72 hours prior entering the country, 14 Days quarantine, curfew 12am-5am, affidavit of good health, insurance policy covering Covid19, tracking app downloaded.
Colombia: As of November, a negative COVID-19 PCR test is no longer required to enter the country. All eligible international passengers must fill out an immigration form online 24 hours before the flight.
Costa Rica: PCR Test is no longer a requirement to enter the country (as of October 26th). Travel insurance including medical and lodge coverage are required.
Côte d’Ivoire: You must have a valid visa for entry, and you should organize this in advance. An air travel declaration form must be filled out prior to departure, and travelers must obtain a negative COVID-19 test result, dated a maximum of 7 days prior to travel.
Croatia: Rollback - Croatia has closed borders to North American travelers.
Djibouti: On arrival at all entry points, anyone over the age of 11 will be tested for COVID-19 and must remain at the point of entry until results are received (up to 4 hours). If your result is negative, you will be free to go to your accommodation. If the result is positive you will be taken to a government designated-quarantine facility.
Dominica: All visitors must fill out an online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, take a PCR swab test up to 72 hours before arrival and provide proof of a negative result. Upon arrival, health checks are in place, including a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) on arrival. If the RDT is negative, then the traveler must self-isolate in a government operated or certified facility for 5 days before having another PCR test.
Dominican Republic: All passengers must fill out a completed Traveler’s Health Affidavit, and rapid tests for COVID-19 will be given to randomly selected travelers upon arrival, and those who are displaying symptoms.
Dubai: Dubai has opened to all travelers. Negative PCR (valid for 96 hours) upon arrival to Dubai. Passengers must have proof of medical insurance, sign a health declaration form before departure, register all details in a COVID-19 DXB app and undergo a second PCR test at the airport, before immigration and self-isolate until results are ready. Remaining U.A.E borders remain closed.
Ecuador: Open to all international travelers with proof of negative Covid-19 test within 10 days, no quarantine. Galápagos Islands are also open but with proof of negative Covid-19 test within 4 days, mandatory health insurance and health declaration needed.
El Salvador: Passengers must have a printed medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result issued no more than 72 hours before your departure flight or land arrival.
Egypt: Passengers must submit a fresh PCR test 96 hours before flight and fill out a public health card. Medical Insurance needed. Passengers are also subject to temperature checks.
Ethiopia: Passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative PCR COVID-19 test result that has been issued no more than 5 days (120 hours) prior to arrival. Arrivals are subject to 7 days mandatory self-isolation. Passengers without a negative PCR test result will be quarantined and tested on arrival.
Equatorial Guinea: A negative COVID-19 test result that is no older than two days must be presented on arrival. Passengers without a medical certificate are subject to medical screening and quarantine.
French Polynesia: Proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 3-days prior to international air departure, sanitary entry form upon arrival and health registration. Self-test 4 days after arrival (an envelope will be given to each traveler upon their arrival at the airport) containing an oral and nasal swab and instructions. Visitors must obtain proper travel insurance and self-test 4 days after arrival.
Ghana: Negative PCR test required within 72 hours of scheduled departure from origin and a second PCR test upon arrival (paid locally) with results in 30 minutes. Face coverings mandatory in public.
Grenada: Borders are open to American citizens. Travelers arriving from all countries are required to present a certified copy of a negative PCR test conducted within 7 days of travel. All travelers must fill out a health declaration form, register and download the Grenada contact tracing app, and will be given a rapid test on arrival. Non-nationals must have travel insurance to cover COVID-19, or declare that they will bear the cost for treatment and isolation.
Guatemala: Negative PCR test required within 72 hours of travel to Guatemala. Passengers need to fill the Health Pass Covid-19 Form.
Guyana: All passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 certificate, and the test must be taken at least 7 days prior to arrival. Passengers who have a test completed within 72 hours will be allowed immediate entry into Guyana without restrictions. If your test was taken between 4 and 7 days of entry, you will be subject to a second PCR test and must self-isolate until a negative result is produced.
Haiti: Passengers must complete a COVID-19 health questionnaire, and anyone with a temperature above 100.4ºF (38ºC) will not be allowed to board the flight.
Honduras: Travelers must obtain a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid test result issued within 72 hours of arriving, and fill out a form online before departure. If you bring a negative PCR or rapid test, no quarantine is required.
Iceland: All travelers must fill out a pre-registration form. All passengers arriving from high-risk areas who intend to stay for 10 days or more must undergo 14 days quarantine. To shorten quarantine, you must take a PCR test for COVID-19 upon arrival to Iceland, followed by a second test after 5 days. While waiting for results, you must follow quarantine measures until the result of the second test is known.
Ireland: All travelers must fill out a health passenger locator form. Travelers from Northern Ireland or a green list country will not have to restrict their movements for 14 days upon arrival. All arrivals not on the green list will be asked to restrict their movements for 14 days.
Jamaica: U.S. Citizens over the age of 12 must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result or negative antigen result, conducted less than 10 days from your intended travel date at an accredited medical laboratory. Prior to check-in or boarding a flight to Jamaica, all passengers must apply for travel authorization up to five days before the date of intended travel to Jamaica, but no less than two days prior.
Kenya: Passengers are permitted to enter with a negative PCR-based Covid-19 test conducted up to 96 hours before arrival. Passengers need to complete a Traveler Health Surveillance form on the plane.
Kosovo: Travelers do not require a COVID-19 test for arrival, and there is no mandatory quarantine.
Lebanon: Passengers must fill out a health declaration form online before departure, and have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued no more than 96 hours before arrival. A second PCR test must be taken on arrival. Depending on where you are traveling from, requirements may differ. Check with your airline for the most up-to-date information.
Liberia: Travelers who arrive with a negative COVID-19 test result done within 72 hours prior to arrival will be allowed entry with symptom monitoring via a mobile app. If you do not get a pre-travel test, you will be tested upon arrival and have to wait for the results.
Maldives: All visitors must fill out a health declaration form and an immigration arrival card. Health screenings are in place on arrival, and anyone showing symptoms will require a PCR test at their cost. All tourists and short term visitors must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19, conducted within 96 hours of departure.
Mauritania: Travelers entering Mauritania must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test dated within 72 hours before arrival.
Mauritius: Passengers arriving in Mauritius must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 7 days before departure, and are subject to another test on arrival. Mandatory quarantine for 14 days, and a quarantine hotel reservation must be made.
Mexico: Borders are open to American citizens. No testing requirements in effect.
Mozambique: Negative COVID PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of departure from country of origin. Screening and health questionnaire to be completed upon arrival.
Namibia: Negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival, full travel itinerary to be provided and medical insurance required. On arrival travelers will go through a health screening and will also need to complete a short health questionnaire.
Nicaragua: Anyone who does enter Nicaragua is required to have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 test result, and the test must have been taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Nigeria: From 5 September, flights have restarted to Abuja and Lagos. All intending travelers must register via the Nigerian International Travel Portal. Eligible passengers must fill out a Health Declaration Form and upload evidence of their negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours (4 days) of departure to Nigeria. Everyone must self-isolate at one location for at least 7 days, and will be tested again on day 7.
Pakistan: All arrivals must submit a health declaration form, and will be subject to thermal screening. Anyone without COVID-19 symptoms will be given instructions to self-isolate for 14 days.
Panama: Negative PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival in Panama. Quick tests are available at the airport for those not able to fulfill the 48-hour requirement. Arrivals must sign a health declaration form.
Paraguay: Non-resident foreign nationals are now permitted to enter Paraguay by air, so long as they follow health protocols. Non-resident passengers must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result (taken at most 72 hours before arrival at an authorized laboratory in the country of departure or of transit). Foreign travelers must have international medical insurance with coverage of coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment costs. Everyone must fill out a Traveler's Health information form online, at most 24 hours before departure.
Peru: International borders to Americans under the following restrictions: Negative PCR test, antigenic test or medical certificate of epidemiological discharge required and cannot be more than 72 hours old. Children only need a medical certificate of good health.
Romania: Arrivals from countries with a high rate of COVID-19 infection should self-isolate at home or quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from countries with a lower or equal rate of COVID-19 transmission to Romania in the last 14 days are allowed to enter without restrictions.
Rwanda: Borders open with requirement of negative PCR test 120 hours prior to arrival, fill out a passenger locator form, and upload their COVID-19 test certificate. Arrivals will be subject to a second test, and results will be delivered within 24 hours, during which time you will self-quarantine in designated accommodation.
São Tomé and Príncipe: Air passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, and must undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine in a private residence or hotel (at your own expense).
Sierra Leone: Travelers to Sierra Leone must obtain authorization from the Government of Sierra Leone, produce a negative PCR COVID-19 test issued no later than 72 hours before departure, fill out a pre-departure public health passenger locator form, provide proof of payment for on arrival COVID-19 tests paid through the online portal, and then upon arrival undergo both a COVID-19 PCR and RDT test.
Somalia: Travelers flying to Somalia must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than 96 hours before travel.
Somaliland: Travelers flying to Egal International Airport must have a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 96 hours before travel. If you do not have a negative result, you may be quarantined for 14 days at your own expense in a government approved facility.
South Korea: Anyone who arrives in South Korea will undergo quarantine for 14 days. Some travelers may be tested for COVID-19 within 3 days of arrival depending on the country of origin, others will be tested within 14 days. If you are not a resident in South Korea, you will be quarantined in government-arranged facilities and charged a fee.
St. Lucia: Borders are open to American citizens. All arriving passengers 5 years and older must have a negative result from a PCR test done no more than 7 days prior to arrival in St. Lucia, and need to submit it by email before travel. Clients must then print and travel with a copy of their test results, the auto response email from the form submission and the Travel Authorization Letter they will receive.
St Kitts and Nevis: All incoming passengers must fill out a Travel Authorization Form and obtain a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of travel, and upload to the authorization portal.
St Vincent and the Grenadines: All travelers must complete an online Pre-Arrival Travel Form, and everyone should arrive with a certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 5 days before arrival. Upon arrival, everyone will be subject to another PCR test. While waiting for the results, everyone will undergo mandatory quarantine for clearance. The Port Health Officer may request a continuance of quarantine for 9 to 16 days.
South Africa: South Africa is open! Negative COVID PCR test must be taken within 72 hours of departure from country of origin. Screening and health questionnaire to be completed upon arrival.
Sudan: Travelers must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued at most 96 hours before arrival to be eligible for entry.
Tanzania: Open to international travel. Passengers must complete a “Health Form” and present this upon arrival. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival may undergo enhanced screening and COVID-19 testing, followed by potential 14-day self-isolation. Mt Kilimanjaro open with precautions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Travelers must submit a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued no more than 72 hours (3 days) before arrival, and will have to pay for another COVID-19 test on arrival.
The Republic of Congo: All passengers arriving in the Republic of Congo by commercial flights are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon entry, and will be subject to quarantine at their own expense.
Togo: Travelers require a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure, must complete an online form and pay for a COVID-19 test (on the same website) before travel. Upon arrival, the COVID-19 PCR test will be carried out, and before leaving the airport you must download the Togo Safe app, and specify the location of self-isolation until you receive your test results (up to 24 hours). A positive test result requires self-isolation either at home or at a government facility until you test negative.
Tunisia: All visitors must present a negative RT-PCR laboratory test taken within 72 hours of departure (it must not exceed 120 hours upon arrival). All travelers must fill out an online form, and present the QR code prior to boarding and to immigration upon arrival. Everyone must download the Tunisian government’s ‘track and trace’ app. For the first 14 days, most travelers will be subject to self-isolation at their place of residence, a government-approved hotel or quarantine center.
Turkey: Borders open to all travelers with temperature check upon arrival.
Turks & Caicos: Borders are open. All travelers must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 5 days of arrival in the TCI. Passengers must obtain pre-authorization via the TCI Assured portal.
Uganda: Arriving passengers must show negative PCR test results issued no more than 72 hours before boarding the aircraft. Departing passengers must show a negative PCR test results issued within 72 hours prior to departing from Uganda. So if you have been in Uganda longer than 72 hours, you will need to be tested again in Uganda.
United Kingdom: Within 48 hours of arrival in the UK, all travelers must complete an online form. Most travelers are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to the UK, unless arriving from countries listed on the travel corridor exemption list. Different rules apply through the UK with the national governments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland easing restrictions in different phases and at different times.
Uzbekistan: Countries will be divided into color categories of green, yellow and red. Travelers from the yellow or red zones must obtain a negative test result prior to arrival, and may be subject to further testing and self-isolation for 14 days.
Zambia: Negative COVID PCR test must be taken within 14 days of departure from country of origin, and upon entry may be tested via nasal swab if symptoms are displayed. Screening and health questionnaire to be completed upon arrival. Tourist visas are only available in advance, not on arrival.
Zimbabwe: Negative COVID PCR test must be taken within 48 hours of departure from country of origin. Screening and health questionnaire to be completed upon arrival.
The Wonders of Group Travel
Whether it’s with your tribe or with a group of strangers, group travel quite often gets a bad rap. The thoughts of designing a travel experience suitable for a number of people, each with their own distinct personality, sometimes ominously sounds like any effort crafted by a committee where the highs and lows are leveled out for the sake of group harmony. However, I have found that a group trip can be one of the most rewarding ways to travel given its benefits. Today, I want to share my five top reasons why everyone should consider a group trip at some point in their life.
2. Make Life Long Friendships
3. Safety and Assurance
4. It's Cost Effective
5. Push yourself out of your comfort zone
As I look back on my years of travel many of my most memorable moments have been with groups. I can tell you where we were, who was with me and how we were all feeling in the moment. When done right and in great company, a journey can change the way you see yourself and the people around you. My preference is to travel with others because you can share those beautiful experiences and change together. It’s why I encourage and love planning group trips!
How to Choose the Right Luggage!
Almost all travelers have that Nightmare Luggage story. You spent a lot of money on a fancy brand-name bag that broke on the first leg of the trip. Or you skimped on the spending and got exactly what you paid for. Or the bag that you thought would be comfortable and versatile turned out to be neither as you dragged it over the cobblestones of Florence or humped it on aching shoulders through the crowded, narrow streets of Kathmandu.
Choosing the wrong luggage can waste precious travel time and energy and can cause a lot of aches and pains. Choosing the right luggage will free you up to enjoy your trip without any unnecessary aggravation. To help you pick the best possible bag for your next adventure — here are five simple questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which type of bag is best for you.
What are the baggage restrictions and limits of all the airlines I will be traveling with? Some countries have more restrictive guidelines that are more stringently enforced. Smaller airlines in Europe, for example, require smaller and lighter bags than in the US. Make sure you know what the requirements will be so you don’t get stuck having to pay hefty fines or finding new luggage at the last minute. If I have multiple flights within a trip, I pack using luggage that corresponds to the airline with the strictest luggage requirements. This way I have no surprise baggage fees. In Scotland we took a very small plan from Glasgow to Islay. They had very specific luggage requirements so I made sure to only travel with that piece of luggage. Check out our plane to Islay.
Am I an over-packer or a shopper? If you know that you tend to bring more than you need and buy when you get there, opt for an expandable bag as your carry-on, and slip in an empty, durable nylon bag to bring back new things with you. Note: be prepared to pay any additional fees that might apply for additional bags, or if your bag becomes too large/heavy as a result of over-packing! I knew when I went to Hong Kong I was going to shop and as such I made it a point to pack an extra foldable bag that I could use to bring back my purchases.
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How much attention do I want my luggage to get? Yes, sometimes it’s tempting to get the stand-out, fashion-forward luggage set in fuchsia — but if you’re heading to a destination that’s known for theft, sometimes the better option is to pick a suitcase that blends in with the crowd. There are always things you can do to help with identification — a colorful ribbon, a sticker, a unique tag — but if you don’t want your luggage to be a target for opportunistic thieves, just opt to keep it simple.
How much transferring will I be doing on this trip? Are you heading to one main location that will be your “home base” of travel operations? Or will you be constantly on the move from city to city, hopping trains, getting taxis, taking buses? Will someone be available to help you lift your bags if you need assistance (partner, children, tour assistant), or will you be the one fully responsible for handling your luggage at all times? The more you’ll be moving and hefting, the more you should aim for simple, lightweight, durable, and versatile. Pack only the essentials, and look for bags that offer more than one transport method — for example, a carry-on with hidden pull-out straps and can be transformed into a comfy backpack for hands-free movement.
And in that vein of questioning: Does my luggage match the type and terrain of the trip I’m taking? Wheeled suitcases are great — if you have lots of flat floors and smooth sidewalks along which to roll them. But after two days of lugging a heavy suitcase through bumpy streets, broken sidewalks, dirt paths, or up endless flights of stairs in old, gorgeous elevator-less buildings, you’ll be praying to the luggage gods for a simple backpack with padded shoulder straps.
I am very particular when I shop for luggage and am often asked for recommendations on luggage. I highly recommend Samsonite. My go to for all almost my trips is my Samsonite Carry On. It has traveled with me all ove the world and it holds up in every possible scenario. I can pull it when I need to since it has wheels but if I am walking on non-flat surfaces it is light enough to carry. It has enough room for all my belongings regardless of the type of trip I am taking. And it is sturdy enough to withhold a beating given its been on well over one hundred trips with me. Here is the exact model I have.
The last thing you want to be focused on while you’re on the trip of a lifetime is some annoying, avoidable luggage irritation. With a little investigating and preparation before you pack up and head out, you can make sure your luggage fits seamlessly into your travel plans. If you are ready to start planning your next adventure and need some assistance contact me by clicking here.
From the desk of your travel agent...