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Tips on travel during a pandemic from TravelPerkers

1 Feb 2021

Brought to you by TravelPerk, the #1 business travel platform.

Tips on travel during a pandemic from TravelPerkers

Travel changed in 2020. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic marked a new “epoch” for travel, and we are still in the midst of these changes. With so much uncertainty, and new restrictions on travel and movement, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do. 

So, we asked a few of our employees who did take a trip in 2020 for a little bit of advice. Here’s what they had to say!

suitcase on a runway

Tip #1: Check-in your luggage and listen to the person at the gate

Bridie Slater- Talent Acquisition Manager

Trip: Barcelona – London 
When: December 2020

Best travel advice: Check-in your hand luggage if you can, as airlines aren’t letting much cabin luggage on at the moment. Save yourself the yellow label faff! Listen to the person at the gate and don’t get up to queue before they call you (and I’m British, you know how we like to queue!). They’re boarding specific rows to help keep social distancing measures, so try to respect that. Don’t forget to take all your paperwork – tests, residency permits, citizenship paperwork, etc., and take a few extra jumpers with you in case you get stuck!

What she wishes she knew: The sooner you book the better! Airlines have a lot of flexibility at the moment, so book now no matter what you’re flying for. If you need to change your flight, it takes less than 20 seconds on any airline app to get them changed for free! That’ll save you a lot of panic when last minute restrictions come into play. 

Overall experience: 👍

travel restriction information

Tip #2: Research all entry requirements and get a flexible fare

Delia van Zeeburg, Content Coordinator

Trip: Barcelona – Amsterdam
When: December 2020

Best travel advice: Research all the requirements for entering a country (tests required, which test, which forms etc.) and buy a flexible fare. That way, if the restrictions or entry requirements at your destination change, you can cancel/postpone your travel plans easily.

What she wishes she knew: If I had known that the check-in line was going to be that long, I’d have arrived to the airport earlier

Overall experience: 👍

Flexible travel

Tip #3: Patience, optimism and preparation are key

Eran Erlik, VP Brand & Creative

Trip: Tel Aviv – Barcelona
When: December 2020

Best travel advice: Be patient, optimistic and prepared!

What he wishes he knew: All of the relevant restrictions at each airport, what paperwork you need, what you’re expected to show and when. 

Overall experience: 👍

surgical face masks for travel

Tip #4: Don’t forget a comfortable mask

Michael Garbutt, Partnership Manager TravelSafe API

Trip: London – Barcelona
When: July 2020

Best travel advice: Have a comfortable mask!

What he wishes he knew: I arrived super early on both flights. As their airport was quiet and staff generally wanted to minimize contact points, the time you would normally give yourself to go through an airport is fine. Also there isn’t much to do in the airport.

Overall experience: 👍

airport flight information

Tip #5: Stay updated and comply with each country’s health requirements for a smooth trip

Mira Wise, Marketing Automation Manager

Trip: Barcelona-Lisbon, Barcelona-New York, Barcelona-Istanbul
When: September 2020, November-Dec 2020, and January 2021, respectively

Best travel advice: Research and understand each country’s health requirements. They change all the time, but if you’re prepared and comply, traveling can be smooth. Always book flexible fares (or at least check the airline’s change/cancellation policy) in case you can’t make the flight, and get a comfortable mask, especially for long-haul routes – the backs of your ears will thank me!

What she wishes she knew: How difficult it can be to get PCR test results in the allotted time frame for some countries. To avoid any mishaps, I started scheduling PCR tests for my return before I even traveled. That way I didn’t have to anxiously wait for results, or worry about being denied boarding while trying to get back home.

Overall experience: 👍

Stay informed on travel restrictions COVID

Tip #6: Bring your own snacks and stay seated

Ruxandra Popescu, Webinars Specialist

Trip: Barcelona – Seville
When: November 2020

Best travel advice: If you’re not a big fan of fast-food, make sure to bring your own snacks for before/during the flight, as most cafes and restaurants in the airport are closed or have minimal options available. Other than that, I really like the travel experience now that everyone HAS TO stay seated (even after the aircraft has landed. You actually get off the plane per row). It makes the whole thing a lot calmer. The masks aren’t such a big deal either.

What she wishes she knew:  Definitely double-check public transportation services to their airport, as many shuttles are departing from different points than usual to avoid crowds. That can add some time to your journey. 

Overall experience: 👍

piles of paperwork

Tip #7: Get your paperwork in order and fill everything in before you go

Tal Zohar, Chief Marketing Officer

Trip: Tel Aviv – Paris – Lisbon, Lisbon – Istanbul – Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv – Paris – Barcelona, Barcelona – Frankfurt – Tel Aviv
When: September & October 2020

Best travel advice: Have all of your paperwork printed and ready, and make sure that you fill in any online forms in advance. Arrive earlier than you’re used to just in case. If you can, treat yourself to a business class seat—it’s much less crowded.

What he wishes he knew: If you do end up traveling in business class, don’t expect the fancy food.

Overall experience: 👍

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