I’m Vaccinated, Now What? 7 Post-Pandemic Travel Checklist For Vaccinated Travelers

After months of being stuck at home due to the global pandemic, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. The vaccines are being rolled out and we’re finally seeing the light at the end of this dark tunnel. The travel plans that we’ve been holding for months or years will finally find their way to come true. 

So if you’re one of the lucky few who have already been vaccinated, you might be wondering: what’s next? Can you go ahead and book a hotel in Waterford Ireland for your dream Irish trip? Is it okay to burn your face masks ‘til they turn into ashes? Can you start browsing airline options and tour companies? 

Good news: Vaccinated people can travel again. But while you’re a few steps closer to fulfilling your dream post-pandemic getaway, there’s still a couple of things to consider before deciding to hit the road. 

To help you prepare for your upcoming travels, we’ve put together a checklist to guide your post-pandemic travel planning. 

1. Don’t let your guard down

Even though fully vaccinated travelers are largely protected from the virus themselves, the extent to which they can spread the virus to other people is still unclear. They must recognize that other people are still vulnerable. 

With this, it’s highly suggested to take the COVID-19 precautions that we’ve been following for months: 

  • Wear face masks
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Observe proper hand-washing
  • Use sanitizers, alcohol-based rubs, disinfecting wipes, etc
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Refrain from physical contact (handshakes, hugs, etc)
  • Travel with pandemic essentials
  • Book hotel accommodations, airlines, and tour companies that take health and safety as seriously as you. 

Even though you’re given the green light to travel, we still have a global obligation to protect each other. Let’s continue to do these things until the majority of the population has been vaccinated and further studies confirm that it’s safe to let loose. 

2. Wait for a few weeks before traveling

After becoming fully vaccinated, health officials recommend waiting at least two weeks before traveling. It’s also advised to continue taking COVID-19 precautions even after getting your jab. 

3. Know the countries that are open to vaccinated travelers 

Planning to travel overseas? A growing list of countries is once again welcoming international visitors. Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting tested for COVID-19 before travel UNLESS it’s required by the international destination.

Here are some of the countries that are open for vaccinated travelers: 

  • Anguilla
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Republic of Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Israel
  • Iceland
  • Montenegro
  • Nepal
  • Poland
  • Seychelles
  • Slovenia

These countries are eliminating testing and quarantine requirements for those who have been fully vaccinated. Bring your proof of vaccination and other medical records, along with other necessary travel documents. Keep an eye on the updates too. 

Still aren’t vaccinated? See if the countries mentioned above and your target destinations are open to unvaccinated travelers. Chances are that you’ll need to present a negative COVID-19 test result and may be obliged to undergo quarantine for two weeks.

4. Avoid these high-risk countries

Just because you’re vaccinated doesn’t mean you’re invincible. And just because they’re open for international travelers doesn’t mean they’re safe. For your safety, you might still want to avoid traveling to countries with high infection rates, low vaccination rates, and overwhelmed healthcare infrastructure. 

To know more about these high-risk countries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly updates their COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination. They have a risk assessment level for COVID-19: 

  • Level 4: COVID-19 Very High
    • Travelers should avoid all travel to the destinations listed here.
  • Level 3: COVID-19 High
    • Travelers should avoid all nonessential travel to the destinations listed here
  • Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate
    • Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid all nonessential travel to the destinations listed here.
  • Level 1: COVID-19 Low
    • All travelers should follow health protocols (masks on, avoid crowds, physical distancing, proper handwashing) and watch their health for signs of illness. 
  • Level Unknown: COVID-19 Unknown
    • Travelers avoid all nonessential travel to the following destinations because these countries have not reported COVID-19 data and the risk is unknown.

5. Comply with the requirements and travel documents

Aside from researching where and where not to go, make sure you understand what you must do before departure and what you can expect once you have arrived. These include the rules regarding the entry and exit into a state or country, as well as the vaccines and visas that will be needed before your departure. 

6. Manage your expectations

Needless to say, our post-pandemic travels won’t feel the same way as the ones we’ve had in the past. 

Restaurants, attractions, businesses, hotel accommodations, and other public places have all adopted new protocols. These include making advanced reservations, suspending the use of buffets, limiting the number of guests, suspending mass gatherings, and more. 

Some establishments may not be open at all or might be operating under reduced hours. Others may restrict children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and other vulnerable sectors. 

7. Enjoy your trip

Last but definitely not least, make the most out of your post-pandemic trip. You deserve it! Travel as if it’s your first and last. You’ll never know what tomorrow brings, so savor your travel experience while you’re healthy and free.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a free-spirited damsel who loves documenting her adventures. Her fondness for travel, food, and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Viking Hotel Waterford