At LHA Travel, we often come across travelers with unique stories. For instance, we interviewed a French/Israeli traveler bicycling from the Artic Canadian region on his way to Ushuaia, Argentina (the southern-most city on earth). Recently, we were visited by a traveler on a road trip from Miami to Moscow. By this, he was driving from Miami to Seattle, where he plans to send his truck to Vladivostok, Russia by container, while he flies there, to continue the final leg of his journey to Moscow. As a Russian citizen, he was able to enter Russia during Covid-19. We learned a few tips from these road-trippers, and having done multiple road trips and research globally for travel requirements during Covid, here are a few things we would recommend for your check-off and packing list for an international 2021, multi-day/week road trip.
- Do you have the travel documents for the countr(ies) in which you would like to do road trip?
Despite Covid-19, the world isn’t really closed. Most countries have the option to travel within their travel bubbles, or to many countries that still welcome tourists with the proper visas and testing requirements. For instance, if you are one of the countries permitted to travel to Thailand, you will need to have a Certificate of Entry that is different from a visa. Mexico remains open to tourism.
- Do you have to provide a Covid19 test? If so is it a PCR, Rapid, Antibody, or other types that is required.
Most countries are requiring the PCR-negative test results, which you would have to provide for boarding. The tests are available in most clinics, hospitals and even in pharmacies chains such as CVS and Walgreens in the U.S. The UK government has urged its citizens not to seek this service at NHS, and to do so with a private organization. Consider also if you are traveling abroad, will your country may require you to have a Covid-19 test for your return. There were reports of Canadians traveling abroad for leisure who were denied boarding because they did not provide a test for their trip back.
- Do you have other travel related documents like travel health insurance and completed required health forms?
Most countries require foreign visitors to fill out a travel/health form that is separate from visa applications. Many countries are also requiring travelers to have health insurance that covers Covid19 treatment, and if necessary, repatriation.
Having dealt with the pre-requisites, here are trip-related items that can make or break your trip.
- Car booking. Did you pick the right car for the road type you are traveling? Be sure the miles you are offered is unlimited, in the event you want to go off road to visit winding paths that may add unknown miles to your trip. Also ensure that you can take your car to where you intend to take the car, e.g. does your contract allow you to cross international borders and if so what is the surcharge?
- Car insurance. Certain high-end credit cards offer car insurance as part of their offerings when you use their credit card to book car rentals. The other option is just to purchase additional insurance.
- Currency. Local and your nation’s currency, as well as cards needed for payments.
- Navigation System. This may be outdated, but consider where your phone may or may not get reception. If you are in a mountainous area or in some remote area, you may not get reception even if it is country covered by your wireless provider.
- Adapters/chargers for all of your devices. These devices also ensure that you loved ones can track your location and send for help if needed.
- Plenty of liquid. This is water and your choice of drink for the road. Include drinks for the end of the road and road breaks.
- Plenty of ready protein and carbs. You may not know if and when you can get a bite to eat along the way. Covid restriction may lead to closings or differing hours. Depending on where you are in the world, there would be seasonal hours and you may not be arriving in season, or you may simply not want to eat in those establishments.
- Personal items and toiletries. This should include medications that you may need for any ailment that you have. Also consider common issues like headaches, stomach aches, and pains that may be treated with over the counter medication, and have those handy. When you are on the road, there may not be an easily accessible pharmacy nearby.
- All weather gear (clothing, socks and shoes). Your gear depends on where your trip takes you. Consider that even if you head to the desert, the nights can be quite cold.
- Your favorite music playlist and some.
- (Optional) An ice chest to keep your fruits, and you may want to load up on fruits as a good source of energy for long sitting sessions.
- (Optional) Extra gas can with fuel. This really depends on where you are going. If you are driving up Baja California, you may need this, but if you are driving along the Mediterranean coast, you may not need it.
- (Optional) sleeping bag and small tent, in the event you need it. This really depends on where you decide to go.
Finally, don’t forget to bring a friend. Joy is multiplied with a companion!