Post-Pandemic Travel: What to Know Before You Go

This post is meant to be a quick-access guide to the most important and up-to-date travel information for U.S. passport holders. Bookmark this page, because these links are always relevant no matter what is happening in the world and no matter where you are traveling, but they are particularly helpful post-pandemic as the rules and restrictions are changing so quickly. These are the sites to trust when navigating international post-pandemic travel.

We are getting a LOT of requests for post-pandemic travel tips right now. We get it. We’re ready to get back on the road as well!

However, we are still in the midst of global crises, so if you take nothing else away from this post, take this: when it comes to global travel rules and restrictions, go straight to the source that makes said rules and restrictions.

Ages ago (pre-WiFi and cell phones), I learned this lesson the hard way, by trusting a fresh-off-the-press, big-name guidebook with “up-to-date” information about entry visas. It didn’t matter that the book was just two months old — the rules had since changed. As a result, I was SOL abroadNever again.

No matter how often your favorite blog or news outlet updates posts, they are only relaying information and telling their own stories.

While there is a place and time for blogs and news outlets, it is not in having the official, most up-to-date and trustworthy word on the rules. And if we want to travel post-pandemic, we must play by the official rules. 

When it comes to big important things like border crossings, entry and exit requirements, vaccine requirements, and in-country issues and alerts, there are precisely TWO websites that travelers with U.S. passports can trust.

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When planning post-pandemic travel, use trusted websites for up to date information on border crossings, vaccines, and visas.
© Photo by Dan Holz

Websites to Trust for Post-Pandemic Travel Information

We’ll break these down so you understand exactly how to use these sites and what to look for in each:

  • The US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs:
  • The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Important notes:

  • These websites offer the most up-to-date official travel information for U.S. passport holders. If your passport is from another country, refer to that country’s official travel website. 
  • Upon returning to the U.S. it will also be crucial to check with your specific airline for up-to-date Covid-19 testing and entry requirements (we included these links below as well).

Important Links for Travel Post-Pandemic

Put these websites on speed dial when you start your travel planning:

  • General Covid-19 Traveler Information – U.S. Department of State: Check this to find general travel updates and advisories for U.S. passport holders.
  • Vaccines Required for Travel (Select your destination country from the list) – CDC: Use this list before, after, and during the pandemic (this does not pertain only to Covid) for country-specific vaccine recommendations and requirements for international travel. While some vaccines are recommended, others are required, and without required vaccines, you may straight up be denied entry into certain countries.
  • Covid-Specific Information by Country – U.S. Department of State. Use this when planning your destination(s). Double, triple, quadruple check your destination requirements up to the moment you are getting on a plane and all throughout your trip. Regulations are changing rapidly these days, and this is the only way to truly stay up to date. You can find embassy information through these country links as well, should you need to contact authorities while you are abroad.
  • Register with the State Department when you travel – U.S. Department of State. Enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) in order to receive alerts and be sure you can be located abroad in case of an emergency. (This is one of the reasons the State Department knew exactly which countries to evacuate U.S. passport holders from before all the borders closed at the breakout of Covid-19).
  • Entry into the U.S. – U.S. Department of State. Covid-19 testing no longer required for entry back in the U.S. as of June 12, 2022. Use this when planning your return to the U.S. and check with your airline (see below).
  • CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) travel insurance – Get insurance as soon as you make your first payment (booking, flight, etc.) for your adventure. We recommend battleface, our travel insurance partner for our group trips. It is an a la carte travel insurance option. You can find more travel insurance info and options here.
Woman leaning against a metal fence looking down at her phone.
© Photo by Dan Holz

Major U.S. Airlines Covid-19 Policies & Travel Advisories

For returning to // entering the U.S. – CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINE for specific rules of Covid-19 testing/boarding from your destination abroad.

Update June 2022: Covid-19 testing no longer required for entry back in the U.S. as of June 12, 2022.

The Department of State says: “If you are planning to travel overseas or if you are currently overseas and planning to return to the U.S., you should contact your airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers. Because airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement CDC’s new rule, you should contact the carrier for your U.S.-bound flight and not rely on information from other carriers or information or experience from previous trips.”

Here are some of the U.S.’s major airline Covid-19 polices and travel advisories websites:

Two Regularly-Updated Articles for U.S. Americans to Watch for Post-Pandemic Travel

Now that we know to always check the State Department and CDC for official rules and regulations and country-specific info for any post-pandemic travel, we can turn our eyes to our favorite blogs and news outlets to digest and translate some of that official information and present it to us in an inviting format. 

The following are regularly-updated articles about where U.S. Americans can travel right now (round-up information you don’t get neatly packaged from the State Department or CDC). I have been following the first one since summer 2020 and find it accurate and insightful:

Just be sure to check the “last updated” dates on these articles and refer back to the official U.S. Department of State websites listed above to double/triple/quadruple check the latest official information. 

Woman and man carrying backpacks walking by some boats and fishing traps on a dock.
Here’s to getting back out there safe and SOON. © Photo by Dan Holz

It is our sincere hope that these links are helpful and educational for our readers planning future travel. Please do not ask us questions or opinions about Covid-19.

If you have travel questions, feel free to put them in the comments or join our ever-growing community of international travelers.

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