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(Last Updated On: 25/02/2022)

Sunkissed beaches, luxury villas, and the company of her family – Beth Ring had found the perfect way to spend the Christmas holidays. A resident of Chicago, she traveled to Jamaica with her husband and their five children for an eight-day getaway in the plush Mais Oui Villa. They were enjoying the quintessential Caribbean vacation until Ring developed a dry cough and sore throat days before their return flight to Chicago. To say that things went downhill from there would be an understatement. These are Crucial Travel Stuff You Should Know In The New Normal.


Crucial Travel Stuff In The New Normal: The Quarantine Nightmare

The day before their departure from Jamaica, the family took at-home rapid antigen COVID tests. As per standard airline protocols, a negative report is mandatory for boarding flights.

To their utter disappointment, Ring and her husband tested positive for COVID-19. Unable to board their return flight, the family decided to quarantine in Jamaica until they were cleared to fly.

But finding a decent quarantine facility in the island country was another ordeal altogether.

Mais Oui Villa has reciprocal arrangements with other properties to accept guests who test positive for COVID-19. But owing to a massive surge in tourism due to the holiday season, most accommodation facilities in Jamaica were filled to the brim.

Ring and her family were left with no other choice but to move to a government-run quarantine facility. But the lack of basic amenities and hygiene made their stay painstakingly difficult.

That’s when Ring reached out to an air ambulance service and began filling out the paperwork. It was the only way for her family to return to Chicago without going through the government-mandated ten-day quarantine.

The silver lining is that Ring and her family managed to book a private air ambulance and returned home well in time for New Year celebrations. Also, none of her family experienced complications due to COVID-19.

But Ring ended up paying a whopping $35,000 to avail of the air ambulance service.

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Crucial Travel Stuff In The New Normal: Air Ambulance


Crucial Travel Stuff: The New Normal Of Travel

Beth Ring’s experience of quarantine and evacuation isn’t an exception. It’s fast becoming the reality for tourists who want to travel abroad.

Vaccination drives have made it safer to step outside. That, in turn, has prompted many countries to ease travel restrictions. But it’s important to remember that the pandemic hasn’t ended.

As long as people continue to contract COVID-19, the threat of breakthrough infections and new variants will loom large. While that shouldn’t stop you from exploring new destinations, you’ll have to be extremely cautious while planning a trip. The stakes are going to be even higher if you’re traveling to a foreign country.

Here are a few useful tips you should keep in mind before heading out for your next vacation:


1. Cover The Basics

It goes without saying that you need to be up to speed on your COVID-19 vaccination. If booster shots are available in your home country, make sure you get your dose before traveling. Also, download your vaccination certificate and save it on your phone.

Once you book your flights, check with the airline to find out whether you need a negative RT-PCR report before boarding. Don’t forget to check the testing and quarantine regulations at your destination as well.


2. Check Transportation Options

Airports, bus terminals, and railway stations could expose you to a ton of pathogens, including the novel coronavirus. That’s why you need to be extremely cautious during transit.

The good news is that most train stations and airports have implemented rigorous decontamination protocols for the safety of passengers. Follow masking and social distancing guidelines issued by the authorities.

Also, if you’re traveling by train, keep a bag of personal toiletries handy along with your hand sanitizer. Find out whether you need a negative RT-PCR report before boarding the train.

If it’s going to be an overnight journey, carry a sleeping bag and pillow to minimize your risk of exposure.


3. Outline A Quarantine Plan

If there’s one thing you must learn from Beth Ring’s experience, it’s that the novel coronavirus can evade all precautions. Despite masking up and avoiding crowded tourist attractions, you might end up getting infected.

In most cases, that would mean you can’t return to your home country until you test negative.

That’s why it is wiser to keep a quarantine plan ready at the start of your trip. Start by checking the availability of quarantine facilities at your destination. Find out whether some private hotels and resorts allow COVID-19 positive guests to quarantine.

Also, check with your accommodation provider to find out whether they have a designated quarantine floor for COVID-19 positive guests.

Alternatively, you could get in touch with friends or acquaintances who live near your holiday destination. Find out whether they’ll be comfortable letting you stay for a few days if you test positive for COVID-19.


4. Contact An Air Ambulance Service

The use of air ambulances is no longer restricted to accidents and healthcare emergencies. Today, air ambulances in the US and across the globe are becoming the preferred mode of transport for tourists who can’t avail themselves of passenger flights.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in a foreign country, medical air transport might be the only option for you to return to the safety and comfort of your home. An air ambulance would be particularly important if you develop severe complications from the disease.

That’s why it is a good idea to get in touch with a reliable and reputed air ambulance operator. Find out the cost of transportation, as well as documentation required for a medical transfer. Also, check the kind of amenities and equipment that are available onboard.

Talk to your healthcare insurance provider to find out whether your current plan covers medical air transport and evacuation costs. Also, make sure you invest in a robust travel insurance plan to cover medical expenses during your trip.

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Crucial Travel Stuff You Should Know In The New Normal: Final Takeaways

There’s nothing more rewarding than the thrill of exploring new places, cultures, and cuisines. However, traveling during the pandemic demands meticulous planning and extra precautions. If you’re planning a trip abroad, don’t forget to prepare a quarantine and evacuation plan before heading out.

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Crucial Travel Stuff In The New Normal - Evacuation plan


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