Shore Vacations


Succeeding at International Travel in 2021

Now that more people are traveling internationally, I thought I’d walk you through my experiences before my latest trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos.  I learned so much. Let’s sort through it all so you won’t have the stress I had.

The first thing that must be understood is that each country, and even Hawaii, will have their own very specific protocols that MUST BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY to be allowed to board your plane toward that destination.  If you do not follow them, you will not be allowed on the plane.  These steps are not impossible, but you must know what they are.  As a client of Blue Shore Vacations, we will walk you through this process for your specific trip.  

For the purposes of this post, this is what the process is for Turks and Caicos right now.  There may be slight variations for your destination, or over time, so check with your favorite friendly Blue Shore Vacations Travel Agent when you book your next trip.

For Turks and Caicos, I needed:

  • my vaccine card
  • a negative Covid test less than 72 hours prior to my arrival
  • proof of travel insurance that covered any potential medical care (note: your regular insurance most likely does not work outside of the US!)
  • everything uploaded into their website
  • my travel authorization from their website
  • my QR code, also from their website (it has your info link embedded in it)

As for my vaccine card, I just needed to upload that into their website.  Easy peasy.

On to finding a place for my Covid test. Right now, CVS is allowing you to book your testing two weeks ahead!  I did not know this (it has changed so many times) so when I was doing my research, I could not find any open time slots online! And no one seems to be booking on the phone or in person. 

** Please note, it is imperative that you know what type of test is acceptable for your destination before you book your appointments. 

Pro tip #1: Start your appointment research 4 weeks before your trip! 

  • Visit the CVS and Walgreens websites, as well as any other local pharmacies available to you
  • Check out your own urgent care or doctor’s office.  Some do offer this service.
  • Contact your insurance to find out what your coverage options may be if you end up having to pay for your test.   I have a story about that later! 

Pro Tip #2:  Make a list of when each website will let you make an appointment and what those specific dates will be in relation to your arrival in your destination.   And then set yourself all kinds of reminders and alarms to get up early to snag your appointments.  The appointment times and cancellation times seem to reset very early each day, that’s why I suggest early morning.

Pro Tip #3: I suggest making a couple of appointments because things can get messy.  My PCR test took 4 days to get my results back, which is too long for the 72 hour window that is common for travel.  My backup rapid test appointment called me to cancel due to not having a provider to administer.  This is when I had to get really good at searching online.

When everything fell through and there appeared to be no appointments anywhere, I discovered that the State of Virginia website has a list of approved testing sites, including legitimate places you can pay for a test.  Ultimately, the rapid test appointment I was able to secure had a $95 charge and I was able to run it through our insurance. 

I received my results within 15 minutes…and it was negative.  WHEW!!! My trip was on!!

Armed with my negative test results and my appropriate travel insurance, I headed to the Turks and Caicos website to enter my documents.  Within 5 minutes I received my travel authorization form and my QR code.  These will be used at Customs and Immigration when you arrive at your destination.

I printed it all and placed everything in my travel documents folder alongside my passport and flight confirmations. 

Now, it was time to get a good night’s sleep and go enjoy my vacation.  But first, I needed to finish packing!

What country are you traveling to next? How can we help you plan that? And better yet, how can we help you plan to accomplish the protocols?

By Cindy Andersen, Owner/Travel Agent at Blue Shore Vacations

Beaches Resorts, International Travel, Turks and Caicos, Vacation planning




Succeeding at International Travel in 2021

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