This post is a brief checklist of international travel preparation during the COVID-19 pandemic during Fall of 2021. We took the trip on October, 2021 from Atlanta, USA to Southern Europe. The trip involved a week-long cruise in western Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain. Then a week long road trip around the French and Italian Riviera. Please note that this article is specific to post-pandemic travel in 2021. Travel restrictions in 2022 and later have changed.
A cruise and a road trip have different pros and cons and we wanted to experience both during pandemic times. A cruise allows you to relax without worrying about hotel and transportation while travelling to various countries. However excursions maybe limited and the experience restricted. A road trip will require you to find suitable accomodations but we found it less restrictive driving a rental car in Spain. France and Italy.
Required documents to have at least 6 weeks before departure : Vaccination Card, Passport, Driver’s License
2 weeks before departure : Confirm Flight Booking – due to ever changing pandemic rules many flights are frequently cancelled. Make sure to confirm your booking with your airline 2 weeks prior to departure.
Luggage planning – check luggage allowance policy of your airline and any connecting flights such as carry on and checked in luggage limit.
10 days before departure : Complete Advance Info online Your airline would typically have an Inquire Form questionnaire or similar item that you can feel online to make check-in smooth. Submit the Form 10 days to a week prior to flight departure. This is also a good time to download any app for pre-registration approved by your airline such as Verifly.
Cruise Check-in : if you are taking cruise in Europe follow below checklist, this example is from Royal Caribbean.
A) Check-in the Royal Caribbean app 14-days before cruise.
B) Select 30mins arrival time slot on Boarding Day. All guest must register for PCR test during boarding
1 week before departure
Order foreign currency at your bank. Schedule PCR Test for 48 hours before departure.
3 days before departure: EU Entry Forms
Spanish FCS FAQ https://www.spth.gob.es/faq
Start Spanish FCS Form Entry https://www.spth.gob.es/create
2 days before departure: Testing and Pre-flight Verify
Take Covid-19 Test at your local pharmacy
Receive foreign currency from bank
Verifly app – add trip
Complete digital PLF for Italy
1 day before departure: Check In
Complete Spanish FCS Form: https://www.spth.gob.es/create
Complete Verifly app check in
Check-in your Airline
After arrival at your destination country
Day before cruise: (Afternoon) Royal Caribbean App: Complete Guest questionnaire
Report for PCR Test on day of cruise.
On Sea: Follow guidelines for seating and other arrangements on board and while on excursions. Prepare to take a PCR test before reaching port of return.
5 days before return flight: Select return flight seats. This example below is for flying through UK back to USA.
Heathrow transit info: https://www.heathrow.com/customer-support/faq/coronavirus-covid-19#transfer-passengers
2 days before return flight:
Fill in UK passenger Locator Form.
Example for British Airways: BA app link > Manage My Booking > (follow instructions via link)
1-2 days before return flight: PCR test at local pharmacy or airport. In Barcelona we took test at El-prat terminal #1 Eurofin @830am. Also Check-in to your flight a day before departure.