7 On Your Side with tips to know before taking next trip amid coronavirus pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Want to get away? It's called revenge travel -- getting back at COVID for clipping travelers' wings all year -- but take note before spending money and time, so a long-awaited vacation isn't ruined.

7 On Your Side provides tips on things to know before going on that trip.

First, find a COVID vaccine card is needed as some countries are requiring it to get in and many international destinations want a proof of a recent negative test. The hassle has many of us opting for domestic travel instead, but no matter where the destination is, it is important to research the rules and protect the trip.

When hitting the skies -- vaccinated or not -- passengers are still required to wear a mask, and when booking during the pandemic, it may make more sense to opt for refundable over non-refundable tickets.

"Basic economy, the cheapest fares on some carriers may not be as flexible as others," said Brian Kelly, of the travel website The Points Guy. "So sometimes it may make sense to spend a little more to get that flexibility because these days flexibility is king."

Kelly is big on trip insurance.

"I'd highly recommend travel insurance if it covers COVID or pre-existing conditions," he said. "But the devil's in the details ask to see what it covers before you make that purchase."

Plus, it's time to use those vouchers for canceled trips from last year when the country got grounded by COVID.

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Scott Keyes, founder of Scotts Cheap Flights and author of "Take More Vacations," says there is about 10 billion out there in unused flight vouchers.

First, CHECK the expiration date, specifically does the expiration date refer to when you have to travel by or just when you have book your flights by?

Can you use it for anyone or do you have to use it for the original traveler, and can you use it for anywhere?

If there are those who are still nervous about flying, Keyes suggests calling the carrier's customer service by asking for a six or 12-month extension. Many will be surprised how often airlines are willing to grant those extensions.
Next, CHOOSE the destination carefully. Check the U.S. State Department website and CDC Guidelines. There may be a quarantine requirement upon arrival and all travelers two years of age and older entering the U.S., including US citizens, are required to prove a negative test result taken with three days of entry or proof of recovery from the virus.

The good news is more countries previously closed to tourists are opening up.

While some European cities still require a mandatory quarantine, Croatia, Ecuador and Iceland are popular spots.

"If you've been fully vaccinated as an American, you can show up in Iceland today and bypass any testing or quarantine requirement for unvaccinated people," Keyes said. "All you must do is show your little white CDC card that shows your fully vaccinated."

Make sure to check and keep checking the CDC & U.S. State Department website for restrictions.
Keep in mind rules, COVID rates are very volatile. You could book, and by the time you fly, it's all changed.

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