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What you need to know about Expedia’s COVID-19 Travel Advisor

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Mantas Hesthaven/Unsplash

After a year of staying at home, many of us are dreaming about traveling again. As more people get vaccinated, the industry is poised to open up, but with states and countries having so many different variations on travel restrictions, it can be hard to keep up. This can lead prospective travelers on frustrating searches of multiple government websites to get the latest information. That is where Expedia’s new tool comes in to streamline the process. The company has launched a new COVID-19 Travel Advisor tool that can be used to guide you through current policies in your destination and upon your return.

As it stands, the Center for Disease Control recommends holding off on travel to other states and countries until you are fully vaccinated. In many locations, once you are, you no longer need to self-quarantine upon arrival. However, there still may be large differences in what you need to do before going and once you are there. By using the Expedia tool, you have access to the latest information for your destination at the time you plan to travel there.

Why you need it

The rules can be overwhelming — one state has a mask mandate, another has none, for example. There may be a required quarantine period, or you may need a negative coronavirus test within a certain period before arriving at a location. Some countries have begun accepting visitors with proof of vaccination, while others are still closed off. It is a lot for anyone to keep track of, and traveling is supposed to be fun, right?

With the Expedia Travel Advisor, all the information you need is in one convenient location. Simply plug in your arrival and departure locations and dates, and the tool gives you all the information you need on what restrictions or policies are in place. To create it, the company partnered with Sherpa, a global provider of travel identification requirements. It is available across all of Expedia’s brands, including, Orbitz, Travelocity, VRBO, Ebookers, and Wotif.

How it works

Using the tool is free and easy to use. It simply requires entering in the location you are leaving from, where you will be going to, and the dates of your trip. Information on each aspect appears in boxes, which can be clicked on for more details. It also has a section that explains any policies that may impact you when you return from your trip.

What it tells you

Once your information is entered, you will see a series of boxes. Each box contains a synopsis of what the policies are in the location. Are there any current travel restrictions in place? Do you need to quarantine when you arrive? Is a negative coronavirus test needed before arrival? Do you need to bring any documentation with you? What is the masking policy in your destination? Each box will explain what you need to know so you can plan and arrive with everything you need to enjoy your trip.

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Why it is important

It is no secret that the travel industry has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. Many states and countries that depend on tourism as part of their local economy have suffered immensely. This has impacted everything from airlines and hotels to restaurants and local shops. Finding solutions to ensure travel can take place in safe ways is a vital part of getting back to normal.

Not only is travel essential for the economy, but it is also good for boosting your mental health. Whether it gives you a reset from your busy schedule or it allows you to reconnect with family and friends, travel is one of the best ways to recharge. Studies show taking a trip reduces stress and improves mood — something we could all use after many months of isolation. Having the ability to quickly and efficiently determine if a location is open and will work for your individual needs is key before booking.

As you plan your trip and consider different destinations, with a few simple clicks, the COVID-19 Travel Advisor tool can help guide you through all the practical parts of what you need to know. This way, you can focus on the fun stuff like which bathing suit to pack.

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