Ready for more expensive travel? 1

Are you ready for more expensive travel?

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Feb 21 2022 05:18 PM

The news that Singapore will welcome tourists from the Philippines starting March 4 was a welcome sign for many. One of the most popular summer destinations, Singapore has barred entry for Filipino tourists for more than two years. Many, counting myself, are excited to rediscover old haunts or simply get into a plane and be able to fly somewhere, anywhere, after COVID-19 has clipped our travel wings for so long.

Before you pack your bags, best to get your wallets ready to pay for more than just the airline ticket. Some may have been used to the extra costs when taking essential travel, but the new expenses may come as a shock to leisure travelers.

Here are a few of the additional expenses tourists will have to pay for, to ensure safer travel for all.

#1 Pre-departure COVID-19 testing

Within a 48-hour to 72-hour window before your flight, travelers are required to present a negative test result for COVID-19. A few months ago, I had to pay P5000 for this. Nowadays, there are cheaper options so make sure to look for the best price. However, there are 2 things you should not compromise: (1) pick testing centers that are accredited with the Department of Health (or you may have to redo the test or worse, miss the flight); and (2) guarantee of release within 24 to 48 hours (they may be cheap but if results are delayed, again that’s a missed flight for you).

#2 Travel insurance

I confess I didn’t always tick this box when asked as I check out of my airline booking, but I now pause and review my options. Considering the times, you will find that travel insurance is mandatory for many countries. For those that do not require it, why not think carefully before you say no as it may be a safer choice for you. If possible, pick an insurance that covers COVID-19 illness so in the unfortunate event that you are infected while overseas, you can get the medical attention you need without having to pay for it.

#3 Testing on arrival, and maybe during your stay too 

It’s not that they don’t trust the test you took just 2 to 3 days ago, but expect to be tested again when you arrive at the country of your destination. And expect to pay for the test too. For some countries, you can pre-pay for the test online for a smoother immigration processing. Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to be retested every few weeks or monthly, and be prepared to pay for those too.

#4 Pack masks, and lots of them

If you’re traveling with family and friends, best to pack face masks that will be enough for all of you during your stay. Check if the places you are visiting require a particular mask to be worn. You may be getting ready to pack cloth masks, even flashy designer masks, which would be great for photos – but if you won’t be allowed entry into places, that can be frustrating.

#5 Cancellation and no show fees are back too

In the last two years, many airlines waived rebooking fees as well as cancellation and no-show charges, understanding that the pandemic has changed many of our travel plans. A quick scan of airline websites show that this is no longer the case. If you think your travel dates may change, best to book a ticket that allows rebooking and cancellation at no or minimal fees. 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.