My personal experience as a traveller
Finally, the international border in Australia has been opened.
I’m fully vaccinated, which means I can now travel to Japan without requesting a travel exemption.
But getting ready to travel internationally looks very different now compared to before the pandemic.
So I thought it would be good to share my experience, in case it helps anyone else who is planning on travelling overseas soon.
Getting flight tickets
Once I heard that a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore might be opening soon, I jumped on the Singapore Airlines website.
I knew there was already a travel bubble between Japan and Singapore from time to time, and I was hoping to visit my family in Japan from mid-November to the end of January.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the availability and price of flights were similar to before the pandemic.
So I booked my tickets, making sure that I checked and understood the cancellation policy (especially important during this uncertain time).
One of the conditions of travelling is that travellers must be fully vaccinated, so I made sure I booked in for my vaccination as soon as I was eligible.
Initially, as a person who is studying to be a doctor in Australia, I was happy to get vaccinated to help cease the worst situation in Melbourne.
But I also started thinking about the traditional vaccinations for travel such as typhoid and cholera, and how the vaccine may protect me.
This helped me feel really positive about the vaccine, and I’m happy that it’s available to us in Australia.
Keeping an eye on government announcements
Sometimes, the news on TV is a little bit dramatised.
So, I always make sure to check the official announcements that are issued by the governments.
This has been especially important this year, the second year of the global pandemic, as the government has announced many potential changes before they have come into effect.
This has made me feel more confident about my travel plans, and less stressed as I know I can adjust my plans if needed.
Planning travel PCR tests
My flight to Japan is via Singapore, which requires me to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that is taken within 48 hours before I depart Melbourne.
The Japanese government also requires people to get tested when they arrive, and quarantine at a hotel or home before using public transport. If you’re travelling overseas, make sure you check your destination country’s testing requirements, as this may be different to Australia’s.
Booking accommodation and a rental car
I was notified a few months before I was due to depart that my flight schedule had changed, which means I’m now arriving in Japan late at night.
So, I have organised to stay at the hotel at the airport when I arrive, and have hired a rental car so I can drive to my family’s place the following day.
When travelling internationally, it’s important to consider what time you’re arriving, and what arrangements you might need to make sure you’re comfortable and to avoid any last-minute panic.
Some final post-pandemic travel tips
The email updates issued by airlines and the government are very useful, so if you’re planning on travelling, make sure you look out for those.
I fully understand that many travellers might be feeling frustrated – travelling now is very different from pre-pandemic travel! However, the airline companies and the governments are trying to help people travel safely, so it’s best to follow their directions and plan accordingly.
Not planning on travelling to Japan but want to market your product or services there?
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