The world is opening up to international travel again, but we live in a new world of Passes, Paperwork and QR Codes. Whilst it’s easy to complain about such things, should we not embrace them..?
Passports as we might know them first appeared in 1540 during the reign of Henry V, but for the masses it was the 1920’s – still a time where few of the working class would travel for pleasure. We hardly even consider them these days and use them for Photo ID as much as we do as travel. The system of renewal in the UK needs a major overhaul in my view as I went through an awful experience last year, but thankfully they only need renewing every decade. None of us would consider travelling overseas without them, but many fail after this point…
Travel insurance is where the rot begins. Time and again I hear stories of people who won’t spend a few pounds on even basic insurance and end up with huge bills after an accident. Excuses such as “I didn’t think I needed it” and “the NHS will cover it, won’t they..?” make my blood boil. I’ve heard folk say that they can’t afford insurance, but then go out drinking to excess every night. I’ve always had good quality cover and after my rescue from Alaska, am very glad that I did (it was $11,000 a week in hospital..!)
I wrote a blog with Summit Insurance about Travel and Insurances.
Since COVID entered the scene, entry regulations have varied from country to country, but the basic principle seem to revolve around being fully vaccinated. Recovery is now falling away as a cover, so all you anti vaxxers beware..! I have no issue with triple inoculations and recently on a trip to Italy and Austria had to use my vaccination QR code to clear immigration, activate my ski pass and even get a pint. Again I have no problem. COVID doesn’t care who you are, what your personal opinion is or who you vote for. I was impressed by the Austrian and Italian authorities who were very strict about mask usage and challenged people on both ski lifts and in public areas. FFP2 masks were insisted upon and a group who tried to enter a telecabine using buffs were taken away and given a right dressing down. Unlike the Laissez-faire view of many in the UK, I prefer the straight approach. Again, COVID doesn’t care who you are etc.
Many people have chosen not to be vaccinated for a number of reasons. That’s their choice, but if the world insists upon proof of inoculations before international travel, well so be it. For years I’ve been amazed that the only certificate you’ve ever needed was for Yellow Fever. I’ve always been careful, taken professional advice, had a lot of needles prodded into me and taken lots of pills. It’s cost me money, but it’s the responsible choice in my mind. My Grandfather served in the Burma campaign in WW2 and brought Malaria home. He suffered shivers and shakes until his death and I don’t want to ever see that again.
Historically I’ve found that people queue up for vaccines when they need them for the holiday of a lifetime, but it seems some feel differently now. I’ve been a long time supporter of vaccine passports, although never even considered something like COVID would, or could ever happen.
I do feel for families with children presently as a number of countries are refusing entry to youngsters who aren’t fully vaccinated. Spain has taken this approach and it’s a very changeable scene which must be incredibly frustrating.
My view is that we should provide a passport, insurance documents and inoculation certificates if we wish to travel. I’ve said this for a very long time and carry mine with the knowledge that I’ve been as responsible as I can.
Remember when you travel anywhere – you’re a guest. Act like one..!
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