Whatever passport you hold, this tool holds the answers…
Lots of people are dusting off their passports in hopes of some travel this year. It may not be this summer, it may not even be autumn, but for many, the desire is returning. Now that airlines are beginning to nail safety measures and destinations are finding intelligent ways to ensure visitor safety, the big question is: where can you go? The answer is two clicks away…
The International Airline Transportation Association, aka IATA is a huge force in global aviation, and is typically the benchmark airlines use in deciding whether passengers fit into the rules required by a destination to board a flight, like visas and any other things they may need in advance.
In the current world, knowing which countries will – and will not – have you is kind of a big deal. Knee jerk moves spooked travelers as countries changed the rules overnight throwing chaos into the movement of people, but as things begin to normalize, most of the changes are positive ones, with more people welcomed back by the day.
When it comes to keeping up with the changes, there’s one tool, and pretty much only one tool you need to have the best information at the time. That’s IATA’s interactive travel restriction map, which allows you to click on a country – let’s hope your geography doesn’t suck – and see current restrictions.
You’ll instantly see what’s required, and if you’re currently eligible to visit. Let’s take… Portugal…
It’s important to remember that rules are changing by the day, and for travelers, mostly for the better. Countries which say all flights are suspended today may change in days, weeks or months, so it’s important not to give up on your first search. A perfect example? Europe.
Europe plans to open external borders to travelers from outside on June 15th, so expect to see major changes from that date to each country’s offerings.
The same could be said for Asia, where Thailand expects to open to international visitors from July 1st, after closing all international gateways for many months. Basically check back regularly, and particularly to make sure you have everything you need before you fly.
To be extra sure that the information you’re presented with from the IATA resource is accurate, it never hurts to check TravelBans.org, another great free tool for travelers.
If a country were to introduce mandatory testing, a health declaration or a new visa before you’d be allowed on a flight, the IATA interactive map would be an early place to find that info and track it down. Airlines are great, but the burden of what you need to have ready before you travel isn’t on them, it’s on you.
If you do plan to travel this year, be sure to read up on handy tips to keep you safe while flying, and also on some of the fantastic deals going around from hotels to flights which aim to build up buzz about the return of travel.