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What it’s like to travel overseas during the COVID Pandemic

Frozen netherlands

Living in Australia for the past few years with Guy has been an incredible experience, but home is the Netherlands & France, where I grew up.

I’ve always been very close with my family, and with them all still living in Europe, not visiting them during the COVID pandemic has been tough. Fortunately, I was able to head back there for a few weeks over Christmas and the New Year, flying into Amsterdam and ending the trip in Paris.

Traveling through the Netherlands and France while the pandemic was in full force was of course, a different to usual experience, although no-less beautiful – it’s funny how incredible home can seem, once you don’t live there anymore.

First step: the Netherlands.

The Netherlands went into lockdown a few days before my arrival so I had to adapt my plans. Between self-tests and lots of walks I was able to meet up with most of my family.

  • Countryside near Oudewater (above)
  • Oudewater (below)
  • Utrecht
  • Leenderbos
Forest

Second step: France

My parents have a farm in the Brenne Regional Park, it was great to spend lots of time with them. We also spent a night in Paris before my departure.

  • La Caillonniere & Ch√Ęteau de Notz Marafin
  • Paris by night
Paris by night

Travelling with Covid, what to expect?

Covid tests

A lot of tests! In my case, I had to do PCR tests in Australia before my departure to the Netherlands, in France before travelling back to Australia, and when I came back to Australia.

As a traveller, you will be charged for these tests. Waiting time can be longer in some countries. In France I was able to take an appointment at a lab and only had to wait 30 minutes to do the test and 12 hours for the results. Waiting time in Geelong was about 2/3 hours and results came in after 6 days. RAT tests are available in most pharmacies in The Netherlands and France and I used these before catching up with family, just to be safe.

Planes

In my case, planes were pretty full and airports still quite busy. A lot of shops in the airports were closed.

In the plane, masks have to be worn all of the time, expect when eating and we were asked to only get up if we had to go to the bathroom.

Paperwork

I recommend to print:

  • your vaccination certificate – you can print an international certificate via the mygov/medicare website.
  • your covid test results

For the Netherlands, I had to fill out a health declaration, the same when coming back to Australia – download and fill information on the ATD app.

Travel Insurance

Some travel insurances cover COVID-19, but most don’t, so make sure that you check (depending if you want it or not).

Hotels & Activites

Make sure to book hotels and activities with a flexible cancellation policy.

Safe travels!

 

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