I’ve just returned from a trip to England to see my mum with my only child, DD 11 years old. who wasn’t well. Pre-COVID we used to see her probably one a year either going there or her coming to Australia.
If been planning to go in the Northern hemisphere summer this year and had been saving for a while but her health issues brought this forward.
So it was a bit of a last minute arrangement and I had intended on getting my DD COVID vax’d once she tried 12. I didn’t have time to bring this forward so had to travel with her untaxed and me having had 2 doses. Let me tell you- the hardest and most stressful part of this trip was wondering if I had all the correct documentation. Our route involved 2 airlines and 2 stops before getting to London. Trying to determine what tests and documents I needed for an unvaccinated child and for myself was difficult to say the least. The night before I left I was so anxious as to whether I had everything. Each country has its own entry requirements, some forms won’t even let you put more than one transit stop on them to compete them or figure out the requirements. It was so tricky! What’s more, when abroad I relied on wifi everywhere I went which was a while other challenge… most airports have free wifi which helps.
At every point I held my breath…checkin to leave caused queries as we were on a vaccinated flight but it wasn’t clear that even though the country didn’t require vaccination under 12 years old, may the flight did. ( It didn’t than goodness). But then DD turned 12 while we were away… one of the countries we had to transit thorium didn’t allow entry if not vaccinated! And I hadn’t realised that until the day before travel?!So we had to perform fit-to-fly tests… which test? So many options, so much jargon, so many $$$.
I’m thankful and grateful we were able to travel at all but just don’t under estimate the challenges. It’s not the same as it used to be. If I was to give advice to anyone contemplating long haul international travel. now it would be to print every document, have funds for unforeseen costs (extra tests, phone calls to airlines for questions and rescheduling as these cash be at premium rates, prepare for delays at every point). And I wish you the same luck I had to get through it relatively unscathed but a bit wiser.

Posted anonymously, 18th May 2022

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