The last year has been a crazy ride through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Travel almost came to a complete halt around the globe. It is slowly picking back up, but still nowhere close to where it used to be. Regulations, rules, and guidelines have changed sometimes within a week multiple times. All this is still happening up to today. In the last few weeks, we saw a federal mask mandate for domestic travel, negative test requirements to enter the United States, and much more. All these rules keep constantly changing and there is no real one-stop source to keep track of it all, not even for the United States, as states and counties change their rules as well. This makes it hard for everyone to follow all the mandates and requirements of local authorities. I am considered an essential worker and never shut down once throughout the whole pandemic. My day job also requires me to travel across the United States to fulfill my job duties. Finally, there is a solution that will make it easier for all travelers around the globe.
TripIt added a new feature to its app, a COVID-19 Travel Guidance. This feature is available for everyone who has an account with TripIt and no Pro-subscription is required.
TripIt COVID-19 Travel Guidance
So how do you access this new feature? All you have to do, if you haven’t done so yet, is installing the TripIt app on one of your devices.
After that, create a new trip. You don’t actually need any itineraries within the trip. Just an empty trip is enough. This way, you can create a dummy trip for your home address and stay up to date with rule and guidance changes all in one place. Access this trip on your device and above the “+” sign you will see a guidebook button.
Click on it and select COVID-19 Guidance.
What does the COVID-19 Travel Guidance include?
You will find the following information with this new feature
- Key information including infection rates, hotspots, and any quarantine or testing requirements for travelers entering the area.
- Requirements and restrictions currently in place, including mask requirements, curfew orders, and restrictions on dining and shopping.
- Travel guidelines issued for your destination, such as health documentation requirements, entry and exit rules, travel bans, and more.
- Information about available Tracing apps for the region/country can be found as well.
What areas does the COVID-19 Travel Guidance cover?
TripIt shows COVID-19 Travel Guidance for more than 200 countries and territories across the world. For some countries there is additional information available by specific regions:
- For Australia, you can view guidance by state.
- For Canada, you can view guidance by province.
- For the United States, you can view guidance by state.
Unfortunately, the United States is a hot mess if it comes to COVID-19. There are federal regulations, then states have sometimes different regulations and within states, the regulations by county can change as well. Is all that covered by TripIt? No, unfortunately not. I don’t even know if it is even possible. As mentioned you can go down to a county level with different restrictions which can’t sometimes even be found on the state’s website.
I speak here from my own experience. I am currently on an essential business trip to Florida. Florida seems like a completely different world compared to California, where I departed from. Thanks to TripIt’s new feature I found out about the local curfew order in place. Which wasn’t noted anywhere I checked, neither did hotel staff give any information on that.
Where does the data/information come from?
TripIt’s partner Riskline is providing all the information you see in the app and they are updated daily. But as we all know, things can change quickly when it comes to COVID-19.
Is this feature perfect? Absolutely not, but all the most important pieces of information are there in one place and with the consistency of how they are arranged and displayed. That’s also something we lack here in the U.S. Every state has its own ways of where and how they display this very important information. Also, every state has its own tracking app instead of one for the whole country in general as travel within the U.S. never really shut down, just quarantine requirements were added at most places. I really like what TripIt did here and it will be very helpful once international travel picks up again, hopefully, sooner than later, as we get this pandemic under control.
TripIt did a lot, especially for their loyal customer base, by giving them a Pro membership to their service, which is very helpful to manage travel interruptions and plan accordingly if it happened to you.
Besides all of this, TripIt is my favorite and probably the best travel-organizing app available right now. I am using the app for many years already and it is one of the most helpful tools for every traveler. It doesn’t matter if you are a roadwarrior or just the occasional family vacationer.
[Images courtesy of TripIt]
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.