Travel is back AND I, for one, cannot get enough of the planning – packing – talking about each and every destination I want to get to this year.
If you’ve been around for more than a hot minute, you know that we’ve just returned from a trip to Milan & Paris to visit the Christmas Markets. It was spectacular! Milan definitely crushed the holiday theme this year.
And, as smoothly as everything went….
There was ONE big issue that took us both by surprise!
The Good Doctor had spent weeks tediously filling out “required / travel ready” forms documenting our COVID vaxx info as well as that of our “COVID booster”. We’d scheduled our 72 hour prior to departure COVID test (they require the BIG test here). Until this trip, I’d only heard about the discomfort of this test……I would liken it to having a lobotomy with a Q-tip! Ughhhhh
So, with forms uploaded to our United app we arrived at the airport feeling pretty cocky. All went smoothly until we arrived at our hotel in Milan. Glasses of Champagne sparkling we were told that our Qwerty Code issued by the US would NOT read using their EU technology. Bottom Line: We could not use ALL of our paperwork as it was in the EU.
Fortunately, a fellow traveler shared his experience and saved the day!
Do NOT think that because you’ve uploaded the 93000 forms to your flight info you are “set”.
ONCE your arrive at your destination, take your paperwork to the local pharmacy (we found that EVERY Pharmacy in both Milan & Paris provided this service) and ask them to “translate” your US COVID info forms into “EU” readable forms. It costs roughly $80 for two in euros.
You pay for the translation – go and have the nurse swab your nose (or, as I refer to it…get your Q-tip lobotomy) and wait 15 minutes for your result. If it is negative, you go back to the cashier behind the Pharmacy counter and they will send you an email link to your EU Qwerty Code.
PERSONAL NOTE: We asked for the printed copy as well. Turns out while my phone would download the link and code, The Good Doctor’s phone would not display it…..
REMEMBER, YOU MUST also have a “negative” COVID test to get back into the States at the end of your trip.
We took the test the day before (24 hrs) and left a little room to have it done again in case of a false positive.
TWO things learned here…
One, don’t assume that your US documents and downloads will work in other parts of the world. Be prepared to show proof of VAXX, BOOSTER & NEGATIVE TEST every time you go into a club, bar, restaurant, Duomo or shop.
Once we had ours translated – it took all of 20 minutes or so – we went off and had the BEST trip EVAAAAA!
Hope this helps! Let me know if you’d like to hear more of these types of tips and hacks for travel:)