Author Topic: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?  (Read 4241 times)

spartana

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Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« on: November 22, 2022, 07:48:19 PM »
About 3 years ago I had started plans to do some longer term slow travel overseas with no time limit starting early spring 2020. Mostly using public transit and hiking/ biking. Staying in hostels or short term rentals. Covid stopped that but I'am now thinking of resuming my plans. Sold the house awhile ago, got rid of nearly everything including car, my last pupper passed and I'm newly unattached (as of today..gulp!) so free to go asap.

Is anyone else doing something similar in this not-quite-post-pandemic world? I'm still unsure of any risks and potential problems in other nations so would like to hear your experiences and advice.

ETA a bat signal to @EndlessJourney
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 07:52:07 PM by spartana »

Freedomin5

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2022, 07:52:18 PM »
I don't know about other countries, but don't come to China anytime soon. The restrictions and regulations are strict, and they're constantly changing.

Zikoris

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2022, 09:22:13 PM »
I've only just started travelling again (normally, not slow travel), but South Korea is doing pretty well - we took buses and trains all over the place with no issues. It seems like rules change very fast and if you were doing longer term travel visiting a lot of different places, you would definitely want to keep an eye out for announcements - probably a good idea to include a lot of flexibility into your plans/routing. When we went to Korea, for example, they had just dropped the outdoor mask mandate but kept the indoor one, required us to book an arrival Covid test at the time we booked out flights but dropped the requirement a week later, had to register with the government three days ahead of the flight to fill out a health questionnaire and get QR codes, and there were no vaccination requirements. The next country over will have totally different requirements. So it can be a bit of a headache trying to get everything right.

Freedomin5

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2022, 02:01:58 AM »
Also, different airlines may have different requirements for boarding, so make sure you call the airline a few days before your flight to ensure that youíve taken all the necessary steps to board your flight, for example, filling out the right forms, submitting the right documentation, and getting the necessary NAT tests within the appropriate timeframes. And beware that those regulations and requirements may change with little notice.

Ladychips

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2022, 05:09:50 AM »
I got nothing to contribute re. your question, but wanted to say how sorry I am about your pupper. I know that's a tough loss. Also sorry to hear about your newly single status (well, I'm sorry about that if you are).

Looking forward to hearing about your travel adventures!!

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2022, 08:41:53 AM »
I don't know about other countries, but don't come to China anytime soon. The restrictions and regulations are strict, and they're constantly changing.
I just googled China's current lockdown and covid surges and looks pretty scary (very draconian) so will likely stay away. Not sure if other nations are having similar issues but lots of talk about covid surges expected this winter in the US. I'd probably head to Europe first since I'm a dual US/UK passport holder and it would be easier for me (haven't travelled overseas in a really really long time).  Get a rail pass and spend a few months there then likely head east or south from there overland. Do you or anyone know if travel thru out the EU requires new covid tests every time when entering a new country? Probably not. What about Africa? My hope is to minimalize flights and travel mostly overland using public transit (rail or bus) or biking.

@Ladychips thanks for the condolences (on the pup and the BF).  Pup was old and had recent health problems so it was very hard but expected. BF and I parted amicably and still friends. Just wanted different things long term.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 08:51:23 AM by spartana »

mindysimmons

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2022, 08:44:55 AM »
Would like to, and am keen to start in the New Year. Thinking of starting with a month-long trip to Malaysia (somewhere we're somewhat familiar with) to see how we cope before we plan anything else. We're remote working and home schooling (started both because of the pandemic), so I feel that if we don't do it now, we never will. Will hopefully escape some of the UK winter too.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2022, 08:55:27 AM »
I've only just started travelling again (normally, not slow travel), but South Korea is doing pretty well - we took buses and trains all over the place with no issues. It seems like rules change very fast and if you were doing longer term travel visiting a lot of different places, you would definitely want to keep an eye out for announcements - probably a good idea to include a lot of flexibility into your plans/routing. When we went to Korea, for example, they had just dropped the outdoor mask mandate but kept the indoor one, required us to book an arrival Covid test at the time we booked out flights but dropped the requirement a week later, had to register with the government three days ahead of the flight to fill out a health questionnaire and get QR codes, and there were no vaccination requirements. The next country over will have totally different requirements. So it can be a bit of a headache trying to get everything right.
Im still masking even here in Calif and just got the new covid booster as well as the flu shot so hopefully good to go! I DO feel like an outlier masking now that most don't do it here anymore, and think I might look like a weirdo in some other nations, but I'm OK with that in crowded areas. I hadn't thought of a back up plan though since I'd be "homeless". Other then flying back to the US if possible.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 08:58:20 AM by spartana »

Freedomin5

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2022, 09:02:01 AM »
My mom was just in Egypt for a week, Lebanon for a week, and is now in Spain. Doesnít seem like there were any issues. I think the need for NATs depends on the country, but if you do need one it seems like theyíre fairly easy to get.

Dicey

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2022, 09:05:23 AM »
I have a hunch that most places are c less anti-mask than the US. Sorry to hear about the Barkinator. Our old dog is nearing the end, so perhaps they'll be friends in Little Barking Dog Heaven. As to the BF, better to part amicably than be unhappy together. Good for you for holding to your vision for the future.

Happy travels, wherever you go. I'd like to spend a good chunk of time in AUS/NZ/TAZ. It's such a vast area to cover with relatively little Covid and fairly cohesive rules. Lots of border crossings {i.e. small countries) complicates things.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2022, 09:26:24 AM »
My mom was just in Egypt for a week, Lebanon for a week, and is now in Spain. Doesn’t seem like there were any issues. I think the need for NATs depends on the country, but if you do need one it seems like they’re fairly easy to get.
Those were some areas I'd like to start with - fly to Spain asap  (lived there for almost a year so familiar) go to the Middle East and North Africa and then back to Spain and north thru out Europe. But... I'm really unsure what the various covid protocols are (or even visa requirements) so need to do some research.

At this point my understanding is that I don't need visas for any EU country if using UK passport (not sure how that works with US citizens though) and can just hop on a plane from the US to Europe, and travel within Europe, without requiring a covid test or visas. I assume I can get visas for other counties while in Europe. Is this true?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 09:33:08 AM by spartana »

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2022, 09:31:40 AM »
I have a hunch that most places are c less anti-mask than the US. Sorry to hear about the Barkinator. Our old dog is nearing the end, so perhaps they'll be friends in Little Barking Dog Heaven. As to the BF, better to part amicably than be unhappy together. Good for you for holding to your vision for the future.

Happy travels, wherever you go. I'd like to spend a good chunk of time in AUS/NZ/TAZ. It's such a vast area to cover with relatively little Covid and fairly cohesive rules. Lots of border crossings {i.e. small countries) complicates things.
Thank @Dicey. I'll miss her (hunky BF too ;-)). I'd love to go to Aus and NZ but too hot there right now (I'm a cold weather person) but maybe next summer (their winter).

mindysimmons

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2022, 09:57:28 AM »
My mom was just in Egypt for a week, Lebanon for a week, and is now in Spain. Doesnít seem like there were any issues. I think the need for NATs depends on the country, but if you do need one it seems like theyíre fairly easy to get.
Those were some areas I'd like to start with - fly to Spain asap  (lived there for almost a year so familiar) go to the Middle East and North Africa and then back to Spain and north thru out Europe. But... I'm really unsure what the various covid protocols are (or even visa requirements) so need to do some research.

At this point my understanding is that I don't need visas for any EU country if using UK passport (not sure how that works with US citizens though) and can just hop on a plane from the US to Europe, and travel within Europe, without requiring a covid test or visas. I assume I can get visas for other counties while in Europe. Is this true?

I've just checked and from what I can see, there seems to be no Covid test requirements for entry to most (if not all) European countries at the moment (checked Spain, Portugal, France, Malta, Germany). No visas needed on a UK passport, but the only thing that may affect you, since Brexit, is that you are only allowed to stay in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa. Bit gutted about that, tbh.
https://www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein/how-long-stay-without-visa

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2022, 10:28:36 AM »
My mom was just in Egypt for a week, Lebanon for a week, and is now in Spain. Doesn’t seem like there were any issues. I think the need for NATs depends on the country, but if you do need one it seems like they’re fairly easy to get.
Those were some areas I'd like to start with - fly to Spain asap  (lived there for almost a year so familiar) go to the Middle East and North Africa and then back to Spain and north thru out Europe. But... I'm really unsure what the various covid protocols are (or even visa requirements) so need to do some research.

At this point my understanding is that I don't need visas for any EU country if using UK passport (not sure how that works with US citizens though) and can just hop on a plane from the US to Europe, and travel within Europe, without requiring a covid test or visas. I assume I can get visas for other counties while in Europe. Is this true?

I've just checked and from what I can see, there seems to be no Covid test requirements for entry to most (if not all) European countries at the moment (checked Spain, Portugal, France, Malta, Germany). No visas needed on a UK passport, but the only thing that may affect you, since Brexit, is that you are only allowed to stay in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa. Bit gutted about that, tbh.
https://www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein/how-long-stay-without-visa
Too bad as that's the option I was counting on for longer stays. If that's the case could I just travel around Europe for 90 days and then stay in the UK longer if I wanted?  I had thought of getting a 3 month Eurail Pass (around $900) to use so that could work. I had used a 2 month one many years ago and loved the ease but I think you can only use it with a US passport, not sure.

ETA: Does anyone know the best way to travel in Europe long term using dual US/UK passports? Can you combine them to extend your stay (in my case using a UK passport to stay as long as I want in the UK) but use the US passport to travel on between countries or do you have to choose one and travel/enter/exit on that one.   I'm a US citizen living in the US if that matters. 

ETA again. OK so it looks like as a US citizen I have to use the US passport to if travel from and to the US. If that's to or from Europe I don't need visas. Also looks like the 90 days out of 180 days thing will apply to me in either case unless the UK allows me to stay longer. Back down the Google rabbit hole!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 10:48:10 AM by spartana »

mindysimmons

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 10:59:38 AM »


Too bad as that's the option I was counting on for longer stays. If that's the case could I just travel around Europe for 90 days and then stay in the UK longer if I wanted?  I had thought of getting a 3 month Eurail Pass (around $900) to use so that could work. I had used a 2 month one many years ago and loved the ease but I think you can only use it with a US passport, not sure.



Yes - I think that would work - guess with a UK passport, you can stay in the UK as long as you want (pretty sure Ireland too)! Think you can go in and out of the EU/Schengen zone as much as you like, so long as you don't exceed the 90 days in the 180 day period. I'm from the UK, and we can buy/use Interrail passes for train travel in Europe (not sure how prices compare to Eurail). I don't think it covers train travel in the UK though.  https://www.myinterrail.co.uk/interrail-passes/global-pass/

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2022, 11:14:38 AM »



Too bad as that's the option I was counting on for longer stays. If that's the case could I just travel around Europe for 90 days and then stay in the UK longer if I wanted?  I had thought of getting a 3 month Eurail Pass (around $900) to use so that could work. I had used a 2 month one many years ago and loved the ease but I think you can only use it with a US passport, not sure.



Yes - I think that would work - guess with a UK passport, you can stay in the UK as long as you want (pretty sure Ireland too)! Think you can go in and out of the EU/Schengen zone as much as you like, so long as you don't exceed the 90 days in the 180 day period. I'm from the UK, and we can buy/use Interrail passes for train travel in Europe (not sure how prices compare to Eurail). I don't think it covers train travel in the UK though.  https://www.myinterrail.co.uk/interrail-passes/global-pass/
Thanks. That's helpful. Will check out interrail passes.  I know when I used a Eurail Pass before you could just hop on and off at will (some exceptions for reservation on fast trains) and they were good for lots of bus and ferry route too - even the longer ones - but interrail might be better and less expensive.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 11:17:56 AM by spartana »

Spiffy

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2022, 12:10:42 PM »
I can't slow travel quite yet, but I was in Germany for a bit this summer and everything felt completely normal except for having to wear masks on public transit. That rule has been dropped now, and no testing required for flying in or out from US. I'm about to leave for Italy and from my research, things are back to normal there, too. Whatever you do, do not overstay the 90 day rule. Make plans to leave a few days early, because they do not care that you had to stay extra days because you broke your ankle. They take the Schengen Rules very seriously. Enjoy the excellent dollar to Euro exchange rate!

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2022, 12:54:22 PM »
I can't slow travel quite yet, but I was in Germany for a bit this summer and everything felt completely normal except for having to wear masks on public transit. That rule has been dropped now, and no testing required for flying in or out from US. I'm about to leave for Italy and from my research, things are back to normal there, too. Whatever you do, do not overstay the 90 day rule. Make plans to leave a few days early, because they do not care that you had to stay extra days because you broke your ankle. They take the Schengen Rules very seriously. Enjoy the excellent dollar to Euro exchange rate!
Curious what they do if you miss that deadline. Off to the Gulag with you Amerikan riff-raff!! Ok maybe just kick you out with a no re-entry allowed stamp on your passport ;-).  That's great to hear that there aren't any restrictions even though I'd likely mask myself in crowded places.

So it looks like unless I can stay longer in the UK I should just plan on a 90 day stay in Europe before leaving. Probably have to wait until early spring for weather reasons but can look into going elsewhere before hand (got the travel bug bad!!). Hate to fly so would like to do a one-way flight and then travel overland. Cost is a factor but since I won't be buying a vehicle like I planned if I stayed and travelled here (am carless) it's less important. Just want to avoid flying as much as possible. Suggestions?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 01:07:29 PM by spartana »

Cassie

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2022, 01:32:01 PM »
I went to Ireland in June and in April will be going to 4 European countries. Thereís no mask or testing required as of now. I donít like to slow travel so canít speak to that. I donít like to be gone longer than 2 weeks. So sorry about your sweet pup and breaking up with your partner is also very hard. I should know as I have been married 3xs:)).

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2022, 01:35:56 PM »
In 2023 British citizens will need to start using the ETIAS waiver system for EU travel.

https://etias.com/etias-requirements/etias-for-british-citizens

If you are interested in Ireland, UK citizens can stay and work there as long as they want through the Common Travel Area.

Also being a UK citizen means you can get a long term rental agreement in the UK.  This isn't allowed for people without the proper visas or citizens.  Also if you intend to settle and not just visit, the NHS would be immediately available.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 01:43:09 PM by jim555 »

travel2020

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2022, 02:59:22 PM »
I canít speak to the slow travel part but have taken multiple trips to countries in Europe and Asia this year (after a 2 year break), and things are mostly back to normal. In some places, most people still wear masks but thatís an easy adjustment. As someone said previously, China seems to be the big exception at the moment.

Re your question about dual citizenship, you would need to use your US passport when re-entering US (and presumably the UK one when entering UK) but can choose whichever works best while traveling around the world. Some countries have more favorable visa options for US vs UK and vice versa (visa-free entry, stay duration, fees, etc.) so helps to do some research.

Safe travels!

YK-Phil

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2022, 03:36:06 PM »
Our slow travel through the Americas by campervan was interrupted a couple of years ago in Mexico, where we still are. Then after crisscrossing the entire country from north to south and east to west, we decided we really liked Mexico and we put our travel projects on hold. We recently decided we wanted to settle here, bought a lot by the ocean, and will build a little casita in 2023, all cash which is the norm in Mexico. As a lifelong nomad and "home-less" pretty much since birth (I fled my country at age four with my parents at the end of a civil war, will never go back, lived on three continents and several countries but since then never had a sense of belonging...), I am starting to have cold feet looking ahead with this scary project, even if I am happiest in Mexico than anywhere else in the world...still, I am itchy to get back on the road and find our way through Central and South America, I am just waiting to see how much cash I'll be left with after we finish our project...
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 03:38:32 PM by YK-Phil »

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2022, 05:18:20 PM »
In 2023 British citizens will need to start using the ETIAS waiver system for EU travel.

https://etias.com/etias-requirements/etias-for-british-citizens

If you are interested in Ireland, UK citizens can stay and work there as long as they want through the Common Travel Area.

Also being a UK citizen means you can get a long term rental agreement in the UK.  This isn't allowed for people without the proper visas or citizens.  Also if you intend to settle and not just visit, the NHS would be immediately available.
No plans to settle anywhere outside the USA even short term beyond a month or two. But do like having the option to stay longer if I want.

I like just winging things with few plans which is why I thought Europe would be a good place to start. Figured it would probably be helpful to start off in a country that I'm familiar with, speak the language (I'm mostly deaf so that doesn't matter much), where covid issues are resolved and where I don't need a visa to go there. Plus where I'd feel safe as a solo woman since I mostly want to bike tour/camp and do some longer rail trips further north. But too cold in winter and that would mean using up all my 90 days in winter. Looking to go like...now (LOL)... but guess I will have to look at going elsewhere first and to Europe in the spring.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2022, 05:28:13 PM »
Our slow travel through the Americas by campervan was interrupted a couple of years ago in Mexico, where we still are. Then after crisscrossing the entire country from north to south and east to west, we decided we really liked Mexico and we put our travel projects on hold. We recently decided we wanted to settle here, bought a lot by the ocean, and will build a little casita in 2023, all cash which is the norm in Mexico. As a lifelong nomad and "home-less" pretty much since birth (I fled my country at age four with my parents at the end of a civil war, will never go back, lived on three continents and several countries but since then never had a sense of belonging...), I am starting to have cold feet looking ahead with this scary project, even if I am happiest in Mexico than anywhere else in the world...still, I am itchy to get back on the road and find our way through Central and South America, I am just waiting to see how much cash I'll be left with after we finish our project...
Sounds exciting! I've been following your annual trips to Mexico here and sounds like a good choice. I'd also like to travel thru Central and S. America (never been) as well as Africa but am hesitant as a solo female traveller - especially biking. Have done a long solo trip of approx 2 years when I first FIREd but mainly stayed in places considered "safe" for women. Read lots of blogs and most seem to think it's no problem. What do you think?

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2022, 05:56:30 PM »
So happy you are in the position to travel. I still have 4 dogs and well.....

Just got back this weekend from 3 weeks in Barcelona. WOW!! WOW!! I'd go back and live in a heartbeat! (One of my rescue dogs is a Pit-mix. Seems he wouldn't be welcome in lots of places :( )

Masks are required on most all public transport but probably @ 50% wore them on the Metro. I had no issues whatsoever with Covid/masks, etc.

We flew down to Marbella from Barcelona - $30 round trip. Public transport is so easy to use (as you know.) Great wine for 2euros! Loved it! I like how the environment is in the forefront with recycling, no (no many) plastic bags, composting, public transport, etc. The food was amazing! People somewhat friendly but no one was rude. The weather was perfect. I felt safe out at night but wasn't out really late. Pick pocketing is a big thing but I had no problems. Two of my female friends were accosted but both happened really late and night and they were both drunk. In both instances, they were not hurt- only took their phones.

If I can answer any specific questions, please let me know.

I think.......all the signs are there. Nothing holding you back - GO!!





spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2022, 06:32:14 PM »
So happy you are in the position to travel. I still have 4 dogs and well.....

Just got back this weekend from 3 weeks in Barcelona. WOW!! WOW!! I'd go back and live in a heartbeat! (One of my rescue dogs is a Pit-mix. Seems he wouldn't be welcome in lots of places :( )

Masks are required on most all public transport but probably @ 50% wore them on the Metro. I had no issues whatsoever with Covid/masks, etc.

We flew down to Marbella from Barcelona - $30 round trip. Public transport is so easy to use (as you know.) Great wine for 2euros! Loved it! I like how the environment is in the forefront with recycling, no (no many) plastic bags, composting, public transport, etc. The food was amazing! People somewhat friendly but no one was rude. The weather was perfect. I felt safe out at night but wasn't out really late. Pick pocketing is a big thing but I had no problems. Two of my female friends were accosted but both happened really late and night and they were both drunk. In both instances, they were not hurt- only took their phones.

If I can answer any specific questions, please let me know.

I think.......all the signs are there. Nothing holding you back - GO!!
I love Barcelona! Lived in a small seaside town a bit north of there near Girona called L' Estartit and it was wonderful. My roommate was from Barcelona and we'd go there often. That was long ago so probably different now but maybe even better! Now that I'm older then when I first went I'm not much worried about getting hassled or catcalled by men and always felt safe there and thru out Spain/Europe so probably not an issue. Glad you had a great time!

ETA: Anyone know about the further eastern countries like Romania, Albania, Turkey, Serbia etc? Are they still inexpensive? Safe for solo women? Easy to use public transit or bike?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 06:34:47 PM by spartana »

Spiffy

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2022, 08:50:42 AM »
I can't slow travel quite yet, but I was in Germany for a bit this summer and everything felt completely normal except for having to wear masks on public transit. That rule has been dropped now, and no testing required for flying in or out from US. I'm about to leave for Italy and from my research, things are back to normal there, too. Whatever you do, do not overstay the 90 day rule. Make plans to leave a few days early, because they do not care that you had to stay extra days because you broke your ankle. They take the Schengen Rules very seriously. Enjoy the excellent dollar to Euro exchange rate!
Curious what they do if you miss that deadline. Off to the Gulag with you Amerikan riff-raff!! Ok maybe just kick you out with a no re-entry allowed stamp on your passport ;-).  That's great to hear that there aren't any restrictions even though I'd likely mask myself in crowded places.


It depends on how long you over stay and which country you are leaving from. It is usually a fine, but can also be deportation and a ban from reentry. Even if you don't get in trouble as you are leaving, they keep track of people who have over stayed and it can lead to a hassle the next time you want to go back. Some countries (Germany)are very strict and will deport or even take you into custody. Others (Greece) have high fines.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2022, 09:32:02 AM »
I can't slow travel quite yet, but I was in Germany for a bit this summer and everything felt completely normal except for having to wear masks on public transit. That rule has been dropped now, and no testing required for flying in or out from US. I'm about to leave for Italy and from my research, things are back to normal there, too. Whatever you do, do not overstay the 90 day rule. Make plans to leave a few days early, because they do not care that you had to stay extra days because you broke your ankle. They take the Schengen Rules very seriously. Enjoy the excellent dollar to Euro exchange rate!
Curious what they do if you miss that deadline. Off to the Gulag with you Amerikan riff-raff!! Ok maybe just kick you out with a no re-entry allowed stamp on your passport ;-).  That's great to hear that there aren't any restrictions even though I'd likely mask myself in crowded places.


It depends on how long you over stay and which country you are leaving from. It is usually a fine, but can also be deportation and a ban from reentry. Even if you don't get in trouble as you are leaving, they keep track of people who have over stayed and it can lead to a hassle the next time you want to go back. Some countries (Germany)are very strict and will deport or even take you into custody. Others (Greece) have high fines.
Good to know. I hadn't thought about any of this and just assumed I could stay in Europe as long as I want on the UK passport so now will re-think my various options as far a time spent there. Planning to leave mid-Dec to...somewhere. Still undecided but Europe seems like the least hassle to start and I have somewhere to stay with family over Christmas in Sweden (brrrrr...) then head south from there. 

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2022, 11:52:20 AM »
I was in Egypt last month.  No restrictions and no tests or vaccinations required.  The only people I saw wearing masks other than us were a few other tourists.

Edited to add:  I'd definitely get a QR code that would prove my vaccination status.  That's what Egypt required until it dropped the requirement. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 11:54:49 AM by Catbert »

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2022, 04:12:54 PM »
UK passport is like any other 3rd country passport now, no advantage to it for EU travel. 

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2022, 10:04:37 AM »
ETA: Anyone know about the further eastern countries like Romania, Albania, Turkey, Serbia etc? Are they still inexpensive? Safe for solo women? Easy to use public transit or bike?

This isn't on your list, but I found Hungary to be a nice place.  I wouldn't describe it as cheap, but it certainly felt affordable -- I lived in Tampa, FL at the time (about 5 years ago) and the prices felt comparable.  I found public transportation to be very easy to use (at least in Budapest), although I also did a lot of walking.  And I didn't have a bike with me, but I definitely felt like it would be a good place to bike.  Budapest might not be great, but it seemed like there were good trails and facilities along the Danube.  I met a bunch of folks who were biking and camping up and down the Danube.  I can't speak to the solo woman side of things.  The people I met were all friendly, but some of the Hungarians I became friendly with did share about intolerance they'd witnessed or experienced (towards immigrants, LGBT, etc.).

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2022, 10:12:09 AM »
I was in Egypt last month.  No restrictions and no tests or vaccinations required.  The only people I saw wearing masks other than us were a few other tourists.

Edited to add:  I'd definitely get a QR code that would prove my vaccination status.  That's what Egypt required until it dropped the requirement.
I just got the bivalent booster a week or so ago and have the QR code on my phone so good to go  but...

I am now wondering if I need a different phone. I just use a cheap pay as you go Tracfone and don't know how it would work internationally. They do have an international plan but a new better phone might work much better at a lower cost.

Also if you are travelling outside the US and want to get a visa asap to go to another country how and where do you do that? How long does it usually take? What kind of costs are involved if any? I know probably stupid questions for seasoned slow travellers but I'm a new at this.

Thanks again for any info and suggestions as this is all different for me compared to last time I travelled internationally or long term outside the US. Seems I'll have to actually make plans (ugh) instead of just wing it like I wanted.   

Catbert

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2022, 10:54:18 AM »
^^^Well, Egypts "visa" involved paying $25 US cash only at the Cairo airport upon arrival.  I've been to numerous countries in Europe and never had to get a visa (that I recall.)  This may be different for longer visits.


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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2022, 10:58:29 AM »
Apparently Americans can stay in France up to 180 days, not sure how that works to combine with the other Schengen stuff though.

AFAIK you should always enter and leave a country you're a national of with that country's passport. Eg for Canada, as a citizen I am not allowed to visit with my UK passport. If I was flying from the UK I'd leave with the UK passport and present the Canadian on landing.

Lots of random info https://livein10countries.com/90-days-in-europe-schengen-visas/

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2022, 09:00:49 PM »

I am now wondering if I need a different phone. I just use a cheap pay as you go Tracfone and don't know how it would work internationally. They do have an international plan but a new better phone might work much better at a lower cost.

Your best bet is probably to buy a local SIM card when you arrive. That's usually cheaper than most US carriers' international plans, although it depends on how long you're staying, how much you use your phone, etc. As for whether the phone itself will work, assuming the phone is unlocked, then if it's a fairly recent model (last 3-4 years) it will probably work, but to be safe try Googling to see if there are any known issues with your specific model in your specific destination(s). If it's not unlocked, you might be able to get your carrier to unlock it for you.

(I've gotten around this entire hassle by using Google Fi with a phone listed on their site as compatible, but there are several disadvantages, including high plan cost relative to prepaid, and the fact that Fi has been known to disconnect users who spend too much time abroad.)

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2022, 09:41:39 AM »
Apparently Americans can stay in France up to 180 days, not sure how that works to combine with the other Schengen stuff though.

AFAIK you should always enter and leave a country you're a national of with that country's passport. Eg for Canada, as a citizen I am not allowed to visit with my UK passport. If I was flying from the UK I'd leave with the UK passport and present the Canadian on landing.

Lots of random info https://livein10countries.com/90-days-in-europe-schengen-visas/
That would be awesome if I could do that. I'll check it out as it would make a nice home base to explore from for the spring months. A forum member @rachael talcott has a thread about living in Paris so may have more info on that. I'm assuming that France doesn't have covid restriction so not a worry.

I also assume (maybe wrongly) from the link that someone could country hop in and out of the Schengen countries within that 180 days as long as you don't stay over a total of 90 days. While that wouldn't be ideal it could work -  especially if it's as cheap and easy to get a visa to places in North Africa etc as @Catbert experienced. I really prefer to stay in one area longer  term (couple of months or so) but this would work too.

ETA: thanks for the phone info @snic. I don't use the (older LG) phone much other then for texting and online stuff (don't own a computer or laptop) so will probably upgrade before I leave the US. Already got all my financial stuff set up so won't need to check that often. Also using sister address in Calif so that's set up too. So other then the phone just need to buy an airline ticket to.... Somewhere ;-). Oh and some kind of travellers medical insurance. Started another thread for and am curious what others have used.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2022, 10:29:41 AM by spartana »

jim555

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2022, 01:32:25 PM »
Lots of countries require proof of outward travel (outbound plane ticket) when you enter.  You would need to verify that before your journey.

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2022, 01:54:50 PM »
The countries welcoming US tourists now -- and some resources for your visit:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-international-travel-covid-19/index.html

Most are linked to the U.S. embassies in those countries.

Basically, most European countries are fully open (almost) without any restriction. Most SE Asian countries are open, but you may be asked to show vaccination cards or fill out some forms before entering. Many people in Asian countries wear masks although not required officially. So bring your masks, they may be needed on buses, trains, or airplanes.

When you are leaving a hotel and get on your travel, check the following four essential items:  passport, wallet (cash and ATM/credit cards), cell phone, and vaccination card. Other things can be bought if lost or forgotten.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2022, 02:32:08 PM »
Lots of countries require proof of outward travel (outbound plane ticket) when you enter.  You would need to verify that before your journey.
Just checked and looks like the requirement in Schengen countries. That makes it difficult as I was planning to just get a one way flight and then go overland from there once my time was up. I guess I can buy a R/T ticket and just not use the return portion (or change it to another destination). Probably not much added expense and a good emergency plan in case I need or want  to.go back to Calif. Thanks for the tip as I was only looking at one way fares.

As of now, because I'm lazy and don't want to deal with a lot of issues,  I'm just going to plan on 90 days in (mostly Southern) Europe with a 90 day Eurail Pass and will get a R/T plane ticket. Once there I can probably find a way to stay longer if I want so I can start bike touring and camping further north in April. Or come back in Fall for another 3 months and spend late spring and summer somewhere else. After that...????
« Last Edit: November 26, 2022, 02:36:53 PM by spartana »

jim555

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2022, 02:41:57 PM »
You can fly to London on a one way since you are not under immigration control (with a UK passport), then fly to the Eurozone with a R/T, which should be cheap from London.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2022, 02:45:48 PM by jim555 »

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2022, 02:49:41 PM »
The countries welcoming US tourists now -- and some resources for your visit:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-international-travel-covid-19/index.html

Most are linked to the U.S. embassies in those countries.

Basically, most European countries are fully open (almost) without any restriction. Most SE Asian countries are open, but you may be asked to show vaccination cards or fill out some forms before entering. Many people in Asian countries wear masks although not required officially. So bring your masks, they may be needed on buses, trains, or airplanes.

When you are leaving a hotel and get on your travel, check the following four essential items:  passport, wallet (cash and ATM/credit cards), cell phone, and vaccination card. Other things can be bought if lost or forgotten.
That's a great site with ALOT of the info I am looking for. Looks like, with a few exceptions, everything is pretty open (besides China) as far as covid goes - although that may change after the holidays as cases seem to be on the rise again in many places (here for example).

Because I haven't travelled internationally in more than a decade, and going solo (how I like it) I'm  doing the "easy" stuff first (i.e. bike and bus/rail touring and camping, hostels or longer term AirBnBs in uber safe Europe) before going to the Middle East and Africa. Pretty much budget travelling too but a few luxuries here and there.

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2022, 03:17:24 PM »
The countries welcoming US tourists now -- and some resources for your visit:

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/us-international-travel-covid-19/index.html

Most are linked to the U.S. embassies in those countries.

Basically, most European countries are fully open (almost) without any restriction. Most SE Asian countries are open, but you may be asked to show vaccination cards or fill out some forms before entering. Many people in Asian countries wear masks although not required officially. So bring your masks, they may be needed on buses, trains, or airplanes.

When you are leaving a hotel and get on your travel, check the following four essential items:  passport, wallet (cash and ATM/credit cards), cell phone, and vaccination card. Other things can be bought if lost or forgotten.
That's a great site with ALOT of the info I am looking for. Looks like, with a few exceptions, everything is pretty open (besides China) as far as covid goes - although that may change after the holidays as cases seem to be on the rise again in many places (here for example).

Because I haven't travelled internationally in more than a decade, and going solo (how I like it) I'm  doing the "easy" stuff first (i.e. bike and bus/rail touring and camping, hostels or longer term AirBnBs in uber safe Europe) before going to the Middle East and Africa. Pretty much budget travelling too but a few luxuries here and there.

I was in Balkans and other European countries for three weeks in May. I mostly used booking.com to book inexpensive rooms and apartments in Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro, similar to AirBnBs. But it did not seem to work well in Switzerland and other developed countries, so I booked formal hotels there. I was travelling solo in SE Asian countries for more than a month in October, hotel rooms there were about 50% of their pre-pandemic prices, using agoda.com in Asia. But things may change soon as more travelers are going to Thailand and other SE Asian countries. (Tripadvisor's discussion forum is also a good place to know up-to-date information for a place you want to go).

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2022, 04:02:19 PM »
Lots of countries require proof of outward travel (outbound plane ticket) when you enter.  You would need to verify that before your journey.
Just checked and looks like the requirement in Schengen countries. That makes it difficult as I was planning to just get a one way flight and then go overland from there once my time was up. I guess I can buy a R/T ticket and just not use the return portion (or change it to another destination). Probably not much added expense and a good emergency plan in case I need or want  to.go back to Calif. Thanks for the tip as I was only looking at one way fares.

You can buy a refundable one-way exit fare, show it to whomever you need to show it to, then cancel it, get your money back, and exit whenever and wherever you like (within the rules).

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2022, 02:23:49 AM »
You can fly to London on a one way since you are not under immigration control (with a UK passport), then fly to the Eurozone with a R/T, which should be cheap from London.

Maybe you could fly into London and then use your euro rail pass to take the train to Paris with a reservation for returning in about 86 days. I think that train is included in the euro rail global pass (with reservation).

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2022, 04:35:25 AM »
As of now, because I'm lazy and don't want to deal with a lot of issues,  I'm just going to plan on 90 days in (mostly Southern) Europe with a 90 day Eurail Pass and will get a R/T plane ticket. Once there I can probably find a way to stay longer if I want so I can start bike touring and camping further north in April. Or come back in Fall for another 3 months and spend late spring and summer somewhere else. After that...????
Please don't just assume that you will be able to get around the Schengen visa limits.  It will not be easy to do that and if you break the rules you may find that you are banned for life from visiting the Schengen area.  I guess if you would be happy with "once and done" then you could do that, but having a Schengen ban on your passport may cause difficulties for you at other international borders.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

Time spent in Europe but outside the Schengen area includes the UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and most of the Balkans.  Everywhere in that list except the UK and Ireland will be cheap and good for e.g. mountain hiking in summer and reasonably safe for a solo female traveller (Serbia/Kosova is a bit tense generally at the moment though).

Interrail/eurorail sounds ideal for you.  I did some interrailing around Europe years ago and loved it.

Please be aware if you are relying on reading rather than speech that the further east and south you go you may have to read cyrillic or greek script and if you go to North Africa or the Middle East then arabic script.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2022, 11:55:18 AM »
You can fly to London on a one way since you are not under immigration control (with a UK passport), then fly to the Eurozone with a R/T, which should be cheap from London.

Maybe you could fly into London and then use your euro rail pass to take the train to Paris with a reservation for returning in about 86 days. I think that train is included in the euro rail global pass (with reservation).
I did purchase a global 3 month Eurail Pass and booked a R/T flight to London for late Dec with a return date 6 months later. Apparently you can't use the Eurail pass in the UK (only Ireland) so won't start it there but can start using it once in an EU county and the Schengen clock start ticking down ;-).  It looks like I can stay up to 6 months in the UK on my US passport without needing a Visa so can maybe do some combo of EU travel and UK stays. Like @former player mentions,  I don't want to do anything illegal but it seem like a doable legal option to extend my 90 day stay.


jim555

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2022, 12:05:22 PM »
If you have a UK passport you can't come in on a US tourist visa, you are exempt from UK immigration control as a citizen.

spartana

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2022, 12:26:07 PM »
If you have a UK passport you can't come in on a US tourist visa, you are exempt from UK immigration control as a citizen.
Hmmm....I'll have to check it more closely as it seemed that I could choose to use my US passport (and am a US citizen) rather then the UK passport and don't need a visa for entry and could stay up to 6 months on the US passport. It seemed like the least hassle since I don't plan to stay in the UK too long. I read somewhere that if you are a US citizen but a dual passport holder you need to fly in and out of the UK from the US using your US passport.

"You may have both a US and UK passport. As a citizen of both countries, you are entitled to a travel document from either country. There are certain requirements regarding how you are to travel, for example, from the US, you may only use your US Passport to leave and re-enter the country.Jan 17, 2022
https://www.ukabroad.net › us-uk-d...
US UK Dual Citizenship - Your FAQs Answered - U.K.ABROAD"

This one is from the US State Dept:

"U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law."
« Last Edit: November 29, 2022, 12:38:21 PM by spartana »

jim555

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2022, 12:27:49 PM »
If you have a UK passport you can't come in on a US tourist visa, you are exempt from UK immigration control as a citizen.
Hmmm....I'll have to check it more closely as it seemed that I could choose to use my US passport (and am a US citizen) rather then the UK passport and don't need a visa for entry and could stay up to 6 months on the US passport. It seemed like the least hassle since I don't plan to stay in the UK too long. I read somewhere that if you are a US citizen but a dual passport holder you need to fly in and out of the UK from the US using your US passport.
Technically they should never issue that visa in the first place since it is invalid.  Real world who knows what happens?

jim555

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Re: Slow travel in a (sort of) post covid world. Anyone doing it?
« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2022, 12:43:14 PM »
This one is from the US State Dept:

"U.S. nationals, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law."
Yes, you should always enter in on the passport you are citizen of.  So when you enter the US come in on US.  When you enter the UK, use the UK.