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COVID-19 and travel - the new age

COVID-19 has caused huge disruption on a global scale. Perhaps the most impacted area of our lives has been the restriction on travel, both domestically and in particular, internationally.

It’s been a very difficult time all round.

And with this has come a new range of travel requirements that we have to follow. Most countries have their own conditions they want visitors to meet before they let you in.

It can get complicated and become an overwhelming job to research and process all the necessary documents. If you get it wrong or miss something out, you risk losing your travel plans altogether.

Don't worry! We’re here to help you at every step.

Get your visa and travel documents sorted in lighting fast time, with zero hassle. Go ->

The most common questions asked during the booking phase of a trip involve queries around travel visas and other forms you might need to complete.

We want to avoid any surprise hiccups when we arrive at the airport, or worse, when we land at the other end.

COVID-19 has caused huge disruption on a global scale. Perhaps the most impacted area of our lives has been the restriction on travel, both domestically and in particular, internationally.

It’s been a very difficult time all round.

And with this has come a new range of travel requirements that we have to follow. Most countries have their own conditions they want visitors to meet before they let you in.

It can get complicated and become an overwhelming job to research and process all the necessary documents. If you get it wrong or miss something out, you risk losing your travel plans altogether.

Don't worry! We’re here to help you at every step.

Get your visa and travel documents sorted in lighting fast time, with zero hassle. Go ->

The most common questions asked during the booking phase of a trip involve queries around travel visas and other forms you might need to complete.

We want to avoid any surprise hiccups when we arrive at the airport, or worse, when we land at the other end.

Types of travel documents you may need

You may find you need at least one of the following documents if you fly anywhere out of the territory you’re in:

  • eVisa (tourist, business, medical)

In a nutshell, a visa document is explicit approval given by a country for a citizen of another country to enter its borders, i.e. country A saying “you’re welcome here, come on in!”. An eVisa is just an electronic version of the paper document that’s traditionally issued to successful applicants.

Particularly if you’re planning to travel out of Europe, this may be essential to your travel needs. Nations will have their own visa requirements and you’ll need to sort this out before you fly.

  • ESTA (USA)

Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. The United States requires this authorisation process to be completed to let visitors travel without a visa. The Canadian equivalent to an ESTA is the eTA Canada. There are several other travel authorisation (TA) systems across the globe, we’ve just highlighted a couple of the more well-known ones.

  • Passenger Locator Form (PLF)

This must be completed before you arrive at the destination you're travelling to. The PLF helps efforts to contact-trace should there be any exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19. It tells the relevant authorities when you plan to arrive and leave its territory and can also be used if checks need to be done relating to self-isolation.

  • Health declaration form

Of course, this has become increasingly important since the global pandemic. Different countries may call this by different names, but the information it aims to gather is the same. It has been a useful tool in the fight against many different diseases over the years and it may be necessary to complete one of these forms or you’ll find entry to your destination closed.

  • Embassy registration (e.g. when no tourist visa is required)

This is an excellent security measure in case of emergencies or any other issue you may experience while you're abroad. It’s good practice (though not necessarily mandatory) to let your embassy (at the destination country) know. That way you have an information and communications channel open continuously should you need it, or need to be contacted by the department.

Some of the other documents you may come across depending on where you are travelling are: landing authorisation, tourist card (land, air), tourist invitation letter, business invitation letter, pre-arrival registration, arrival card or affidavit.

Sorting through all this can take hours. We’d rather you spent that time planning the most amazing trip possible!

This is why we partnered with the best in the industry who provide a solution to this growing need.

Brought to you by iVisa

Why iVisa?

iVisa.com was founded in 2014 to help travellers deal with the task of completing all essential travel documents, saving you time and money.

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iVisa outlines required documents
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Since then, they’ve helped hundreds of thousands of travellers like you and are world leaders in visa and travel document support.

iVisa.com will let you know in seconds exactly what documents and/or authorisations you need (unless you can travel freely, in which case they’ll tell you straight away) – saving you possibly hours and hours of searching and enquiring.

Whether you are looking for a Turkey visa online, an eTA Australia or to check travel requirement information for any country in the world, they'll be able to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information accessible.

A professional will handle the rigorous paperwork, speak to embassies, government departments or whoever the relevant authority is - on your behalf - to get your application approved so you can travel without any interruptions.

iVisa.com are very experienced in this niche area and their customer support service is outstanding, meaning if you have any questions before, during or after, they’ll be able to help you right away.

Don’t delay, we know it isn’t glamourous but in today’s world it’s more essential than ever to have all of this covered.

Brought to you by iVisa

Need a photo?

Get an approved photo for your passport, visa, permit or any other reason. iVisa.com can handle that too. Try it today and see for yourself!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a prepaid currency card?
Details

Some may call it a holiday money card or a travel money card. A currency card is a cost-effective solution that allows you to spend money abroad with ease by opening an account in the local currency of your trip.

You simply 'top-up' the card with your currency of choice and start spending.

Some of the most commonly used are euro currency cards and U.S dollar currency cards. There are also multi-currency cards allowing you to hold several currencies at once.

Are there benefits to having a currency card?
Details

Absolutely. There are several very important benefits that have made getting a travel money card a much more common choice for those going abroad. One of the main benefits of a currency card is the control and increased safety it offers you. You can only spend what you have on the card, so it's great for budgeting and making sure you don't go overdrawn.

As such, it's been a popular choice for parents with older teens and also travellers in general.

Key benefits include:

  • Account can be frozen if the card is lost or stolen - so safer than using cash
  • Free or reduced fees for using cards abroad when compared to some debit/credit cards
  • Can use the card anywhere that excepts Visa or Mastercard (depending on which account you choose), so millions of outlets all over the world
  • Pre-paid cards can be used to withdraw cash at the ATM
What is the best card for travel money?
Details

It will depend on your needs.

If you're on a single trip to France for a week’s holiday, then you can say that a euro currency card would be best suited for you. If you're travelling from Germany to the U.K, heading to the U.S then to Greece, you might benefit from a multi-currency card.

In terms of the rates and reviews, we have a marketplace so you can compare different currency cards and decide what's best for you. We look at the listings we have to make sure they are of the highest quality, aren't misleading and have a good record when dealing with customer support and help.

We want to make sure you can find the top providers all in one place if you need a card for holiday money.

How do you manage your account?
Details

Whichever business you open an account with, will have clear details of how to use your account.

Almost all of them will have either an app you can download, or a log in via a web browser where you can manage your account online. So that means if you’re anywhere in the world and have any issues with your card, all you need is an internet connection and you can sort it out.

Management services would include:

  • Loading more money to the card
  • Freezing account if card lost/stolen
  • Customer service support for any questions or concerns
  • Information on rates and fees (if applicable)

Many card providers will also have a customer service number which you can also use to deal with any query or concern.

What are some of the things to watch out for?
Details

The cheapest rates, highest security, good reviews and customer support are some of the areas we've looked at carefully for each listing. We want you to get the best product possible!

We've tried to highlight the most important factors you should consider when choosing your travel money card. We always advise comparing a few options before you settle on a final choice.

There are of course some things to know when choosing your currency card. Make sure you read the terms and conditions (which should be a must in anything you sign up for in general) which will let you know more about the requirements of using that service.

Things to be aware of:

  • Is there a charge for applying for the currency card? Some providers will charge and it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's good to know this beforehand
  • Are there charges for: topping up your card, withdrawing cash from your card, or a monthly cost to have the account itself?

This is why it's good practice to look at multiple choices, read the material, and find answers to these questions.

Things to watch out for:

It's very easy to get caught out by a number of things when spending money abroad. Save a lot of hassle and know these things beforehand, so you can get on with having the time of your life!

ATM Fees

NOT the fees on the listing results above, we mean the ATM itself may also charge you a fee to withdraw money. As you may get charged each time you withdraw money, it's best practice to take out larger amounts, less frequently. It's all about good planning, as you don't want the ATM eating away all your holiday funds!

When you go to withdraw money abroad, the ATM may ask if you want to 'convert the charge', or withdraw using an exchange rate on your home currency - CHOOSE ‘NO’. Always choose to be charged in the local currency or you will likely face high fees for taking cash out. Basically, however it’s phrased, you only want to deal in the local currency of the place you're in.

For example, if you’re in France, then only deal in EUR when withdrawing cash, don't use an exchange rate or conversion into your home currency (say GBP). If you're in the U.S, then only deal in USD, and so forth.

Inactivity Fees

Some currency card providers may charge a small fee if you don't use your card for a certain period of time (say 12 months). This is known as an inactivity fee.

If you only plan on using your card on very rare occasions, or even for a one-off trip, this is something to keep in mind. Providers will make it clear on their websites whether there is an inactivity charge on the account.

Spending limits on card

There are caps on almost all accounts. It makes sense as a genuine security feature, should your card end up in the possession of someone else. But with most accounts, there will be limits things such as:

  • Daily/monthly withdrawal amounts
  • Daily withdrawals (e.g., no more than 5 times per day)
  • Maximum purchase amounts per day (e.g., no more than £3,000 per day)

With upgraded accounts, you may have higher limits and lower fees when you spend, but remember you’ll likely have to pay for these accounts. So, it's good to know your spending habits and which type of account would best suit your needs.

Multi-currency cards are growing very rapidly in popularity due to the safety, budgeting and flexibility they offer.

They are safer than cash, cheaper than banks, and generally are very easy to maintain and control. Families, frequent travellers, or the rare voyager alike can all feel confident in making one of the wisest choices to get a travel money card.

Browse some of the top names in travel money pre-paid currency cards and get a cheaper, more secure alternative to using credit/debit cards or cash as your main means of spending.