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5 Things to do Before Traveling from the UK to USA in 2022

For those of us with partners or family in another country, the travel bans during the pandemic have felt never-ending. Things have gradually let up, but there are still a lot of hoops to jump through when traveling from one country to another, especially if you’re not a citizen. See the 5 top things on my to-do list before traveling from the UK to the USA in 2022!

shows a list of top five things to do when traveling from the UK to USA during Covid with an image of a forest and waterfalls in the background

1. Apply for a visa/ESTA (for non-US citizens)

This isn’t a new requirement, but as a citizen of the USA I often forget that visas can be required even for short visits to other countries. There are a lot of websites out there which try to lure in inexperienced travelers, but the correct site to apply for an ESTA is currently https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov . From my experience, it is wise to never put any personal travel information into websites which don’t have the .gov in the URL!

2. Purchase travel insurance

This is another part of travel I was never aware of, but it is necessary to get travel insurance for most out-of-country trips in case of incidents. As an American who doesn't live in the USA, I have to get travel insurance when I visit home since I am not currently insured by work or covered by my parents insurance anymore.

In order to find the best deals, go to MoneySuperMarket and click “Get a New Quote”. There will be a series of questions to fill out based on your trip and insurance preferences, and then you will be given a list of options which are suitable.

3. Book a Covid test

You knew it was coming…currently the USA still requires visitors to provide evidence of a negative Covid test before departure. The test can be PCR or lateral flow, but must be taken within one day of travel. This means if you are flying on a Monday, the test must have been taken at any point on Sunday.

After looking at several options, I am going to order a £15 self-test (from the pharmacy Boots) which is verified with a travel certificate within four hours of submission. See the photo below for my selection! My backup plan in case of website problems is the £35 rapid test you can get done at Heathrow airport.

shows the covid travel test from Boots Pharmacy which will allow for at home testing and verification within four hours
Boots Covid Test Selection for Travel

4. Limit exposure for two weeks prior to travel

This one is probably debatable for a lot of people, but I do not want to get a positive Covid test result prior to an international flight.

You’re more protected from getting the virus if you have tested positive recently, so this could play a role in your decision to socialize prior to travel, but I would recommend being as safe as possible just in case.

5. Have evidence of your vaccine (non-US citizens)

Some people may not know this, but you have to be vaccinated against Covid in order to travel to the USA currently, unless you’re a US citizen. Read more here!

This evidence can be confirmed on the NHS app, under the NHS Covid Pass (see below). This is a quick and easy process, but it is worth making sure that your information is up to date before travel.

shows a screenshot from the NHS App where there is a button to Continue to receive the pass for upcoming travel abroad
NHS App Covid Pass Process

And that’s it! Now just to book accommodation, transportation, activities, food and drink….

I will update this page if anything else comes up or if I learn any new guidance to make the process easier!

Wish me luck,

x Melissa

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