Showing posts with the label Travel

Voluntary COVID-19 Test For Travelers Traveling Outside The US

My parents are traveling back home to India and one of the requirements for exempting them from institutional quarantine is to submit an RT-PCR negative report upon arrival in India. There are two types of COVID tests- the RT-PCR test is a lab test where results typically take 2-3 days while the Rapid test has the same-day result. The COVID test can also be taken at the airport upon arrival in India. However, you will have to make an appointment and wait for at least 8-10 hours at the airport until your test results arrive. That makes me think that they will probably be doing a Rapid Test since you have already arrived in India as opposed to their requirement of RT-PCR test before boarding the flight. To avoid the long wait time for the test result, we decided to get it done from here so that they had head back straight home after the long 24 hours journey. I live in Maryland and there are a lot of sites where one can get a COVID test done. Link here: https://coronavirus.baltimorec

Off-site Parking At The Dulles Airport- Is It Worth it?

I fly out from Dulles International Airport (IAD) a few times each year and need parking for 3 to 4 weeks each time. In all this time, I have been parking at the Dulles economy parking lot for $10 per day (so $ 210 for three weeks). Off late, I have been traveling a lot and wanted to explore cheap alternatives.  I found a few off-site parking options with large numbers of positive reviews.  The Crown Plaza at Herdon was one of the options that offers cheap parking. However after some digging I found that Crown Plaza and many other hotels in the Dulles area, use the Kohl's parking lot.  Gottapark  is one such company that advertises heavily and  also uses the parking structure at Kohl’s.  While I was initially excited about the idea of off-site parking I ended up not my booking because of the following reasons:   You will need to change the shuttle twice before reaching the airport. First a shuttle will pick you up from the parking lot and drop you at the hotel. From t

Coronavirus: Stranded In The US? All You Need To Do To Extend Your Stay Hassle-Free

My parents have come to visit me in February 2020 and they are supposed to return to India in May 2020. We all know that there is a lockdown till 12th April 2020 in India and 30th April in the US- we don't know if these dates are going to be extended. As on today traveling is UNCERTAIN. So, what options are available if they have to  extend  their stay? Change of Flight Tickets Most airlines have begun changing their policies to create more flexibility for changing bookings. So, if you’re planning — or have already scheduled — a trip for the near future then, depending upon the airline, here are your options:  You can cancel the ticket.   Some airlines are offering   e-credit (e.g. Delta airlines), while some are letting you cancel the ticket  without having to commit to a new flight date right away (e.g. Lufthansa) .  In case you want a full cash refund, I would suggest that you wait up to 72 hours before your flight. In the meanwhile, if the airlines changes the fli

Tips For Picking Visitors Insurance For Indian Parents Traveling To The US

We know that healthcare in the U.S is expensive and elderly people are more susceptible to illnesses. Bills can quickly add up if you run into a medical emergency. Depending on the treatment, visiting an urgent care or the emergency room can cost anywhere between $150 to $1,000,000. Ambulance or helicopter services is beyond the afforadable limits of middle-class people like me if I have to pay for it out of pocket.  You must realize that even if you are healthy at this moment, you can still encounter unexpected emergencies like sudden illness, accidents, hurting yourself or falling down, etc.   This is where having a travel insurance policy can help in avoiding a bankruptcy.  You can either buy the travel insurance from an Indian company in India or a US company. The pros and cons for both these options are listed below: # Indian Insurance Company US Insurance Company 1 It is way cheaper to buy insurance from an Indian company in India as opposed to a US based compa

Coronavirus: Running Out Of Medications? Here's How You Can Refill A Foreign Prescription In The US

Your mother runs out of her blood pressure medication.  Can she refill her prescription at a U.S. pharmacy?  You forgot to bring your Ayurvedic medicines.  Can your parents mail it to you from India?  Your father is traveling to the U.S and wants to carry his prescription medications that aren’t available OTC in the US.  Can you?   These are just some of the questions people who need medications worry about.  So, what are the rules for refilling or shipping medications or flying to the US with them?  How to refill medicines at the local pharmacy in the US? If you need a prescription filled, you should visit a local doctor as very few pharmacies can fill a foreign prescription, and this is determined on a state-by-state basis. Therefore, it is very important that you have a travel insurance and your foreign prescription. You need to show your foreign prescription to the local US doctor and request him/her to issue you a local prescription which you can use to buy medication in

Coronavirus: Should You Go See The Cherry Blossoms In DC This Weekend?

The Yoshino cherry blossoms are heading towards full bloom. In a normal year about 1.5 million visitors will congregate around the Tidal Basin area to witness this event. However, this year due to the coronavirus crisis, local agencies and health officials are discouraging crowds and recommending that any visitors maintain a safe distance.  This can be disheartening for a lot of people, especially if you have been planning this for a long time or traveling from afar.  So, this leads to the million dollar question: Is it safe to visit the Tidal Basin to see the  cherry blossoms ? Tidal Basin is open and accessible for strolling and walking. However, t he National Park Service has placed placards around the Tidal Basin warning visitors about the dangers of coronavirus during peak bloom this Saturday (03.21.2020) .  “Although the park is not closed, we encourage all visitors, particularly the most vulnerable, including the elderly and people with underlying conditi