It’s Day #23 of 100 Days of Travel! One of the major challenges of traveling during the era of COVID-19 has been finding accurate information for making safe choices while moving around. Today, I’m showing the main resources that I use to make informed decisions.
The last thing anybody expected was an international pandemic to essentially shut down the world. The void of government leadership was quickly filled with misinformation with both the disease and hastily implemented travel restrictions. For expats and digital nomads with no permanent home, finding valid travel info has been challenging. Here are the sources I’ve been using and the ones I avoid.
General News COVID-19
Guardian COVID-19 Live
The Guardian newspaper out of the UK has the best ongoing coverage of the virus from around the world with short fact-based mini-articles and a quick list of the daily headlines.
VOX Coronavirus Explained
For more in-depth reporting on the ongoing from a primarily US standpoint, VOX has been excellent with its evidence-based news. Their “explainers” are especially useful for distilling all the various treatments, facts, and scientific studies from around the world.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Despite political attempts to cast doubts on science, the CDC is an excellent fact-based resource for questions about symptoms, testing, prevention, daily activities, and what to do if you get sick.
NYT COVID World Map
Although most content is locked behind a paywall, this single page is available for free and is my main source for tracking outbreak trends.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
If you want to download the hard data like cases, deaths, and 14-day trailing numbers, the EU has consolidated all that info into a simple spreadsheet.
Travel Specific Websites
SafetyWings Flatten The Curve
This travel insurance company was one of the first to tackle the COVID-19 issue with regards to travelers and they have a comprehensive list of restrictions that’s updated on a regular basis. They also now offer COVID-19 coverage as part of their health insurance plans.
Can I Travel?
While not always up to date, this website is a useful top-level tool when trying to figure out what’s open and what restrictions are in place. Just enter your country, where you are traveling from, and where you are heading.
These are a mixed bag. For the United States, each separate embassy around the world has its own COVID-19 page with relevant info. Instead of a consistent style, each embassy has its own method of communicating restrictions and rules. The navigation on the embassy sites is terrible as well so just google “US embassy covid” plus the name of the country to get to the relevant page.
Use with extreme caution (see below). First-hand accounts of country-specific situations and travel tips are helpful. Anything that starts with “I heard…” can typically be ignored. A few like the Nomad Travel Support Network can be useful for figuring out country-specific restrictions.
Websites to Avoid
Conjecture, misinformation, and fear-mongering are not helpful for travelers (or for your general sanity). Do you know when the vaccine for COVID-19 will be ready? When it’s ready. And no amount of yell-shouting on Reddit will help it arrive any faster. While doom-scrolling through social media may provide a grim misery porn satisfaction, it won’t answer any questions you have about travel.
Cable News Websites
CNN, MSNBC, and FOX are the main culprits. Just avoid them as they thrive off generating a constant level of fear-based clickbait. Also, they are dumping a truck-load of trackers on your device every time you visit.