Max and I had a trip to Greece get cancelled multiple times due to COVID-19 and we finally got our chance this summer when we heard the news of Greece reopening – even reopening early – to travelers with the vaccine or willing to take a PCR test within 72 hours. In the span of just about one month, we were able to secure tickets to Greece June 1 – July 3 and started researching immediately to understand what we needed for both the layover and the destination. Here’s our Top 5 Things to Know in blog version:…

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There is so much confusion, and frankly, misinformation regarding travel to Europe right now so we wanted to share some of the key things you need to know before you go to Europe this summer. Keep in mind, the regulations change daily so our goal here is to provide you with some pathways to learn our experience, but also how to check what you need to know for your trip (and please DO check outside of just reading this post).

Regardless of where you plan on traveling this summer, keep in mind that if you have a layover, you could end up in trouble for not meeting the requirements of that country, even to simply transit through the airport.

Windmill of mykonos

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Traveling to Europe this summer? Read more about our experience on the blog!

For example, we had flights booked from San Francisco Airport to Mykonos, Greece. Greece’s requirement at the time stated “vaccine 14+ days before arrival or PCR test within 72 hours of arrival”.

We took the vaccine 16 days before arrival so that’s all well and good, right? Wrong. We had a few options for layovers: Paris and Frankfurt. Frankfurt, at the time, stated all travelers, regardless of whether or not they clear customs and are simply transiting through the airport, are required to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours.

This means that even though you meet the requirements for Greece with the vaccine, you still need to have a negative PCR to get on the plane from SFO to Frankfurt. However, France’s stated requirements at the time said that passengers on a single itinerary were exempt from the negative PCR requirement if it was not required by the final destination.

Therefore, the vaccine holds as your access to that flight. See the difference? We, of course, went with the flight through Paris as getting a PCR test with a guaranteed turnaround is expensive and often, not guaranteed. It is absolutely critical that you check the requirements for both destination AND transit flight.

There are two ways to do this: check the government sites for your layover and destination countries AND check the airport’s website for the layover and destination countries.

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