Mama, I’m Coming Home ( Travelling Amidst the Pandemic )

Inside: After 2 years without travel, and with the pandemic still here, there are some extra requirements and it’s so important to learn how to prepare to travel, so everything goes on smoothly. Or so I thought. Find out some bumps that we have to hurdle during our preparation.


Coming back to our new home country in January 2020, I remember vividly your sweet but sad smile as I hugged you and Papa on that day. We had no clue that it would be my last embrace with you.

Yes, Mama, I’m coming home….soon.

So many things transpired after that trip.

The COVID-19 pandemic started 2 months after ( March 2020 ) and of course, traveling got so scary.

We couldn’t even say our last goodbye to you in person, but I knew you perfectly understood, being the Mama that we used to know.

We have decided to visit

With the easing of restrictions, we have finally decided to go home. To visit Papa and the rest of our family.

To celebrate with Papa on his 92nd birthday.

And to see you in your final resting place.

It has been more than 2 years since our last travel and these times, there are lots of extra requirements – the COVID test, COVID vaccination proof, wearing a mask at all times, stricter sanitation, social distancing, etc.

Is it worth traveling?

I know, this pandemic is still here and newer variants are coming out, and more easily contagious.

In fact, it is only 4 days until our flight, and 3 in our family of 4 are positive for the rapid test. I just hope and pray that I will not get infected. I’m kind of worried because all my bags are packed and I’m traveling with my sister and her daughter and if I get the virus, I can’t travel with them. And my ticket might not get refunded.

I got COVID, too!

Yes, you’re right, I got infected as well. Of course, it’s hard not to catch the virus because these new variants do easily spread. I actually slept in a separate room the next day that the first family member tested positive, wore a mask always and used a separate bathroom.

We submitted to an RT-PCR test 2 days before our scheduled flight, and during that day, I started to have sneezing and very occasional cough.

The day before the flight, I felt fine, I worked from home to endorse important stuff to my co-worker. Later at night, while waiting for the test result which came very late because I was informed later that they have to re-run it, we worked on canceling our flight because I knew then that my test is positive, besides, my symptoms were progressing- cough becoming more frequent and dry, my nose became congested, and I was feeling chilly and light-headed.

If I thought at first, I was just having allergy symptoms, that night I knew, I really had the virus.

Today, six days before our re-booked flight date, I feel good, except for the occasional cough, and have started working from home since yesterday.

Here’s hoping that this day will really allow us to fly without hassles.

I re-tested with the rapid test and on days 6 and 10, they were still positive. Cough is still here though occasional already.

Therefore, let us answer this very important question.

What are the requirements for safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is so important to learn how to prepare to travel so everything will be smooth.

First things first.

1. Research what are the requirements in the country that you’re visiting. For Philippine travel, at this time, they only need negative rapid COVID test at least 24 hours before you leave your country of origin ( rapid test ) or 48 hours before departure for the Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. It should be issued by a recognized clinic, pharmacy, hospital, etc.

2. Proof of vaccination. Here in Manitoba, Canada, you have to go to this government website and print your own Pan-Canadian Proof of Vaccination Credential ( PVC ). This is for fully vaccinated individuals. The QR code on the PVC shows your name, birthday, dates of immunization, and the brands and lot numbers of the vaccines given to you.

Most countries require that you are fully vaccinated to enter their countries.

3. One Health Pass – register here. You can do this one day before your departure, so you will be hassle-free when you arrive in the Philippines. You need to provide accurate information and upload the required documents. Remember, the result of your COVID test should be ready before you can do this!

4. Wearing masks at all times, including inside the plane. Likewise, frequent handwashing cannot be over-emphasized and hand sanitation with antiseptics if no soap and water are available.

No more quarantine !

We’re lucky that there are no more quarantine requirements for us. Because we are fully vaccinated, we can go home directly to our province. Less expenses and more days to spend with family back home.

But, we have to monitor for symptoms for 7 days from arrival.

But if you are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or your vaccination status cannot be verified, you are required to undergo a facility-based quarantine in a hotel at the first port of entry. This is until test results are negative after swabbing on the 5th day.

How do you know if you have recovered from COVID and already safe to travel?

For those who got COVID-19 before travel like me, this is the most important question that needs to be answered now!

In Canada, my residence for the last 13 years, we are required to be asymptomatic for the last 24 hours. And your test ( rapid test or RT-PCR test ) should be negative.

The length of time that the test becomes negative varies from person to person. It could be as short as 2 days or longer than 10 days.

Nowadays, most countries, Canada and the US included, require an isolation period of 10 days before you can travel after a COVID infection, therefore book your travel from the 11th day forward, of your positive test. Be aware of this, otherwise, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

Other Important Requirements:

1. Your passport should be valid for a period of at least six (6) months at the time of your arrival to the Philippines.

2. For foreign nationals, a Travel or Medical Insurance with COVID-19 treatment, and with minimum coverage of USD35,000. The insurance policy presented must reflect the minimum coverage.

3. Valid return tickets to the original port of origin or next port of destination for not more than 30 days from the date of arrival in the Philippines. This is also applicable for foreign nationals.

Some more helpful suggestions :

1. Arrive at the airport earlier, at least 3 hours before your flight, because with the pandemic protocols, the process of checking in takes longer.

2. Check-in online the night before or a few hours before you leave for the airport, so you go directly to check in your baggages when you arrive at the airport.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our first flight because I got infected with COVID and thus, we re-booked our flight. Would you believe, for the first time, my bags have been packed for two weeks before our actual travel.

I usually pack until the night of our travel, and this is quite a feat. I hope this always happens, not getting sick before travel, but fully packed days before leaving. It’s quite refreshing.

If only the negative COVID test is not a requirement, everything should have been smooth.

Have you traveled during the pandemic? What did you do to be hassle-free?

Learn from our experience! Click and watch below.

4 thoughts on “Mama, I’m Coming Home ( Travelling Amidst the Pandemic )”

  1. You have my empathy for all the COVID challenges you faced in traveling to the Philippines. Since April, my wife has traveled to Israel and now to India. Your account of the COVID procedures that had to be followed was all too familiar. 

    My wife and I have had all our three COVID vaccinations. You made an excellent point that even with vaccinations, it is still possible to catch COVID because it is so contagious. My wife was rigorous in wearing her mask whenever she went out of the house for meetings or Church. Even though I wasn’t traveling, I made sure I also wore my mask when I went out specifically to not catch COVID and infect her.  

    Fortunately, all went well and she never caught COVID which simplified the process. 

    You have a very long flight to Manila. I watched your video and noticed that your stopover where your delay occurred was at the Tom Bradley International Terminal in LAX. I have heard that because of the worker shortage, the airlines have to cancel so many flights that are impacting passengers. I hope when you return to the US you have a trouble-free trip. 



    • Hi Edwin,

      Indeed, we had lots of challenges, not only in going home to the Philippines, but also in coming back. I plan to make another video and article about this. 

      Yes, still because of this pandemic. We were supposed to fly via Japan but changed our plans when we were at the airport already. Of course, with more expenses and some struggles.

      We are just thankful that we arrived home safe and sound and we were able to enjoy time with family and friends back home.

      Watch how we had fun in our hometown here: 

      How to Have Fun in your Hometown ( The Amazing Sunset View ) | Living Simply Abroad – YouTube

      Thanks for your wonderful comments.



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