air travel – How to effectively organize documents when traveling?

After I get visa, ticket, insurance, hotel bookings etc, I scan everything, as individual pdfs.

Two types of documents, one which are crucial for journey, others which are just for help. Then I make two folders on my dropbox, Important and Informative. Visa, flight ticket, hotel booking, insurance, tickets, passport info page etc pdfs go to Important. Travel guides, tours, map, weather info etc go to Informative. Then I merge all pdfs in each folder as a new pdf, print two copies of each on A5 double side. Staple each copy on top left corner.

A5 size makes them smaller enough to store, while keeping them easily readable. Double side printing also cuts the volume in half.

One set of Important goes in luggage, second stays with me in my camera-cum-document bag, along with original passport.

Both booklet copies of Informative pdf stays in luggage. I use one on vacation, second is as backup, just in case.

Originals are only my passport, my national ID, money cards etc.

Edit: I also carry a ziplock or two, almost of A5 size, and I shove all the receipts, bills, tokens etc I get while on vacation in them, and sort it when I am back home.

Edit2: I use FolderSync Android App to keep this folder two-way synced with my phone, and almost all the times airlines hotels etc are ok with a soft copy of the document, as they just need a number to locate my data in their systems.

usa – Traveling from Toronto to Washington DC and New Jersey – is quarantine required?

The answer will need to be broken down into four parts as you’ll be dealing with multiple jurisdictions on this trip.

Entering the US

Currently the US does not place any restrictions on passengers entering the US by air, only the land borders with Canada are closed. Hence immigration should allow you to enter with a valid US visa.

Entering DC

The local government asks tourists to get tested 72 hours or sooner before traveling and to get another test on arrival if you’re staying for more than 3 days. So if you can get a test in Toronto before traveling, you’re good to go.

Entering New Jersey

The state doesn’t seem to require quarantine for international travelers (unlike New York) and the District of Columbia is one the list of territories exempted from travel restrictions. So you should be able to enter without being required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Coming back to Canada

Anyone coming to Canada (except for truck drivers and essential workers) is currently required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at home, so you should plan to spend 14 days in isolation when you return.

Overall I can recommend either staying in Toronto or amending your plans to visit a state without travel restrictions, such as Florida, Texas or Arizona. Remember to wear a high-quality mask (KN-95 or N-95) everywhere and avoid maskless indoor settings such as restaurants and bars.

air travel – Traveling to pick someone up and returning on the same flight

Sure, this has been done. It’s not anything really special.

You book at round trip, say LHR-LAX-LHR. You book the kids a one-way on the same LAX-LHR flight as you.

Depending on the airline, you may be able to link the reservations so any Agent who assists you will see you are traveling with other passengers.

Also, presuming you want to sit with the kids, you may, depending on the ticket class and your status with that airline, have to pay a fee to select seats together.

Basically, there’s nothing stopping you from doing this, it just take a bit more coordination.

spain – Traveling the Camino Trail during Covid

This is more an extended comment than an answer. The answer right now it’s easy: you cannot do that and there is no a reasonable date estimation on when you will be able to do again the Santiago Trail.

It’s impossible to give you a response for a near future. Right now it’s impossible. Even it’s possible that you can’t flight to Spain.

You haven’t told what is your route, but right now any route is closed. Most areas in Spain are closed (you cannot cross some borders between towns and Comunidades and of course, you cannot cross from Portugal to Spain except with a proof of work).

Apart of that, most hostels along the route are closed or with restrictions. Even most hotels are closed. Your best bet could be a tent (also it’s safer, you probably don’t want to share a room with unfamiliar people who can carry the virus).

Anyway, the situation is changing continuously and can change in any moment. Rumors are that a complete lockdown can be enforced in some weeks. But maybe in 3 or 4 months everything opens up… or not.. you can’t make any plan.

china – How could you take a nucleic acid test and an IgM antibody test and have it certified by an embassy 48 hours before traveling?

PCR tests take a few hours to process, so 48 hours is more than sufficient if there aren’t bottlenecks in the test lab. For example, a Seattle company called Atlas Genomics advertises the following:

We provide travel testing with same day results. Please call
Atlas Covid-19 tests are being accepted by Hawaii due to our partnership with Discovery Health who is on the list of Trusted Partners.

Out of interest, I gave Atlas Genomics a call and they said they can do a same-day test Mon-Fri for $149, as long as you show up for the test before 12pm. So you could probably get tested on a Monday morning, email the Chinese consulate on Monday evening, get a confirmation Tuesday afternoon and fly out Wednesday morning – around 48 hours after taking your test.

You should be able to locate a similar lab with premium test processing in your area. Depending on the country/state, even free testing might be fast enough – my own free COVID test here in Seattle took less than 48 hours to process.

china – How could you take a nucleic acid test and an IgM anti-body test and have it certified by an embassy 48-hours before traveling?

China has introduced new rules for traveling.

The Chinese embassy in Belgium has updated their news to include a Notice on Airline Boarding Requirements for Certificates of Negative Nucleic Acid and Anti-Body Blood Tests Results.

Under Test Requirements it is noted that:

  1. Passengers traveling to China via direct flights must, within 48 hours before boarding, conduct the sampling and testing of a nucleic acid test and a IgM anti-body test at qualified medical institutions in Belgium. After receiving the certificates for negative test results for both the nucleic acid and the anti-body test, passengers may present the test reports to the Embassy of China in Belgium to apply for a green health code with the “HS” mark or a certified health declaration form.

How could you take a nucleic acid test and an IgM anti-body test 48-hours and have it certified by an embassy before traveling? 48-hours is surely not enough time to be able to complete all these tasks before an international flight.

The same criteria is also required of passengers catching connecting flights in a 3rd country. Belgium themselves have said that:

For passengers departing from a third country and traveling to China via Belgium, as the transit area at Brussels Airport is not yet equipped for conducting nuceic rapid tests and the anti-body tests for transit passengers, and passengers of Chinese nationality are not permitted for entering Belgium border unless in humanitarian circumstances, it is recommended that passengers bounding for China avoid transiting via Belgium.

Are these requirements even doable?

Traveling to Europe with US refugee travel document

I will use my US refugee travel document and need to know whether it is machine readable?

At the bottom of the photo page of a machine-readable passport or travel document, there are two lines of coded gibberish including upper-case letters, numbers, and <<<< characters, as in this example:


You would be able to recognize your name in the first line and your date-of-birth and the document’s expiry date somewhere in the second line. These lines are what the machine actually reads.

When it’s time to check in for my flight, will I be able to use the Delta kiosk at the airport to scan my passport to get my boarding pass. If I go to the check in counter, will they enter the passport information manually, or can they scan it?

Probably the kiosk will scan it fine. Otherwise the check-in desk certainly can.

What else would I need to take, just in case, to show the airlines and passport control in Germany that I can enter Germany visa free for up to 90 days?

See the question that Zach linked to.

Once they stamp my passport in Germany, will I be able to go by train to Belgium and the Netherlands. If the authorities stop the train by the border and check my document, will I be alright? What about going to other countries, like Spain or Italy; would I have issues flying there if I am already inside the Schengen area?

According to the linked question above, Belgium and the Netherlands would be OK.

Neither Spain nor Italy allows visa-free travel on US refugee travel documents (this is a question that is not harmonized at the EU level), so even though you may be able to go there without being stopped at the border/airport, you wouldn’t be lawfully present and could get into trouble if local police took an interest in you for any reason. Which kind of trouble is unclear; it could range from a fine to being detained and subsequently banned from the entire Schengen area.

Whether you could fly to Spain or Italy depends on the airline. Ryanair, for example, is (in)famous for insisting on verifying the visa status on foreigners on Schengen-internal flights; some other airlines take a more laissez-faire approach, as long as you document you’re the person a ticket was bought for.

customs and immigration – Traveling to Europe from banned countries on sweetheart exception

Europe is mostly locked out from the US due to COVID except for essential travel. Tourism obviously does not count, but some countries have made exceptions for visiting important family, fiance, or “sweetheart”.

See this article and this policy page from Denmark.

Does anyone know where I can find out which countries will honor a transfer through their country? For example, I emailed Iceland and they said they would definitely allow me to travel Icelandair and transfer to Denmark through Reykjavík. I am specifically wondering about Portugal (TAP), as they have the cheapest flights. I emailed their immigration, and they sent me this long and very confusing response: pastebin because it is so long.

I would mainly like to hear from people who have traveled to Europe from banned countries already, and what their experience has been. There’s almost nothing on the internet about this, so any information you can offer would be helpful.

Resources for full time traveling?

My family wants to go full time traveling for a while, so we’ll sell our house and live on the road in an RV.

I can run the business as long as I have an internet connection.

Does anybody know any good resources for doing this kind of thing? What happens to my LLC if I no longer have a physical address? Where do I have mail sent to and client payments and such? Mail forwarders I imaging. Can I use these for LLC registration though?

Any other concerns I need to think about? Business liability insurance, taxes/expenses, etc