What It’s Like to Travel After the Pandemic
It’s air travel season once again and this time, it was something different from my past travels. I had anticipated this so much after the pandemic. After three long years of waiting, I finally got my air ticket, packed my bags, and traveled.
What has changed?
I was looking forward to the day when everything will be normal once again pre-pandemic level. It was like an impossible dream to achieve. But 2023 was indeed a great time to travel. All coronavirus restrictions are lifted, from the two-week hotel quarantine to the wearing of masks. What a joyful news to hear! Imagine if I had not waited, I have had to endure quarantines, swab tests, countless vaccine boosters, and certificates.
I left Japan for the Philippines last July 25 and some fresh news just came in. No need to show vaccine certificates as a requirement for travel. And more importantly, masks are now optional inside the aircraft.
I felt I was the luckiest passenger at that time. I traveled without the hassles at the right time.
So that was it, at least between Tokyo and Cebu direct flights, it’s finally back to pre-pandemic times.
How inflation affects traveling
So is there any bad news regarding traveling? Well, as we all know about this year’s inflation, the travel industry is really affected. Plane ticket prices soared high as well as hotel rates after the pandemic. This is the major change that I saw after the pandemic and it is hard to prevent this unless we are smart in our money and savings.
The hotel that I checked into in Cebu City increased their rates and minimized their services such as the absence of room slippers, and the bar of soap and shampoo was changed into an all-purpose shampoo and liquid soap in one. I was a bit disappointed.
The quality of food on their breakfast menu went down, and I could say to myself never to return to this hotel again, ever.
Any changes in the airport policies?
Yes, quite a bit.
Tokyo Narita Airport
Departure – There were no big crowds when we checked in, I really don’t know but it’s never the same before. I think travel departures from other airlines were more spread out throughout the day to avoid congestion. Before the baggage check, you self-scan your ticket through a machine, without a human staff. And a robot staff is patrolling the check-in area of Narita Airport Terminal 2.
Arrival– You need to fill up the Custom’s Declaration Form manually which you can find near the baggage carousel or you can electronically fill it up online.
Mactan Cebu International Airport
Arrival– Yellow taxis await in the arrival area and the rate for going to Cebu City (SM City area) is Php 550.00
Departure– Every passenger leaving internationally is not required to pay the Php 850.00 terminal fee as it was already integrated into the plane ticket.
You can refill your own drinking water near the airport’s restroom.
Announcements and policies may change from time to time so it is always good to check out the news before planning to travel. For me, it is best to travel now for leisure because it is finally back to pre-pandemic levels.