Taking advantage of Hong Kong relaxing its Covid-19 measures and reducing arrivals’ restrictions to 0+3? If it’s been a while since your last trip, don’t forget these!

After more than two years of some of the world’s toughest pandemic restrictions for visitors or residents arriving in the city, Hong Kong will be scrapping its 3+4 system, under which arrivals must spend three days in hotel isolation followed by a four-day at-home medical surveillance period. Instead, they can go straight into their surveillance period under amber code restrictions at home or any hotel.

After such a long time of dealing with uncertainty over whether restriction policies might change whilst abroad, or not being able to afford the required hotel quarantine period, which at one point was set at 21 days, no doubt many in the city will take this opportunity to travel out of the city. 

Whether you’re planning a short trip or a long-haul journey to visit friends and family long separated from you by the pandemic, here are some things to remember if it’s been a while since your last visit to the departures lounge.

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Not to state the obvious but…

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Review all your travel documents and identification before your trip (Photo: Getty Images)
Above Review all your travel documents and identification before your trip (Photo: Getty Images)

If it’s been a while since you last left the city, make sure to check your passport is still valid. And if you require a visa to live or work in Hong Kong, make sure it will still be valid when your return.

Also, on the topic of visas, before you leave for the airport, make sure you understand the visa requirements for your passport at your destination. Nothing ruins the start of a holiday like rushing to verify a visa or finding out upon arrival you can’t enter the country, or need to go through a mountain of paperwork before you’re allowed to leave the airport.

Be prepared

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Make sure to know any pandemic measures that may be in place at your destination (Photo: Getty Images)
Above Make sure to know any pandemic measures that may be in place at your destination (Photo: Getty Images)

While it’s true most places have opened up and relaxed their Covid-19 restrictions compared to Hong Kong, you still want to be well aware of your destination’s pandemic rules. Check government websites for any quarantine or infection tracking measures so that you can plan and pack accordingly.

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Think inside the box

Unless you’re the type to put everything in its place the moment you arrive at your hotel room or Airbnb, you’re living out of your suitcase for your trip. Make packing and sorting through your things while you’re away so much easier by investing in packing cubes.

If you’re out of practice with packing for a trip, packing cubes mean you can plan what you’ll need for the trip you’re having and categorise what each cube is for accordingly. Everything is organised at a glance, and nothing runs the risk of tumbling out if you need to open your suitcase at any point during your travels.

Also, if your trip involves multiple destinations with different climates, instead of pouring everything out and re-packing at any point during your holiday, you can just move the cubes you’ll need for whichever leg of the journey to the top. Not to mention, packing cubes are a life-saver if you’re packing for other members of your family as well.

Drink safely

While you should always drink responsibly, we’re actually talking about drinking water safely while you’re away.

It’s not sexy to think about, but getting a tummy bug while you’re on holiday is just awful, and often our stomachs are upset by the water we drink. To save yourself some unpleasantness, and also save the planet, bring along a self-cleaning water bottle that will purify your drinking water for you throughout the day. 

Whether you’re spending your day hiking to a remote beach for a picnic by the shore or exploring a new city, you can stay hydrated without worrying about where the closest bathroom is. If you are going somewhere where you’re not sure what the tap water quality is like, an added tap filter can’t hurt.

Bits and bobs

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Don't pack anything you won't need (Photo: Getty Images)
Above Don't pack anything you won't need (Photo: Getty Images)

Packing for a trip for the first time after a long travel hiatus can feel a little overwhelming. To avoid being at your destination and suddenly thinking, “oh my goodness, I forgot…" here is a handy checklist for you: power outlet adapter, all of your electronic chargers and/or cables, first aid kit and medication, skincare and toiletries, sunscreen, rain gear, one outfit for unexpected weather, face masks, hand sanitiser or wipes, tissues or handkerchiefs, spectacles and sunglasses, and cash.

Meanwhile, things you definitely should consider leaving at home: new shoes you haven’t broken in, all of your entertainment gadgets (get out and enjoy your destination!), more than one heavy item of clothing—jeans, jackets, etc—and anything you might regret losing. If you find yourself considering bringing something along because, “oh, but I might need it…” Leave it. Essentials only!

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