Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Ellen
When the U.S. State Department warned Americans overseas to be prepared to stay abroad for an indefinite period of time, I realized our retired budget travel lifestyle would be indefinitely on hold.
Finding reliable, accurate travel information has been a problem. I did find a site, however, that comes close to being as up-to-date and easy to understand as possible.
Where to find travel info
News reporting on overseas travel restrictions has not been complete, and often is not updated. For example, The New York Times stopped updating its list a few weeks ago.
For accurate information, it’s best to visit a specific country’s immigration website. But everything else going on, sometimes even those are not updated.
The awesome website is I found is managed by a private company – and I’m not promoting its business, but I am promoting their easy to navigate information as a public service. (I get nothing in return.)
It is more accurate and up-to-date than any news article I’ve read. Kudos to International SOS.
Visit the Earth Vagabonds COVID-19 section for more resources, including the U.S. State Department ‘Country Specific’ page.
Vagabond stories to get home
Because of our continuous travel lifestyle, we know people like us — waiting out the pandemic in a foreign country. We’ve previously shared some fellow vagabond stories. I have updates on those, and also some new info to share.
Friends in Costa Rica
Our friends over at Nomadic Adventurers were riding out the pandemic in Costa Rica. However, for a variety of reasons, they have to get back the U.S.
They booked flights, but those were canceled, so they are now forced to buy repatriate flights. By the time all the costs are added up, they are looking at a bill of about $6,500 to return home.
Not only that, but they will only get to Houston, Texas, on the repatriation flight, and will need to make additional arrangements to get to their final destination.
We wish them a journey home that is as easy as possible, all things considered.
EU citizens leave the Philippines
A group of EU citizens in the Philippines since the lockdowns began recently made their way home. Six people were on a flight from Cebu City back to Europe, at a cost of about 1,500 euros each.
Tedly found this information from a German man who lives year-round near our resort. Apparently, the group had to wait for enough people to make the trip worthwhile.
We have always known the Philippine government will allow foreigners to leave. We have chosen to stay.
Vagabond story updates
Our regular readers might remember Sarah’s story. My friend is still with her partner in Thailand, hoping to make it to their home to Malaysia when it’s easily possible.
For now, they are enjoying Thailand and are moving from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
And Beatrice’s story involved hop-scotching around the world while international borders closed. She had been trying to get to her home in Vietnam.
Her update: she has left Penang, Malaysia, and is now in Austria with family.
Earth Vagabonds plan
As Tedly wrote in his previous post about how surreal this all is, we have moved our return visit to Penang, Malaysia, back to October. Beyond that – we have no plan.
Our original plan was to summer in Penang, take a decent amount of time on a trip back to the U.S., and then start a tour of India that would take at least a year. The U.S. is a hot mess, and India’s cases are surging.
In fact, when people find out I’m American, I am quick to follow up by telling people we’ve been in the Philippines since November. Often, I can see a person relax more with me once they hear that.
Mom Diane’s plan is to stay here with us, until she doesn’t.
We will enjoy two months (possibly more) on Panay Island, in a little fishing neighborhood named Motag, in the town of Malay, in Aklan Province, across the channel from Boracay, in the beautiful Philippines.
As Earth Vagabonds, wherever we are – is our home.
Thanks for reading, “Where to find travel info; vagabond stories to get home.”
Philippine stories that have nothing to do with the pandemic:
- Giant clams dazzle snorkelers at Sunken Cemetery on Camiguin Island
- Awesome spots on Bohol Island away from tourist crowds
- So much to love about Negros Oriental: waterfalls, snorkeling, food!
Earth Vagabonds advocate for travel when borders reopen.