As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19
shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health
officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before
booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare,
whether it is next month or next year.
After a few months of closed borders, tourism in Turkey is open
again for business. Here’s everything you should know about
safely getting there and back.
In This Post
What to expect Cautions and precautions
As of June 11, Turkey’s international borders are open for
travelers from a number of countries, including the U.S. However,
travelers should note a couple of precautions unrelated to
- The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory guide lists
Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, due to concerns over
terrorism and arbitrary detention. Travelers are strongly advised
to avoid the areas bordering Iraq and Syria due to terrorist
activity. (The official U.S. stance on worldwide travel is still
4: Do Not Travel — the highest tier of caution — due to
- U.S. travelers will still need to apply
for a visa before entering Turkey. You can do so via e-visa application, which takes
about three minutes.
- Additional cautions for Turkey travelers include:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures.
- Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new
We should also note that Turkey has reported more than 200,000
coronavirus cases with Istanbul especially hard-hit.
All travelers must wear masks in the airport and
onboard flights inbound for Turkey, according to the
Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Travelers who show signs of
COVID-19 including but not limited to fever, runny nose, cough or
respiratory distress will not be allowed to board flights or enter
the country. Upon arrival, travelers will be asked to fill out a
passenger information form and undergo medical screenings for
infection, and anyone showing symptoms upon arrival will be
tested for coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will be
referred to a Turkish hospital for quarantine and treatment.
However, the Turkish embassy’s website states that tourist
travelers do not need to
provide specific health documentation to enter or exit Turkey
unless they are arriving for medical treatment.
Anyone over the age of 65 must observe curfew from 8 p.m. to 10
a.m. every night.
Masks are mandatory in all
public areas in a number of provinces, and required in crowded
public areas such as shopping malls or supermarkets everywhere
else. To be safe, bring at least one per traveler, and be prepared
to wear it at all times.
How to get there and Where to stay Airlines
Turkish Airlines, the flagship carrier of Turkey,
suspended all international flights in April. However, the
airline is back up and running, albeit on a far more limited
schedule than before, asreported
by Charlie at Running with Miles.
TPG dubbed the carrierâ€™s Miles & Smiles program the
frequent flyer program of 2020â€³ for its many sweet-spot
redemptions within the U.S. and abroad. You can easily purchase
cash flights to and from Turkey, then use the miles you earn from
that travel toward domestic flights.
Turkish Airlines operates direct flights out of Newark (EWR) and
New York (JFK) to Istanbul (IST) for around $900 round trip in
Google Flights showed. For the purposes of this post, TPG chose
to highlight travel dates between September 11 to September 17 for
a hypothetical trip.
courtesy Turkish Airlines)
Turkey has a wealth of gorgeous hotels scattered throughout the
country, including a generous number of points properties. Here are
a few highlights:
Ciragan Palace Hotel May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points
One of TPGs favorite hotels in Istanbul is the Ã‡iragan
Palace Kempinski in Istanbul. The hotel on the edge of the
Bosporous was a former palace. We founds cash rates of 411 Euros a
night which is a pretty good deal. You could also use points from
the Kempinski Discovery loyalty program.
courtesy Kempinski Hotels)
Hilton Hilton has a whopping 70
hotels across the country. Rooms at the Ankara
Hilton begin at just $85/night for Hilton Honors members, or
20,000 points per night. Since Hilton Honors points are just worth
0.6 cents apiece by TPG valuations, weâ€™d go with the cash rate on
this booking. (Image
Related: What are
points and miles worth?
Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya boast a number of Holiday Inns and
Crowne Plazas. But the
only InterContinental in Turkey is in Istanbul, where rooms
begin at just $99 (or a confusing 19,000 IHG points + $100) per
night over September 11-17.
There are seven Hyatt properties in Istanbul alone, and all of
them can be booked at great cash rates.
Grand Hyatt Istanbul is available at a steal of just $132, or
12,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Add $9 per night and
include free breakfast, to boot.
Featured photo by DOZIER Marc/Getty Images.
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Turkey is open for tourists: Everything you need to