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Hello from Montenegro! It feels amazing to be traveling again — but traveling internationally comes with an extra requirement these days. For Montenegro (and much of Europe), entry is only allowed either with proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test. For us, packing our vaccination card was the obvious solution since we were vaccinated anyway.
I was a little anxious, though, about traveling with a vaccination card since a digital vaccine passport doesn’t yet exist.
There were too many chances my only proof of vaccination would get ripped or spilled on if I just stuck it in my bag. It didn’t fit in my wallet unless I folded it because no one from the CDC thought to make it the size of a credit card (that would be too easy). And I didn’t want to laminate it. For one thing, there are expectations of needing booster doses in the future and therefore I’d need to write on it again. I also didn’t want to chance anyone thinking that it was forged or altered since laminating it meant you couldn’t access the original.
Luckily, there’s a super simple solution to traveling with your vaccine card: a vinyl sleeve that you can slide your card in and out of as needed.
This protector worked like a charm. At check-in for my international flight, I slid it to the airline agent and didn’t have to worry if his hands were sticky or grubby. You can see both sides of the card (though in theory you shouldn’t need to show the back) and he can take it out if absolutely needs to. Supposedly it’s even waterproof, just in case you get caught in the rain.
“You’re all set,” he said as he slid it back. No problems there, at passport control in Podgorica, or anywhere else along my journey.
When I arrived at my hotel and knew I wouldn’t need my card again for days, I simply wiped down the outside of the card protector with a cleansing wipe and everything remained safe and clean for the next time.
For less than five bucks for a multipack (share with your friends and family), this solution is a no-brainer. You may even have a card protector lying around at home — I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing you use for nametags at conventions and other events.
The brand I use is Cobakuey (affiliate link) and it performs as intended, though I’m sure other brands work fine too.
Do yourself a favor and get a vaccine card protector. For travelers, it’s a brilliant, cheap solution that will give you one less thing to worry about on your next trip.