As the global vaccine roll-out begins in earnest – albeit at different paces – we’re hearing about a greater number of private equity executives travelling for work.

Most countries still impose restrictions on visitors, though these can differ greatly in length and severity. France, for example, only requires vaccinated visitors from nations on the EU’s orange list to submit a pre-flight covid-19 test. Hong Kong is at the other end of the spectrum, banning entry for non-residents and requiring those who can enter to undergo an arduous 21-day hotel quarantine.

Private Equity International was curious to learn how the private equity community was navigating this complex, and mentally draining, world of business travel. We asked a number of people who’ve recently endured a spell in travel-related quarantine to share their tips for making it through – here’s what some of them said.

Julian Pearson, founding partner at placement agency FirstPoint Equity

“I’ve spent certainly over 10 weeks in home lockdown – in two-week blocks each time – in Germany, following work trips to Mexico, Brazil, Spain and back to my homeland of Ireland.

“The greatest travel tip has been mapping out in advance where I can find a covid testing centre in each location so as to have the results back within the 24 to 72-hour rules of the next destination, which is no mean feat when you are combining multiple cities [and] continents in the same week.

“Building in testing stops within the roadshow schedule has been the greatest challenge and aligning results with flight times with military precision.”

Steven Tran, partner at law firm Mayer Brown

“I was in Vietnam this January on business for a week and survived 14 days of quarantine in Vietnam and a further 21 days of quarantine at this end upon my return to Hong Kong. 

“I borrowed workout equipment from the quarantine hotel’s gym in Vietnam and so managed to get at least two hours of exercise every day during my time in quarantine. A regular workout helps to keep you active and breaks up your day, and the resulting endorphin-dopamine-serotonin hit motivates you to keep going.”

Hong Kong-based managing director at a global placement agent

“For both my quarantines in Australia and Hong Kong, I paid up for an adjoining room. This usually costs about 50 percent more as you only need the room and not the extra meals and service. The extra space was a blessing and allowed [for] one room for sleeping and lounging and the other for dining, exercising, and working.

“The most crucial things are space, sunlight and fresh air. I would rather have a 4-star hotel with a great view and an opening window, than a 5-star luxury hotel that has no natural sunlight.”

Though ministers in the UK are reportedly aiming to introduce quarantine-free travel from certain countries for people who are fully vaccinated, the goalposts for this – and many other countries – are likely to evolve in line with new variants and vaccine rates. Our take: those in the industry hoping to resume their pre-pandemic travel habits any time soon should prepare accordingly.