How To Travel Safely During The Pandemic.

Travelling, previously a fun and easy experience has become comparatively challenging in the past months, with the coronavirus impacting our lives in multiple ways. As we gradually adjust to the new environment and with international borders re-opening, it is time to look forward to new ways of travelling.

Nations are simplifying their travel restrictions, with some offering attractive specials to draw tourists, yet the entire travelling equation is still complicated. Travelling during a global pandemic can never be entirely risk-free. There are precautionary measures to ease your mental burden and make it a more relaxing experience. Here are some tips that may guide the way.

1.   Choose offbeat Destinations

Before you start planning your next holiday destination, consider travelling to safer places – domestic travel initially to support your own country. While you should avoid high-risk areas, you may also want to keep a tab on the growing number of cases in other regions. Sometimes, not so popular destinations can turn out to be a better choice, remote villages, lodges and wilderness areas optimal. Social distancing norms are easy to carry out in places with low population density regions, just make sure that you are travel-ready and not carrying the infection to them.

Instead of choosing long-distance travel, explore the marvels of nature and landscapes within your vicinity. There are fewer regulations as far as travel within-country is concerned and local staycations are a great choice. Alternatively, you can throw your things in a roof top tent and enjoy a short road trip into the bush. An off-season visit can also help you avoid much rush. Look to keeping a Foldable Scooter with you if you are travelling with your elderly parents or disabled ones.

2.   Research and Minimise your Contact Points

As travellers, we’ll likely to research and plan the details of our trip. However, given the C-19 pandemic, we’ve been required to up our preparations. After choosing a destination, get yourself acquainted with the travel routes and various protocols associated with each. With proper research, you can fulfil the documentation ahead of time to minimise contact points. Also, make pre-bookings and get e-tickets for the places you choose to visit. Small things like digital payment methods can help you maintain better hygiene standards on the go.

3.   Always have a Plan B

The unpredictability of the situation cannot be ignored and as the situation evolves, the country’s travel restriction are constantly updated, with lockdowns implemented and borders closed. It may also mean isolating sensitive areas or restriction of tourist activities. You may encounter unexpected road closures or timing regulations as you navigate from one place to another. Keep an eye on all the changing policies and have a contingent plan for your itinerary. While researching travel, note alternative routes, commuting channels, service providers, and safe lodging options apart from your first choice. This will ensure the freedom to deviate and avoid hotspots.

4.   Quarantine Windows

Travelling from one place to another might require undergoing health checks or running several tests even without any symptoms of the infection. Some places have mandatory provisions of fourteen-day quarantine at home or in a government facility. Therefore, considering that fourteen-day window, ahead of it you may want to keep some basics and everyday medicines with you to sustain you through the process.

5.   Sanitise and then Sanitise Again

You should be persistent with your sanitising habit by now, but travelling might require even more attention to this. Apart from continually disinfecting and washing your hands, dress in a way that limits your skin’s exposure to surfaces.  Wear a mask and protective glasses in public and sanitise your surroundings by wiping down counters. Avoid touching sensitive areas like the handle, knobs, and railings in public places.

Maintain social distancing and avoid interaction with fellow passengers. Since the virus is asymptomatic in many cases, practice caution while meeting people – handshakes are a thing of the past. Covering your bags and luggage in disposables can reduce disinfecting efforts, I have a fabric cover that I put in a warm wash post-travel. Keep a few pairs of gloves to wear on planes, in taxis, trains etc. Either way, limit touching your face as much as possible.

6.   Keep Your Health Up And Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Checking with your doctor before you travel can let you have a clear picture of your health. While travelling can anyway be physically exerting, recognising infection symptoms early on can be helpful. Prepare a kit with vitamin boosters, eat healthily and get sleep to keep your immune system up.  Keep a tab on the nearby medical facilities, contact numbers, and procedures to assist you if you’re unwell, if the destination you’re visiting has a Covid-19 app, I’d recommend downloading it.

7.   Choose Dining and Accommodation Facilities Carefully

Although accommodation facilities worldwide are aware of the required protocols, it’s best to pick those that firmly adhere to the rules, handle contactless check-ins and have invested in the appropriate safety measures. Likewise, consider takeaways over dine-in restaurants and follow social distancing norms while dealing with staff. I have found that supporting smaller personally run restaurants has provided the best peace of mind.

At hotels provide an arrival time so that they can take care of deep cleaning and thorough sanitisation in advance. You can also restrict outside contact by opting out of any housekeeping services. Many travellers also prefer exclusive let properties to larger hotels. These properties might be a bit on a pricey side, but you can enjoy the benefits of sharing an entire villa with your family at a beautiful location of your choice, with less risk.

The global pandemic requires that we relook at travel and ways to ensure our safety. This may require extra effort on our part, but it’s worth it. Important too that if at any time we have Covid-19 symptoms, that we consult a doctor and request a test, not only for ourselves but also for the people around us. Being smart and careful is the only way we can collectively overcome this.

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Dawn Bradnick Jorgensen
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