Airports and borders are opening in most parts of the world after a prolonged COVID-19 lockdown, which means that travel enthusiasts may soon be able to travel again.
However, in a post-coronavirus environment, travellers must take adequate precautions to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection in the plane, hotel room, and from the infected persons they might come in contact with during their train ride or walking tours. This article explores six travel tips to keep fore of mind during this holiday season.
Stay safe when you travel
When travelling in the US, the following safety tips from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will come in handy:
- Avoid travelling to regions that are reporting high infection rates.
- As much as possible, maintain a social distance of 2 meters between you and other tourists when visiting attractions.
- If you can hire your own private transport or rental car instead of using public transport, the better for everyone.
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering at all times, except when alone.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth when exploring outdoors.
- Cover coughs and sneezes to protect other people.
- Wash your hands often with lots of soap and water, for 20 seconds or more each time.
- Sanitise your hands every time you sneeze or touch exposed surfaces.
- Use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol and keep one on you at all times.
Keep track of your health
Before leaving home, ensure that you have packed all the over-the-counter essentials you need during the trip. On a normal trip, you might need pain killers, motion sickness pills, and probiotics. You might also need some bug repellants if you will be camping or spending time in the woods. Be sure to carry at least twice the number of pills you need just in case you get quarantined away from home, forcing you to overstay. Consult your doctor for any prescription meds you may need and get the proper vaccines before travelling.
If you feel at all ill, travelling during coronavirus might not be a good idea.
These tips will help you avoid transport mishaps:
- Cessation of movement has really affected air travel. First, confirm from your local authorities if planes from your home country or state are allowed into the country or state you wish to visit.
- Even if you get the confirmation that planes from your location are allowed into your preferred destination, you have to frequently check if your flight has been rescheduled or cancelled. A lot can change between the day you book your tickets and your date of travel. Planes can even be grounded on the day you were supposed to travel.
- Keep in mind that travel restrictions can change rapidly depending on local conditions. Check back for updates in regards to travel restrictions in your destination as your trip edges closer.
- If you intend to use bus services once you land in your destination, do your due diligence to ensure that you choose a service with a good online reputation. Book your tickets in advance to avoid last-minute fare hikes and inconveniences.
- Do your due diligence as well if you will be using local taxis.
- For solo travels, download Google Maps to avoid getting lost.
- Have a bigger than normal transport budget in case coronavirus restrictions in your destination precipitate fare hikes, or in case you feel unsafe using public transport.
Only choose hotels or family vacation rentals with proper coronavirus safety mechanisms for both their guests and staff. Some best accommodation practices include:
- Proper cleaning and disinfection of public spaces such as the lobby, elevators, and guest rooms. Surfaces such as doorknobs, tables and desks, phones and remote controls, countertops, toilets, light switches, and sinks also need to be disinfected frequently.
- Social distancing measures at the front desk, in parking areas, elevators, lobby, and such spaces.
- All staff members including chefs, front desk operators, and room service having all the necessary personal protective equipment.
- Clearly defined protocol in the event that a guest or staff member contracts the virus or shows COVID-like symptoms.
- Request that the room assigned to you be vacant for a day or two before you check-in, and it has to be thoroughly disinfected after the previous occupant checked out.
- Scan copies of your passport and IDs and save them in your email or phone in case the originals get stolen or lost.
- Ensure that your passport has at least 6-months of validity when travelling internationally. If its expiration date is less than 6 months from your final day of travel, it is best to renew it beforehand.
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from theft or loss of personal belongings. Most importantly, you will need it in case you contract coronavirus in a foreign land.
The most important advice is to stay at home if you are sick. Only take on the travel if you are strong and healthy, and remember to protect other travellers. Be safe out there.