COVID -19, pandemic, lockdown are some of the words which have hit the world hard in the past year. After an entire year of fighting with the virus, dealing with the stress, we are now trying to cope with the changing world. Traveling has gradually started to get back on track with the governments, airlines, accommodations setting safety protocols to curb the spread of the virus. But are you ready to take the big step and step out to your dream destination?
Here are few tips before you live your travel dreams again.
Are you ready to travel?
- The first & most important step is to ensure you are physically & mentally ready to travel again. In case you are dealing with any severe health issues or have any symptoms related to COVID, contact your doctor first. Avoid traveling unless you get fit.
- Being mentally fit and not panicking in case any emergency arises during your travel is essential, especially if you are traveling alone.
- Your Instagram / facebook flooded with pictures of people traveling to beautiful destinations should not be the basis of your travel plans. Travel if you feel it is essential, without being driven by external social pressure.
- Take a COVID test before you start your travel to wipe off any chances of spreading the virus unknowingly.
Plan your travel
Now that you have checked your travel readiness, its time to plan your travel.
- Choose destinations that have been marked as safe or have a less number of COVID cases.
- Many of us love the thrill of unplanned trips. It is advisable to avoid such adventures for now. Have a trip plan with details of travel dates, destinations, transportation, and stays.
- Check out the safety measures & guidelines provided by different airlines. Choose the safest airline option.
- Ensure that the accommodation option you choose follows safety measures to avoid the spread of COVID. Check if they provide any assistance in case of emergency.
- It is suggested to have some local contacts in your travel destination. This should include local government helpline numbers, medical services contacts, etc.
- Avoid traveling extensively. Check the safety options for local transportation beforehand with your travel agent, stay, or local guides.
COVID Guidelines by Airlines:
Prefer local destinations
Dream of scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, experiencing the wilderness of South Africa or paying a visit to the royal Buckingham Palace in London. Well, it is better to put these plans on hold for some time and explore beautiful travel destinations nearby.
Follow local government’s travel prerequisites
Make sure to check out the latest COVID-related guidelines provided by the local government for travelers on their official website. Some destinations may require filling a form or a negative COVID test report. Prepare the documents or fulfill any prerequisites desired as per the government guidelines.
India: State wise Travel Guidelines
Pack your essentials
Having done with your trip plan, it’s time to get ready to fight any undesired interaction with the virus with your travel essentials.
- Keep few cleans masks handy
- Grab few sanitizer bottles before your travel
- Carry a medical kit with necessary medicines
- Keep a few emergency contacts handy
Know local rules & be responsible
With few destinations undergoing a lockdown, few being partially open to travel, and many with travel restrictions it is better to know the rules beforehand. Check out the rules set by local government in your travel destination. Do not violate these rules and put others at risk.
Government of India: COVID Guidelines
Follow safety measures during traveling
Now that you are ready to travel, ensure your and others’ safety by following few pointers.
• Follow social distancing : Keep distance from people around you. The distance to be maintained varies from one country to another ( 2 meters in India, 1 meter according to the WHO Recommendations & followed in China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, and Singapore). Ensure you check out the social distancing guidelines in your destination.
Ask people politely to maintain a distance. Avoid traveling to crowded tourist spots.
• Wash hands frequently & properly : Keep washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with a handwash or a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content to keep the virus away. Do not miss to follow this step every time you touch a surface.
• Wear mask when outdoors : Wearing masks in public places and transports is mandatory in many countries these days. Always wear a clean mask when you are outdoors to prevent the spread of the virus. Keep few extra masks handy and change your masks every four hours.
• Avoid using public restrooms : It is better to avoid using public bathrooms as much as possible. Being used by many people, public restrooms have a high probability of being a source of contamination.
• Avoid crowded food outlets : Exploring any destination is incomplete without the delicious local cuisines. While you may be drooling over the tempting street foods, it is better to avoid eating in unhygienic or crowded food outlets. Prefer a clean, healthy meal in your own company or with your travel buddies.
Feeling any symptoms: Self isolate
In case, you feel any COVID-related symptoms, or you have come in contact with an infected person, firstly DO NOT PANIC! Isolate yourself in your room and contact the local authorities. Get a COVID test done as soon as possible and take rest. Do not travel until you are tested negative and follow the local government guidelines.
Do not rush to the airport, public places to get your work done quickly. Be patient. Daily changing COVID scenario may lead to the cancellation of flights or stays. Be prepared beforehand to alter your plans.
Enjoy your trip
Now that you are ready to safely explore your lovely destinations, onset your travel with a smile.