Contemplating travel post-COVID-19 breakout has its set of challenges and restrictions. More than a year of staying at home and practicing safety measures has made us more cautious on travel. Business and adventure travel have gone through rough weather. Instead, virtual travel experiences and work from home are reshaping travel during the ongoing pandemic.
Vaccinations are the brighter side in pandemic prevention and rebooting travel. However, international travel can still increase the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus from unvaccinated and corona-positive patients. New contagious virus strains are spreading rapidly, disabling immunity and protection universally.
Public health agencies like The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend travel only after getting full vaccination. With travel restrictions easing out slowly, how should you plan your upcoming travel for international and domestic destinations? Here are some pro tips to help you travel safely in 2021.
- Pick Low-Risk Places.
The travel and tourism industry is getting back to normal. Since most countries are still facing pandemic restrictions, some areas may be less safe. If you have made your bookings or have an upcoming business trip, keep a check on COVID-19 new case count and travel restrictions in your chosen destination.
Choose low-risk and less-crowded areas that are travel-safe. Avoid air travel when you have newborn babies or pregnant women with you. Pick offbeat and off-season places motorable by road. Embrace long road trips to stay safe. You can carry your bicycle on a bike carrier for car to cycle on distant roads and explore more. Sanitize your vehicle well and wear masks. Talk to an experienced travel operator about car rental options.
- Check Travel Rules And Permits In COVID Destinations.
Responsible travel requires you to check the pandemic situation in your chosen destination. Travel restrictions are going strong in many places. Find out your government’s latest travel warnings and operative quarantine and vaccination rules in travel destinations. Here are a few questions to get answers to before leaving for the trip.
- Is your travel destination a COVID-19 hotspot or COVID-free?
- Has the International Air Transport Association (IATA) permitted entry into your destination of travel or made it a no-fly zone?
- What are the quarantine rules to follow when arriving at a foreign location?
- Is COVID vaccination mandatory to enter a country?
- Do you need to get PCR tests for diagnosing COVID-19 before leaving or entering a tourist location or plane-boarding?
- Can you get travel and medical insurance to cover you and your family for travel in the pandemic?
- Aside from business tourists, are hotels accepting leisure travelers?
These are some basic rules to tick before flying or doing cross-country travel by road. Unvaccinated travelers should try to avoid non-essential travel. Pursue family travel option only in an emergency. Keep a tab of COVID relaxations in the tourist destination you are eager to go to.
- Carry Ample Technology Devices.
Technology is of major help when you are flying or going on a road trip. Smartphones, laptops, chargers, pen drives, Kindle devices are your virtual friend in travel and outdoor destinations. You also need an external storage device for storing camera-clicked memories. Gadgets are vital for facilitating online bank transfers, ATM withdrawals, tracing tourist locations, or doing a destination check. Cybersecurity and cyberattacks are also becoming a point of concern in the pandemic. Here are a few technology-friendly tips for smarter travel.
- Use Free Tourist Wi-Fi networks
- Buy a travel SIM Card
- Download offline-compatible apps
- Use Date-Compressing Web Browsers
- Make use of a VPN to keep your PC hack-free
- Back up your data on Dropbox or Google Cloud Storage
- Secure your passwords with free tools like LastPass
- Download a packing list app to keep your items safe
- Carry multiple charging devices for a well-connected trip
- Check browsing rules and fees in cross-country locations
- Stock Up Health Essentials.
We all want to stay fit. But the corona outbreak has presented a new side to staying healthy. Masks and sanitizers are the new compulsories for travel. Here are the new travel necessities to carry to avoid getting sick during the trip.
- Hand sanitizer with over 60% alcohol content
- Disposable masks or double-layered cotton masks (washable)
- Eco-friendly wipes
- Prescription medicines (for health problems of eyes, ears, limbs, knees, shoulder)
- Antacid medicines and oral emulsions for stomach upset
- Vitamin supplements for immunity boost
- Cough and cold medicines
- Pain medicines (like ibuprofen, aspirin)
- Antibiotic ointments (for cuts, wounds, blisters)
- Sunscreen with an SPF of 30
- Medicines for nausea, motion sickness, and altitude sickness
- Thermometer, adhesive bandages, gauze strips
- Pocket knife, scissors, nail clipper
- A scarf or bandana to cover your face from pollution
- Insect repellents
- Fresh and unpeeled fruits
- Bottled water
Consult your doctor a few weeks before your trip. Get yourself vaccinated 2-3 weeks before the vacation trip. Also, carry spare masks and sanitizers to avoid looking for a pharmacy when you run out of stock.
- Take Documentation In A Secure Way.
Make copies of your travel documents like passport, visa, air tickets, driver’s license, vaccination certificate, or any other personal identification before leaving for the trip. Save your travel documents online to take hard copies whenever required. This will save you the time and stress of showing valid documentation to officials. Also, check out flexible flight cancellation and refund policies before check-in. This will save you the potential nightmare.
Cash handling can be a problem on a foreign tour. Hide your cash in safe and unseen places like bra stash, boxer briefs, pocket socks, empty lip balm, travel belt, etc., when moving around in sizable crowds, music concerts, or sports events.
When abroad, find out the value of the tip in F&B outlets and keep them ready. Always tip porters, servers, and housekeeping staff in local currency. Talk to the hotel manager if unconvinced of the service.
Dress according to the location. It is wise to wear low-key clothing outfits that won’t attract attention at a new destination. Carry extra lingerie, innerwear, condoms, and sanitary pads for an emergency—download weather updates and alerts on your mobile to prepare you for upcoming weather conditions.