After months of being cooped up at home due to the pandemic, many people are eager to travel again. However, with the ongoing threat of COVID-19, traveling is not as simple as it used to be. With new restrictions and safety guidelines in place, navigating travel can be challenging. Here are some tips for traveling in the new normal.
Research Travel Restrictions
Before planning a trip, it’s important to research travel restrictions in the destination you plan to visit. Many countries have closed their borders to tourists, and those that are open may require a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to enter. Some countries may also require a mandatory quarantine upon arrival. It’s important to check the latest travel advisories from the government and the airline you plan to travel with.
Check Safety Measures in Accommodations
When looking for accommodations, it’s important to choose places that have implemented safety measures to protect guests from COVID-19. Many hotels and vacation rentals have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols and offer contactless check-in and check-out options. It’s also a good idea to choose accommodations that offer flexible cancellation policies in case travel plans change due to unexpected circumstances.
Pack Your Own Safety Kit
When traveling in the new normal, it’s important to be prepared with your own safety kit. This can include items like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, masks, and gloves. While some accommodations and airlines may provide these items, it’s always a good idea to have your own supply on hand to ensure you have what you need to stay safe.
Choose Outdoor Activities
When planning activities during your trip, choose outdoor activities whenever possible. Being outdoors reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission compared to being in enclosed spaces. Activities like hiking, cycling, and kayaking are great options for getting some fresh air and exercise while exploring your destination.
While it may be tempting to visit popular tourist attractions, it’s best to avoid crowded areas during the pandemic. Crowds increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission, so it’s best to choose lesser-known attractions or visit popular sites during off-peak hours when they are less crowded. It’s also a good idea to book tickets in advance to avoid waiting in lines.
Wear a Mask and Practice Social Distancing
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others while traveling is to wear a mask and practice social distancing. This means staying at least six feet away from others who are not part of your travel group and wearing a mask whenever you are in public areas, including airports, hotels, and restaurants.
Be Prepared for Changes
Traveling during the pandemic means being prepared for unexpected changes. Flights may be canceled, attractions may be closed, and travel restrictions may change at any time. It’s important to be flexible and have a backup plan in case your travel plans are disrupted. This may include having a contingency fund set aside for unexpected expenses or choosing destinations that have more flexible cancellation policies.
Get Tested and Quarantine After Travel
After returning from a trip, it’s a good idea to get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for a period of time, even if you don’t have symptoms. This helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others, especially those who may be more vulnerable. It’s important to follow the latest guidelines from health authorities regarding testing and quarantine periods.
Traveling in the new normal requires some extra planning and precautions, but it is still possible to explore the world safely. By researching travel restrictions, choosing accommodations with safety measures, packing a safety kit, choosing outdoor activities, avoiding crowds, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, being prepared for changes, and getting tested and quarantining after travel, you can travel.