Like many other experiences, travelling is something that looks quite different in the new normal. Travel habits have changed for people worldwide, including Europeans who want to fly less after the pandemic due to extra precautions — and for a good reason. The pandemic started unexpectedly early last year, changing life as we know it. COVID-19 began to overwhelm hospitals all over the world and caused governments to implement social distancing measures to contain the virus. This inevitably affected travel, too.Although lockdown guidelines included travel bans for the longest time, restrictions have slowly started to ease up in the last few months. However, excited travellers need to know how to navigate different ways of travelling as a result of the pandemic before going on any trips. Here are five tips to remember before setting off on your adventures in this new normal.
1. Check the State of COVID-19 in Your Destination
Before deciding on a destination, first consider the state of COVID-19 wherever you’re going. It’s best to choose a place where the infection rate isn’t so high to reduce your chances of catching the virus. Target the types of destinations that are less susceptible to viral transmission, like countrysides or secluded beaches. Reserve the more populated areas like cities and tourist spots for when it’s relatively safer to travel to these areas; you’ll have more travel plans to look forward to in the future!
Governments in other countries will often have COVID-19 recommendations on their websites and you can find daily COVID-19 stats and access these travel advisory government links directly in the newest Travel Safety feature in the Ready Set Holiday! app.
Be sure to check this before booking your tickets.
2. Choose Your Mode of Travel Carefully
Your mode of travel is another important factor in keeping safe. Euro News details how driving may be better than flying on a plane as it risks less exposure. If flying is the only way to reach your destination, then observe safety precautions on your flight to stay protected. First, do some research on your chosen airline to learn about their safety measures. You should also choose an airline that doesn’t typically fill all of its seats and, if possible, take the first-class section to maximise physical distancing. Keep your mask on at all times, and do not use the restroom unless it’s absolutely urgent. Lastly, opt for direct flights to avoid the risk of exposure during stopovers.
3. Check Change or Cancellation Policies Before Booking
Losing money on a cancelled trip is a reality many people faced as the pandemic stretched on. To avoid this, invest in the right travel insurance and choose an airline with change and cancellation policies that are COVID-19 related. Be thorough with your research to check how these are being implemented by looking for recent reviews on their Facebook page, website, and even on forums. It’s also good to start with recommendations from trusted friends and family who have travelled in recent months.
4. Test Before, During, and After the Trip
Some destinations will require you to quarantine, so it’s best to come prepared with test results before your departure date. Having a negative result may enable you to reduce time in quarantine upon arrival or skip it altogether. Just be sure to plan ahead and allow time for self-isolation and the processing of your test results. Apart from testing prior to departure, travellers should also get tested during the trip to ensure they don’t contract the virus. And finally, while testing again when you’ve returned home may seem excessive, it’s the only way to know if you’re truly in the clear.
5. Going to More Than One Destination
Travelling to more than one destination might have been commonplace pre-pandemic, but it isn’t advisable during the new normal, even if it’s tempting to hit two birds with one stone. Instead, choose one or two countries to visit to minimise the risk of exposure. It’s worth waiting a bit longer to book longer trips with multiple destinations so you can enjoy it without multiple testing, quarantine policies, and other measures that can hamper the whole experience. For now, making the most out of a destination or two is a good compromise, especially with safety as the first priority.
With most people travelling for the first time again in over a year, preparing for it can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking task. Between safety precautions, documents, and your suitcase contents, it’s easy to miss a few things. We’ve listed a few things travellers always forget, all of which can be easily remembered using the Ready Set Holiday app! Making use of this tool and these tips can help you be extra prepared for your travels, which is crucial during the new normal and beyond.
Piece specially written for readysetholiday.co
by Jordana Brant