post pandemic travel

The dos and don’ts of travelling in the post-pandemic era

By being on your guard and keeping the do’s and don’ts in mind, you can not only make the best of your trip but also keep yourself and others safe.
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It’s October 2021. At the same time last year, the world was firmly in the grip of the pandemic. The schools were closed, offices were shut down, the whole world had come to a standstill. Everyone was scared. After more than a year of strenuous efforts by the doctors, first responders and the global rollout of vaccines, that grip has finally begun to loosen up. Children are back to the schools, offices are opening up, and people are making plans to travel, once again.

It won’t be like before, however. Life as we know it before the pandemic has changed, and so is travelling. You can’t travel without keeping the safety guidelines in mind. Where and how you are travelling, where will you be staying—everything needs detailed planning. You can’t take the risk of getting infected, which can be high if you don’t take adequate safety precautions, especially when you’re in a different country or a city.

Like everything that needs caution, travelling in the post-pandemic era has its do’s and don’ts too. It’s a list of things to keep in mind that can help you stay safe and let you enjoy your trip to the fullest. Remember, your adventure shouldn’t come at the cost of getting sick when a pandemic is going on. By being on your guard and keeping the dos and don’ts in mind, you can not only make the best of your trip but also keep yourself and others safe.

Let’s take a closer at the dos and don’ts of travelling in the post-pandemic era.

DOS

Carry the pandemic essentials

Most of us used to carry first aid, travel pillows, portable charger, wipes whenever we travelled, especially somewhere far. These are the things that we deemed essentials. But in the post-pandemic era, there are a few more add-ons to the list. For instance, face masks, sanitiser, vaccination reports, and hand gloves can help keep you safe from the coronavirus. These are the new pandemic essentials. Even if you’re vaccinated, you need to take precautions—not just for yourself but others as well—to keep your trip adventurous and not a medical nightmare.

Check the guidelines

Even after months of global vaccination drives, there are countries under lockdowns. Countries like Thailand, Singapore, the US, the UK, Mexico, Norway, and many others still have active cases that run in tens of thousands. And these are some of the hottest tourist destinations in the world. Just because some nations have reopened their borders, it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. It’s still there and taking lives. So if you’re planning a trip overseas, make sure to check the state guidelines. Stay away from the COVID hotspots, and be up-to-date with the latest news and developments.

Have a safe flight (book tickets when it’s less busy)

According to a study, “the risk of contracting COVID-19 during air travel is low.” This is when you are inside the airplane. But what about when you’re inside the airport and surrounded by hundreds of people? Some are going on a trip just like you while others are coming back, and the chances of getting infected are high. You can reduce these odds by taking some smart decisions. For instance, planning your flight on a weekday and late in the evening. Also, if possible, book a direct flight. This can reduce your chances of coming in contact with people during the exchange. Do web check-ins to ensure minimal contact.

Check the COVID policies of the hotels and Airbnb

Even before the pandemic, hygiene and sanitation in hotels have been an issue for travellers. You could never know for sure if the linens were cleaned, floors were wiped, or bath towels were washed. In the post-pandemic era, however, there will be no place for such negligence. Before booking hotels, check if their staff members are vaccinated; what kind of precautions they have taken, their cleaning policies and the daily practices they follow to ensure their customers are safe. If you’re booking from Airbnb, check their cancelling and safety policies, and how they combat regional COVID cases.

DON’TS

Assume everyone is vaccinated

We are witnessing the biggest vaccination campaign in history with billions getting administered with doses. This being said, we still have a long way to go. In underdeveloped countries, the vaccination drives are not as swift and intense as in countries with higher GDPs. So when you’re packing your bags for a trip, don’t assume everyone is vaccinated. Even if you have taken your vaccination doses, you can still be a threat to those who haven’t. Especially old or already sick people. This is why experts recommend people to follow COVID safety guidelines, wherever they are.

Wander in crowded places

If you want to travel post pandemic, you have to make some tough choices that may go against your original plan. For instance, you may have to skip water parks, theme parks, concerts, or places that often attract crowds. Plan your itinerary in such a way that you don’t have to risk getting the infection. If you have a tour guide, share your concerns with them. If you are on your own, do your research well. Find out beforehand which regions are safe to travel to and which ones have more active cases.

Lose your patience with authorities

Everyone is doing their part in the fight against the pandemic. You, by following the COVID protocols and getting vaccinated and authorities, by conducting vaccination drives, checking medical certificates at the airports, and ensuring people are following the guidelines. Amidst this, it’s possible things may run a bit slower. For example, at airports, authorities may take more time than usual to crosscheck all the documents. Or boarding may take time as the in-flight staff would need to sanitise everything. While they do their work, remain calm and don’t lose your patience. These extra minutes are for your safety and can be the difference between life and death.

Forget your medical documents

Make sure to keep your medical documents with you throughout your trip. Your vaccination certificate is verifiable proof that you have been vaccinated. Whether you are travelling to a neighbouring state or a different country, don’t forget to carry them. If you’re travelling with your family, check if the documents of all the members are safely packed. You would need them at the start of your journey, as carrying them is a mandate in many countries. You would need them during your trip if you have to show proof of your vaccination at hotels or other places. And you would need them while coming back. These rules are made for us. By following them, we play our part in this fight against the deadly virus.

 

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