Travelling In A Post-Covid Environment
Do you want to travel and get away from it all but at the same time feel uneasy or worried about how to best protect yourself when travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic? Don't worry, we feel the same way too. We've been evaluating our options well, and came up with the following recommendations for anyone looking to go on a holiday while still keeping safe and protected.
We're usually all in for mingling and being around people, but our advice today is the complete opposite.
Whether it's a popular attraction, museum or restaurant, try to look for places which are less popular amongst tourists and hence less crowded. If you really can't miss it, go during off-peak times. While avoiding crowded and popular hot spots, you may have more personal and authentic experiences and get to explore the lesser-known attractions too.
Therefore when planning a trip, put some extra effort into finding those unknown places, or better yet, just roam around when you are there.
Compare the numbers
Before booking your next flight, do your research with regards to Covid-19 transmission rates and active cases in that particular area. Opt for places that have relatively low cases.
You can follow many websites and keep an eye out on the daily news to keep yourself well-informed. While numbers don't always show the full picture, you can still get a good idea of which countries are safer and which ones are not.
Don't book far in advance
Over the past few months, we've seen how drastically things have changed from day-to-day. People who had booked their trips way before had to miss them, and some even lost their money.
Even though things may be looking better right now, we are still uncertain of what will happen in a few months' time.
Our advice is that if you are up for taking a trip, go for something instant. Follow the news and if a country seems safe, book your trip for a few days or weeks later.
Travel closer to home
Venturing off to faraway destinations may still not be the best idea at the moment. Taking long-haul trips means more travel time. This means more time on an enclosed plane with the same people, more transits and more social interactions.
In the eventuality of needing to return back home quickly, it is much easier to get back if you travel closer to home. This also means you're probably going to experience the same weather conditions as yours.
Avoid less developed countries
Do this as a means of protecting yourself and the locals. Having to visit hospitals in third world countries is surely not desirable during these times, so it makes more sense to stick to places with adequate healthcare systems – just in case the need arises.
More importantly, in these countries, locals often lack access to basic healthcare and if you unknowingly carry a disease (such as Covid19), the effects on these communities might be very serious.
Airbnbs vs. Hotels
Direct contact with people is the main risk for accidentally bumping into the virus when on holiday, especially if you don't know other people's whereabouts.
That's why we prefer not to stay in hotels right now. For a more DIY experience, we chose Airbnbs. They are more private and with fewer chances for exposure such as in elevators or lounge areas.
It may be handy to carry disinfectant to clean commonly used places and items such as switches, handles and remote controls.
Bonus: It might be cheaper too!
Take a camping trip
This is probably our favourite mindless social distancing measure of the year.
Being out in nature presents a lower risk of virus transmission while helping you to fully relax and refresh your mind from the stresses you've had over the past few months.
Many travelers worry about the cleanliness of the hotels or hostels they would stay in so what's better than your private tent? You do not need to worry about unchanged bedsheets, dirty bathrooms or bumping into people in common areas.
Another plus is being able to prepare your own food, relying nearly on nobody else throughout your trip. All you need is a good plan beforehand, and you're good to go.
Nature Trips vs City Trips
If an entire camping trip is a no-go for you, plan your itinerary around nature.
Choose a holiday destination where you can spend time hiking, swimming in quiet beaches or admiring scenery. You can usually find many national parks just outside the big city, or a few hours away. There are many hiking guides and applications to help you plan your nature trip.
A higher chance of spotting wild animals has been reported following the outbreak of Covid-19, which to us is another convincing reason to go for this! Besides, nature is always a good idea.
Rent your own car or take a road trip
If you want to have more control over your surrounding environment, driving yourself will give you the freedom you need. Plan routes to avoid unnecessary stops and contact.
This allows you to explore places you wouldn't otherwise see if you had to use public transport or taxis. Don't forget that your GPS and Google Maps are your friends, and make sure you are confident enough to drive abroad!
A few more things before you go
Be aware that you might need to swab any time before, during, or after travelling. You might even need to be quarantined, so plan well with regards to your working schedule and events.
Getting travel insurance is a good idea, now more than ever and if you're travelling in Europe, carry your E-111 card with you.
Always monitor for any new restrictions or warnings to avoid disappointment. It is also important to minimize the need for any medical assistance by avoiding sunstrokes, insect bites or dehydration and always travel responsibly.
Lastly, if you are vulnerable or live with someone who is vulnerable our suggestion would still be to wait it out till it is much safer to travel.
One thing we know for sure is that we are experiencing a change in our travel styles for the time being, and that means we might be taking lesser trips, maybe longer ones, but definitely more meaningful and time-worthy ones!
Let's all be safe and still enjoy ourselves out there!