Unlike most of history’s tragedies, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stun the world with a single catastrophic event. Rather, the disease quietly sneaked its way to different countries, devastating over 55 million people. Countries closed borders, imposed lockdowns, and travelers were forced to cancel their travel plans and self-quarantine at home.
The wound inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on global travel and tourism is deep, and its impact is being felt even after most countries have reopened their borders. That said, most people still wonder whether they will travel again and to do so safely. This article focuses on tips to help you travel safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
Choose a safe destination
How safe your vacation will depend on your preferred destination. So, check quarantine regulations and travel restrictions before your travel date. Some states and countries require visitors to get tested for coronavirus before travel and probably stay in quarantine for about two weeks on arrival.
It’s also important to check the number of new infections and hospitalization in the region. Look for a steady decline in the number of new coronavirus infections over at least two weeks. For instance, if you plan to visit Put-in-Bay, check COVID information from a trusted website. If you intend to travel with your loved ones, assess health risks before traveling. For instance, find out if anyone in your group is at a higher risk of health complications linked to COVID-19.
Know the regulations of the state or country where you live. Find out if you need to quarantine after your vacation. Consider job-related issues such as the ability to work from home after your vacation and the consequences of missing work.
Be open to safer means of transport
There are three travel modes you should compare before you begin packing bags – rail, air, and highway. Each of these options has benefits and limitations. For instance, road transport isn’t appropriate for travelers who must cross oceans to reach their destinations. So, compare these options and find out more about the COVID-19 prevention measures in place for your preferred mode of transport.
It’s also essential to think about how you will travel from one attraction site to another during your vacation. Suppose you’re planning a trip to Put-in-Bay, what’s the safest way to move from Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church? Should you rent a golf cart or opt for a public bus?
Choose your accommodation carefully
Speak to different hotels before you book. Most hotels have reopened but with limited amenities. That means spas, gyms, pools, and restaurants may be partially or entirely closed. Try to get more information regarding the facility’s COVID-91 preventive measures such as mask requirements, handwashing, and social distancing protocols. In case the hotel’s pool is open, and you intend to spend some time there, find out if there is a time limit per guest or if there is food-related service available by the pool.
If the idea of communal spaces like lobbies and hallways make you anxious, book a vacation rental on Airbnb. Having an entire house for you and your loved ones feel much safer. Beyond just choosing a property within driving distance, check its reviews, available amenities, their COVID-19 prevention protocols, and more.
If you plan to visit another country, work with a travel agent
Different countries have different travel requirements and restrictions. Some of these restrictions include social distancing, quarantine, mask requirements, and more. Note that these restrictions are constantly changing and you must follow them to visit those countries.
With COVID-19 restrictions constantly in flux, it’s wise to work with a travel agent to plan your trip. A reliable travel agent can respond quickly to coronavirus-related issues. For instance, he or she can make the arrangement for an alternative travel destination due to partial lockdowns.
In March, if you may recall following sweeping travel restrictions on Italy, Spain, and other countries in Europe, most people abroad were desperately seeking a way home and spending a lot of money on return tickets. A travel agent is far better positioned to get in touch with airlines and probably get you home safely.
Do what makes you comfortable and safe
Your health is your responsibility during your vacation, and it’s always recommended to avoid overly crowded spaces. You will feel much freer to bike down a beaten path or run on the beach when there are fewer people.
If your travel destination is crowded, you might see many people walking around without masks or maintaining social distance. Don’t do something just because the other people around you are doing it. Instead, make choices that will make you feel safe and comfortable, even if that means stay away from beaches in the afternoon.
It’s yet to be seen if the world will go back to ‘normal.’ Most countries have eased their travel restrictions and lockdowns. Though you can still visit your preferred destinations, many things have changed. So, make travel choices that prioritize your health.