With travel restrictions finally easing across the world, many are eager to return to the skies and to sandy beaches. After all, COVID has all but ruined our entire year – not just summer. Therefore, it’s understandable why some would be willing to put themselves at risk for some reprieve from it all.
While we wouldn’t recommend travel even at this time, and especially as Europe is potentially experiencing its second wave of infection, here are some tips to keep you safe should you insist on travelling.
1. Avoid COVID-19 hotspot destinations
Before you pick a destination, it’s advised to do some research first. You’ll want to avoid the US, which has become COVID-19 central in recent months. While Europe had begun seeing improvements recently, its number of cases have taken a turn to the worse as experts predict the coming of a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Luckily for you, some prime holiday destinations, like The Seychelles, have been blessed with very few cases, making them ideal for a getaway.
Doing your research on your destination is the first and most important step.
2. Pick a flight with an airline that has taken precautions
While many airlines have resumed regular flights, many are still operating at limited capacity in an effort to reduce the risk of infection aboard their jets. This could mean an empty seat between each occupied one, or entire empty rows between passengers.
While most airlines have taken their precautions to protect their customers aboard their planes, it’s always advisable to opt for the ones operating at limited capacity. Even with a mask on, with the way seats are traditionally configured, and if we consider human error and negligence, it will be difficult to avoid infections in a fully booked plane. Luckily, most airports and airlines require passengers to bring with them a negative PCR test result to prove they were COVID-free within 48 hours of the flight, but this system is not infallible and people can catch the virus while they wait for the test results. Keep that in mind when before you decide to go ahead with a flight.
3. Staying safe during commutes
During commutes to and from the airport, and at your country of destination, it’s important to safeguard yourself against infection. This is especially important if you’re opting for a bus, metro or tramway as opposed to a taxi or Uber. With so many people huddled together in a limited space, you really are walking a thin line. Walk when you can, or take a cab when possible, even if it will cost you extra.
As for how you can stay safe while riding an Uber or Careem, we prepared a guide you can find here.
4. Follow safety protocols
More important than ever before, you must follow the safety regulations recommended by official bodies. Wearing a mask is as crucial as ever, and many stores, tourist destinations and airports will not permit you in unless you are wearing one. Just like in your home country, you must wear one at all times. You can opt for wearing gloves too. Have multiple spares of both on your person at all times should one get damaged or need a replacement. Additionally, always carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on you and use it frequently: when you board and disembark from public transport, when you enter a store, after exchanging money bills, etc.
Better yet, wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds when possible, and generally avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
5. Prepare for the worst
When you decide to travel for leisure, you need to be prepared for the worst: getting infected during the trip. Should you become sick with COVID-19, you will often need to pay for a PCR test and a 14-day quarantine stay at a hotel or other designated location. Make sure you have enough money to afford hospitalization bills and/or an extended stay at your hotel should become sick, and bring enough supplies for a longer trip – things like personal medication that might not be available in the country you are visiting, and sanitizer and masks.
You can find official guidance here.