Who doesn’t want to leave the house and start traveling again?
After the world reopens, traveling is probably the first thing in our post-COVID-19 plans. Like birds trapped in our cages, we are all eager to explore the great outdoors and visit the best places in the world after being locked up at home for months.
But since we’re still living in the pandemic era and we’re embracing the so-called “new normal”, there are new important things to consider when making your travel plans in the near future.
To enjoy a safer and happier trip, here are 9 things to include in your list when laying out your post-COVID-19 travel plans.
1. Don’t plan way ahead
If there’s one lesson we can all take from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the realization that there are things beyond our control. We all had listed down big plans in the past only to be destroyed by the pandemic. What we must do now is to be as flexible as possible.
Since nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future, don’t set a guaranteed date of when you’re going to travel. Instead, set several possible dates, as well as multiple possible destinations. Ensure that your hotel reservation can be canceled and/or rebooked.
2. Look for cancellation options
When booking your hotel accommodation and flights, stick to brands with flexible cancellation policies. Should things fail to go according to plan, you can easily cancel without worrying about fees.
3. Stay healthy
Don’t travel when you’re sick. Aside from being more susceptible to the virus, traveling while you’re feeling under the weather may put other people you meet at risk.
Before embarking on an adventure, make sure you’re strong and healthy. Exercise regularly. Eat healthily. Take vitamins. Drink enough water. Sleep well. If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, make sure you’re tested and cleared before traveling.
4. Ground your travel choices on health concerns
How healthy is the country you want to visit?
Look beyond the price tags and see which countries have the best preventive measures against COVID-19. Check if there are enough health facilities you can go to if you fall ill while you’re there. You may also consider getting travel insurance.
5. Explore less crowded places
Don’t deny – the pandemic has turned each one of us into germaphobes. Travel with some peace of mind by choosing places with fewer crowds.
Visit natural landscapes and open spaces, where you can breathe fresh air. These include national parks, beaches, hills, and mountains. Opt less crowded towns and cities, where you can walk without the risk of bumping into people. Lastly, avoid scheduling your trip on a major holiday, when a huge flock of tourists is expected.
6. Choose a well-known hotel brand
After the crisis, many hotels will offer great prices and other attractive packages to attract guests who are traveling again. However, not all of them are a good fit, as far as COVID-19 prevention measures are concerned.
If you’re going to book a hotel, trust brands who are vocal about their preventive measures, from stellar disinfection and social distancing procedures to innovative cashless transactions.
7. Think of safety and functionality when packing
This pandemic has truly changed the way we travel, including the way we pack our luggage.
So if you thought you’ve got the art of packing all figured out, think again.
- Bring face masks, sanitizers, anti-bacterial soaps, and disinfecting wipes
- Bring eyeglasses for protection
- Planning to travel lightly with just a few clothes? Well, the truth is you’re going to be changing clothes more often than usual to protect yourself from bringing the virus into your hotel room. Bring enough lightweight clothes as well as anti-bacterial laundry soaps.
8. Stay safe while traveling
You know the drill – social distancing, contactless payments, proper handwashing, and respiratory etiquette.
- Keep a safe physical distance of at least 6 feet from other people.
- Observe social distancing when you’re in a queue, public transportation, and even when walking in public.
- Refrain from touching items needlessly and having physical interaction with strangers.
- Refrain from paying and receiving money. If there are contactless options, like cashless payments, use them.
- Schedule and pay hotel, tour, and restaurant reservations online using your credit card
- Patronize brands that embrace contactless transactions.
Proper handwashing and hygiene
- Wash your hands whenever possible.
- Avoid touching your face.
- When you’re on the road, sanitize your hands with alcohol-based rubs and sanitizers before and after touching common items, like handrails, elevator buttons, and door openers.
- If you have wipes, you may wipe down surfaces before touching them.
- Change your clothes and take a bath after arriving at your hotel after a whole day of exploring.
- Wear your face masks at all times.
- If you’re going to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, dispose of it, and sanitize your hands afterward.
- Dispose of your face masks, gloves, and napkins properly.
9. Take frequent, shorter trips
Taking several shorter trips more often is better than making one big trip.
Plan road trips instead of trips accessible via airplanes and ships. If you’re planning to travel overseas, look into neighboring countries you can visit through shorter flights. The easier and faster you can travel and come home, the better.
10. Travel to destinations close to home
While there are international travel opportunities, it’s still best to lean on the safe side and travel domestically. Aside from being a practical option, it’s nice to know that you can get home easily should things not go according to plan. And besides, isn’t it nice to support local tourism which is just recovering from the loss of profit due to COVID-19?
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a savvy travel and lifestyle writer for Pembroke Hotel Kilkenny, a four-star boutique hotel in Kilkenny, offering exceptional accommodation and dining experiences in Ireland’s historic marble city. When she’s not taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle.