The recent pandemic may have put a pause on your holiday and travel adventures but for some, travel is still necessary during these trying times. Whether it’s for work, reuniting with family, or moving to a new country, this guide will walk you through how to travel responsibly during COVID-19.
Depending on your destination, there will most likely be a few different traveling options. You could reach your destination by flying, driving, public transport or perhaps by boat. Each of these modes of transport will have different rules, especially if you’re crossing the borders of different countries. It is important to check the guidelines of each travel company before you begin your travels. Booking ahead will also help avoid unnecessary waits or transfers.
Packing and planning
Even if you’ve planned and booked your journey ahead of time, it’s still important to pack for emergencies. Some countries are deciding on lockdown procedures with little time to prepare. When planning and packing for your travels, bear in mind that you may struggle to leave or get into a country resulting in potential lockdown, waiting in limbo or even quarantine. Putting in place a backup plan or keeping an eye on accommodation availability may help you to avoid running into difficulties when traveling.
Wear a mask
In many countries and on many modes of transport, face masks are now mandatory. Always have your mask handy and pack a spare in case yours is lost or misplaced. Remember to change your mask often or wash your mask regularly if it’s reusable.
It’s not always easy to keep 6 feet apart from other passengers who are using public transport but it is important to try to socially distance as much as possible wherever possible. If you are able to or can afford to rent a car and drive rather than board a train or bus, this will help with distancing yourself from other members of the public. Avoiding travel during rush hour or school run times can also help.
Wash your hands and use sanitizer
Regularly washing your hands with soap and water will help to protect yourself and others. When handwashing facilities are not available, make sure to have a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol at your disposal. However, hand sanitizer should not be used in replace of hand washing.
Before you travel, make sure to do your research checking government websites for information surrounding COVID-19. Countries and governments are regularly updating and adapting their rules and regulations and so it is important to check in regularly. In many countries, once you arrive from traveling, you will have to quarantine for some time. Again, this will vary from place to place and so it is important to research the quarantine requirements of the country you are visiting.
Quarantining will depend on your location and your accommodation. If you’re quarantining in shared accommodation, it is important to socially distance as much as possible and wear a mask when leaving your room.
Food and groceries
In order to fully quarantine and safely protect others, you won’t be able to leave your space and visit grocery stores. If you’re staying in a hotel or quarantining alone, it is a good idea to set up a plan to receive food and/or groceries. Do your research and try to find out if there’s a supermarket, restaurant, or hotel that can deliver your food to you safely without any physical contact. If you have friends in the area, it may be worth getting in touch with them to see if they can drop off any essentials.
Contact with friends and family
As quarantine time is usually a couple of weeks long, it is important to stay in contact with your friends and family. This will help with your mental health as well as keeping your family up to date in case you experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Video calls, phone calls, or texts can help you stay connected to the outside world even when you are shut away for some time.
Health and wellness
For both your physical and mental well-being, it is important to keep on top of your health and fitness, even when in quarantine. Taking part in online fitness classes or checking out some new apps will help you to maintain a fitness schedule and routine. Practicing meditation, yoga, or other calming activities will help to keep on track of your mental well-being as sometimes, being alone for a couple of weeks in a new place can be daunting.
Frequently wash your clothes and living space
Keeping a clean environment and regularly washing your items of clothing can help minimize the risks of coming into contact with germs. Wearing gloves will not always protect you from COVID-19 and so it is important to regularly wash and disinfect yourself and your belongings.
Before, during, or after travel, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 it is important to get tested and self-isolate until the results are released. If you feel unwell in any sense, do not continue with your travel plans as you may be putting others at risk of contracting the virus.
For more information about COVID-19, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Photo: Feature Image design – Anna Ashbarry, Other images – Canva Stock Images