How to Travel Safely and Effectively Post Covid-19 Pandemic

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Here is a practical list of 7 tips to help you travel safely and effectively post-COVID-19.

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Right now, the travel industry is in turmoil. Nobody really knows when the coronavirus crisis will end, and people are getting tired of staying at home.

Travel and health safety tips for those going out on a trip after the COVID-19 pandemic
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How to Travel Safely and Effectively Post Covid-19 Pandemic


    When the pandemic has run its course, the world will be a different place. So, here is a practical list of 7 tips to help you travel safely and effectively post-COVID-19.

    1. Things will be different – listen to locals


    During the crisis, many long-established tourist attractions, hotels, transportation companies, and airlines will face financial ruin. Although some will be rescued by governments or bought out by other companies and stay in operation, others will simply cease to exist. This means that guidebooks and many online resources will become hopelessly outdated.

    Ask locals for travel advice if you are taking a trip to their place after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Similarly, reviews of ongoing businesses on TripAdvisor, Google, and other sites will be inaccurate. During the pandemic, long term members of staff will have lost their jobs and moved on to new ventures. Important suppliers may have gone out of business. 

    Key pieces of equipment will have not been properly maintained. This may mean that previously 5-star rated restaurants may be mediocre now, while previously 3-star cafés may have picked up experienced staff from closed-down gourmet restaurants and now be offering 5-star food.

    For this reason, ensure you do your research before you travel. Scour websites based on where you’re going and ensure that the information you rely on was posted recently by someone who either lives there or has been there in the past month.

    2. The end of restrictions will be phased in


    Because different countries began to suffer COVID-19 epidemics at different times and took different steps to control the outbreak, each country has its own experiences of the disease. This also means that every country will have a unique approach to reopening its borders, public spaces, and attractions to tourists.

    A traveler after the COVID-19 pandemic
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    Some countries will reopen to travelers much earlier than others. When this happens, not every attraction or type of activity may be restarted to coincide with the influx of new visitors. Also, there will be a question of whether that country’s government has jumped the gun and if the country is really free of the virus.

    You should take care to ensure that all the activities you plan to enjoy in that nation are available before you travel. You must also be able to confirm to your own satisfaction that there is no risk to you from traveling in that country. Check with the State Department to see if they have issued any travel advisories concerning your destination.

    3. Be prepared for crowds


    Since many people around the world have been trapped inside their own homes for months, when the first countries open their borders to tourists, they are going to get busy. Even people who never considered going to a specific tourist spot before may decide to go if it’s the only interesting destination available.

    A crowded train after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Also, to compound this, companies with investments or business interests in those countries will be eager to send representatives, engineers, accountants, and lawyers to catch up on any business activities put on hold for the pandemic. Airports, travel hubs, hotels, restaurants, and major attractions will be super busy.

    4. Book ahead


    The combination of failed airlines closed hotels, and closed attractions alongside this huge influx of tourists and business travelers mean lots of flights, hotels, local tours, and attractions will be fully booked for months ahead. 

    Making travel booking in advance after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    If you want to avoid disappointment, you must do your research as early as possible and book as soon as you can. Keep your eye on flights and accommodations on sites like Booking.com, Omio, and Kayak.

    5. Check you can get what you need


    Many people have specific special needs on vacation. Some travelers have special dietary requirements for religious or medical reasons. Some have general allergies to certain kinds of products, like soaps and shampoos. There may be something that you cannot live without, such as an EpiPen if you have serious allergies.

    Making a travel checklist after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Before traveling anywhere, ensure that you can still get what you need at your destination. Though it might have been a simple matter to locate such items as gluten-free food in most tourist hotspots before the crisis, disruptions to the supply chain and changes to the management and staffing of stores, hotels, tourist attractions, and food outlets may make it impossible now. Check the latest information, email the hotels, and ask locals or frequent travelers where possible.

    When packing, pause for a brainstorming session. Make a list of everything you can’t live without. Then check that it is available. If there is any hint of doubt that it’s unavailable at your destination, do what you can to take it with you.

    6. Budget carefully


    The disruptions to businesses and supply chains will affect the price of everything from airline flights to burgers in street corner cafés. Some prices may rise, such as for food that must be imported, while other prices may come down, such as transport costs since fuel is currently so cheap. These changes will vary from country to country and between regions in larger countries.

    Making a travel budget after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    When budgeting for your vacation, don’t rely on outdated information. Gain advice from people who have traveled to your destination recently or locals living there. Also, don’t forget to shop around. Activities that were once expensive may now be affordable while once cheap adventures may now be beyond your budget.

    7. Take extra care


    Although the governments of countries that open for tourists must firmly believe that there is no longer any significant risk from COVID-19 in their nation, you should still take extra care. Believe it or not, governments sometimes make mistakes!

    Protect yourself by wearing an N95 mask when you travel after the COVID-19 pandemic
    Photo courtesy of pexels.com

    Purchase a set of N95 masks, rated FFP2 or FFP3 in the European Union, and wear them in transport hubs, on public transport, and in crowded enclosed spaces like shopping malls and museums. Yes, you’ll look weird. But it’s better to have people stare at you than to take dangerous risks.

    Practice social distancing as much as you can. When exploring city centers and parks, take cycling tours instead of walking tours or bus tours. Cycling presents the least risk of coming into close contact with other tourists. Plus, cycling is great for your health at any time!

    Activities like backpacking along long trails combined with camping in the wilderness will be best because then you’ll only come into regular contact with the people in your own family group. With a good-quality GPS unit and a map, you can get away from it all on mountain hiking adventures under the open skies.

    Note that people will have lost their jobs when businesses closed during the crisis and they may be unemployed. More unemployed people struggling to make ends meet may lead to more petty crime. Also, long-term criminals have lost money during the lockdown when pickpockets and con artists were unable to prey on unwary tourists. They will be looking to make up for the lost time.

    This means that wherever you go, you need to be more on the lookout for muggers, pickpockets, hotel room thieves, and con tricks. Use the hotel safes provided, carry valuables in a money belt, and avoid dark passages or secluded paths in urban areas.

    *This is a contributed post
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