Worldwide travel ground to a halt in early 2020 and stayed dormant for the entire year. That left many people yearning for missed vacations. However, people are realizing they can travel safely now, even if it means taking a few extra precautions. Here are a few tips to help you travel safely during the COVID pandemic.
Get Tested Before and After Your Trip
Testing is a vital component of stopping the spread of any contagious illness. After all, you can inadvertently spread it to others without even realizing you are sick. This was a problem in tuberculosis transmission for many years.
Even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still get tested before you travel. ideally, schedule a test within 48 hours of your departure, but be sure you will get the results back in time. It is also a good idea to check with your transportation carrier and officials at your destination to find out what their testing requirements are. For example, an Italy Greece cruise may have more stringent rules than either country by itself.
Take Basic Precautions
Unlike earlier in the pandemic when everyone was sort of flying blindly just trying to get some information scientists now know that taking basic safety precautions can help slow the spread of COVID. It is up to each individual to do his part in making that happen.
If you are concerned for your own health, be prepared to take extra precautions to compensate for those around you who are a little lax. What does that mean? Here are a few examples of how you can protect yourself:
- Wear a face mask (or two)
- Get vaccinated well ahead of your trip
- Try to keep your distance from others
- Eat and congregate in outdoor spaces whenever possible
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available
Limit Your Traveling Companions
The more people you are in close quarters with, the more chances you have to come in contact with someone who is COVID-positive. That’s why it is a good idea to limit how many people you come into close contact with as you travel. If you have a large group trip planned, you may want to reconsider. However, scientists agree that smaller, more intimate vacations can be taken safely.
You will undoubtedly have contact with people other than your direct traveling companions, but you may be able to limit that as well. At the very least, you can focus on outdoor venues where you can have access to fresh air — and fewer germs.
Research Your Destination
Where you are planning to go can make a big difference in how your trip unfolds this year. That is why research is more important now than it has been in previous travel seasons.
If you are traveling internationally, start by finding out if any travel advisories have been assigned to your destination. Is it unusually high? Have there been reports of new outbreaks that might interfere with your ability to get home? You should also look carefully at restrictions for travelers coming into the country. Will you have to quarantine for an extended period upon arrival? If so, how will that impact the length of time you have to enjoy the trip?
Domestic destinations can be simpler to vet, but not always. Look at trends in case rates and how stressed medical systems are in the area you are going. Ask any transportation carriers and hotels what precautions they are taking so you are prepared.
Be Courteous To Other Travelers
This seems to be harder and harder for people as the pandemic wears on. The truth is, though, everyone is trying to get through the same mess. Use compassion and consideration when interacting with others on your trip. It will make the experience better for you and everyone around you.
Travel can be undertaken safely if you use common sense and take a few extra precautions. basic safety measures, testing, and researching your destination will all help keep you safe.