We are all mentally stuck in the year 2019, but let’s be honest, spending time at home or seizing time for our hobbies, or even learning something new also made us happy. Yes, we surmise, initially it was fun, but after almost one and a half years, we are all transiting into a difficult phase. Be it our mental health, working extra, or affecting business, we all are facing challenges. Amidst all these, we have discovered that the most passionate thing we care about is travel. But we also emphasize you follow these 7 important guidelines while traveling post-Covid-19.
From just tiny meet-ups with friends at a chai tapri to long vacations with squad or family, unknowingly, travel played a crucial role in our lives. If we look at the stats, the World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018. With airports and some state borders opening, we may soon be able to travel. But one dilemma arises, with an ongoing situation, should we travel? We say yes, but prudently and responsibly.
1. Before you start packing
The foremost thing on your checklist should be the vaccine. Get complete vaccination (both doses) even if you do not plan to travel. Ultimately, precaution is better than cure! Yet after the second dose, wait for at least two weeks as the body takes time to develop protection.
Complete vaccination does not give you the freedom to travel without any protection. Use masks and keep hand sanitizers handy. Maintain social distancing wherever required. You are all set; what are you waiting for? Start packing!
2.. Inventory list
Not only for the ongoing situation but as a universal rule, there are a few items that are mandatory to carry with you while traveling. Your list should start with any medicines you may need on your trip, disinfectant wipes, tissues, and in addition a hand sanitizer (with more than 60% alcohol content) and a face mask. These items always assist you in maintaining a certain level of hygiene.
3. While traveling
Plan your travel thoroughly, taking care of all the aspects. We understand your urge to travel and advise you to select those places that are less crowded. Avoid popular attractions and look for hidden gems close to nature. Gather all the necessary information about the travel options and the destination to avoid the last-minute hassle.
Search for homestays. This can help in two ways, one you can help those small businesses, and second, these places are safer than the conventional luxurious hotels.
4. When traveling via
a. Air: Other than wearing masks, it’s essential to be mindful when using devices or touching surfaces that others have used, such as check-in machines, ATMs, escalators, etc. Keep sanitizer handy and use it whenever you connect any of these surfaces. Do not touch your face.
If possible, opt for a window seat on a plane. Studies say that this is the best place to avoid germs. In addition, before you take your seat, do a quick scrub of the hard surfaces around you with disinfectant wipes.
b. Road/Car: Traveling by own vehicle can give you more control over your environment. Try not to eat outside and carry packed meals made at home. Stock ample amount of water in your vehicle to minimize the stops.
When you need to get fuel like gas or petrol, use a disinfectant wipe on handles or buttons before touching them. After fueling, do not forget to use hand sanitizer.
c. Bus/Train: Try not to use public transportation. But in case it is unavoidable, follow all the important guidelines while traveling. Maintain social distancing, wear masks, and use sanitizer frequently.
5. At the destination
Before you book your stay, check for the requirements. Inquire if they need any medical report, even if you are vaccinated. Get the latest updates about the rules, guidelines, and restrictions followed by the place. And when there, track everything mentioned by the government. With all the hygiene we follow, we should also acknowledge how to be a responsible traveler.
Read about NEED OF RESPONSIBLE TOURISM IN INDIA.
6. While check-in hotels
The hotel industry acknowledges that travelers are concerned about the virus and their safety. Check the hotel website for information about how they are protecting guests and staff. They have enhanced their cleaning procedures, making sure that guests and staff use proper masks, and have initiated contactless payments.
Once at the hotel, follow social distancing and look for the protocols followed by the hotel in case a guest becomes ill during the stay.
Holiday apartments, too, are boosting their game when it comes to sanitation and safety. They’re committed to following all the public health guidelines, such as using masks and gloves when cleaning.
Once you arrive at your room or apartment, vaccinated or not, disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as light switches, doorknobs, countertops, phones, tables, desks, taps, and remote controls. If you want to use plates, glasses, cups, or any cutlery, wash them before using them.
7. People around you
Even if you are entirely vaccinated, it is advisable to follow social distancing. Anyone can catch the virus, but older adults with certain medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you are traveling and get infected, you can spread the virus to your family member even if you are asymptomatic.
One returning from the extended travel, few things to follow, check the rules of RTPCR while re-entering your state. If it says you need to go through the test irrespective of vaccinated or not, please take one. This will decrease your concern while returning to loved ones.
If you observe any symptoms, isolate yourself immediately and consult a doctor. More often, we care about how we can protect ourselves from diseases but forget to focus on preventing ourselves from spreading those diseases.
We are all in this together, and we will definitely overcome these challenging times. But understand that this cannot happen overnight. Be attentive and follow all the guidelines accurately while traveling, do not take anything for granted. Cherish these moments as well, or else what will you tell your grandchildren about.