In March of 2020 when the entire world was forced to go into lockdown due to the threat of the Coronavirus (COVID 19), most people did not expect that we would be 4 months into the lockdown with no end in sight. The only thing that’s certain at the current moment is “Uncertainty.” Since it is unsustainable and unrealistic to expect countries to shut down their economies indefinitely, it is safe to say that it is time for us to start preparing ourselves to find a new normal and learn to coexist with the Coronavirus.
The industry that sustained the most significant blow and the one that will probably be the last to recover fully is the Travel and Tourism industry. While some may choose to hold off on travelling for the unforeseeable future, for many of us, going on vacation is a part of who we are, and probably even necessary for our sanity and survival during these extremely trying times. If you are one of those people that find yourself unwilling to completely give up travelling indefinitely, here are 10 tips you may find useful in helping to minimize your risk of contracting and or spreading the virus when you travel.
Boost your health and Immune System
Regardless of the measures, you take to avoid contracting the Coronavirus, catching it at some point in time, maybe everyone’s inevitable future. This means that the best thing you can do for your survival is to prepare your body to fight the virus effectively should you become infected. It is widely documented that the virus is less impactful on generally healthy people. Therefore, if you have not yet started, now is the time to pick up exercising and healthy eating. If you did not consider it so before, healthy living is no longer a lifestyle choice; it is essential for your survival.
Isolate Yourself 2 Weeks Before Your Trip
Once you’ve solidified your travel plans, you should immediately start to minimize your exposure by reducing outside contact as much as possible. This is especially so when you are within two weeks of your travel date. Isolate yourself, and if you have to go outside, maintain strict social distancing rules, sanitize often, and wear your mask. This is to not only minimize you having Corona during your travel but also to protect others as well.
Stay Home If You’re Sick
If you get sick before your trip without enough time to recover, postpone your trip. Sick, in this case, means any type of Flu or compromising immune illness. Whether it’s Coronavirus or the regular Flu, you will probably not be granted entry into another country if you are coughing or sneezing or have a fever.
Get Tested Before You Travel
For some destinations, getting tested is a requirement before being granted entry, depending on your place of residence. Getting tested is also the only way to guarantee you do not have the virus. Imagine being at a resort where everyone there has tested negative for COVID 19. What comfort and peace of mind that would bring. Making testing more efficient and accessible may be the fastest way for us to return to traveling and attending social events without restrictions.
Select Destinations That Have Done A Good Job Handling The Pandemic
When selecting your travel destination, look for the list of countries that have done the best job of managing the spread of the pandemic. You also want to choose resorts or Villas that are implementing strict protocols to minimize exposure such as, staff wearing face covers, temperature checks on arrival, and regular sanitization of common areas. Make sure there are nurse stations and proper quarantine facilities in place in the event you or anyone else staying at your hotel start showing symptoms while on vacation.
Wear A Mask Your Entire Flight
Wearing a mask is generally uncomfortable for most people. I personally do not enjoy having to wear one. However, it is the best way to avoid the virus coming in contact with our face. Not sure about you, but I’d rather be uncomfortable for a few hours than to be sick for 2-3 weeks with the Coronavirus. Most airlines have now made this mandatory, so we no longer can avoid it, You will need to keep your masks on for the entire duration of your flight.
Bring Your Own Disinfectant Wipes And Sanitizer On The Plane
Do not trust anyone but yourself to guarantee your safety. I am sure the airline cleaning crew does an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing the airplane in between flights. But just in case someone slacked off on their job today, I am going to go ahead and sanitize my seat and general surroundings myself before any part of my body comes in contact with that space. Bring your disinfectant wipes on the plane and wipe your seat, the back of the seats in front of you, the magazines, and anything you may touch during your flight. You also want to do the same to your luggage once you retrieve them at your final destination.
Disinfect Your Hotel Room Or AirBnB
The same sanitizing rules apply to your hotel room or Airbnb as the airplane. Do not trust that the cleaning staff did an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing. Bring your own disinfectant spray and do a thorough spray-down of your room before you start to touch things.
Limit Off Sight Excursions
One of the best parts about visiting any destination is being able to experience some of the local wonders that destination is known forever. However, while COVID 19 is still a threat, once you get to your hotel or villa, limit the number of times you leave to interact with the local community as much as possible. This is necessary to minimize your risk of contracting the virus, but also to ensure you are not bringing the virus to the lovely people that call that destination home.
Maintain Social Distancing
Most resorts and Villas have big enough pools and common areas for you to enjoy those facilities and still maintain social distancing. These are not the times to get up close and personal with perfect strangers. We can still be friendly and socialize, but do it while keeping each other at least Six Feet apart.
Minimizing your risk of exposure to COVID 19 while travelling may seem tedious; however, it’s hardly different from the things we have had to do over the past four months when interacting with the public. Social distance, wear a mask, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, sanitize regularly. If you are already doing these things to survive in your everyday life, you can continue doing them while relaxing on a beach somewhere peaceful and tropical.
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