Most nonessential travel came to a halt during the pandemic, but with vaccination rates increasing, there has been an uptick in travel traffic. Fortunately, there are ways to cure the traveling bug, and do it with these travel safety courtesy of Empyre Talent.
Getting there from here – and back
The good news for camping lovers and those whose hearts flutter at the yell “Road trip!” is that traveling with family and others screened for COVID-19 via automobile is considered to be the safest pandemic travel mode. This is also true if you have to rent a vehicle, as rental car agencies have pledged to exercise careful sanitation practices.
However, your risks increase at each public facility stop, such as using public restrooms or going inside the gas station to pick up a few road-trip snacks. Take the same precautions that you would when entering any public space. Leaving during the week versus a Friday, and packing plenty of your own snacks, can reduce your exposure risks.
If geography or time narrows your options to airline travel, there’s good news on this front, as well. Between the highly effective air filtration system that commercial airlines have long used, and the way the airplane cabin air is refreshed every few minutes, your chances of breathing non-contaminated air are pretty good.
Of course, continued enforcement of mask-wearing (you included!), passenger spacing, and reduced capacity are all measures that also decrease your risks, so be sure to check your airline’s policies and practices before you book your flight. And adding travel insurance can reduce your losses should things change before you take your trip.
Your safety risks with train and bus travel will largely depend on what precautions those operators continue to take – combined with your own – as well as the length of your trip. Many trains have better air filtration systems than buses, although with some buses you may be able to open windows or vents for outdoor air. Both can experience periods of overcrowding and inconsistencies in mask-wearing enforcement. Generally speaking, train and bus travel (or automobiles shared with strangers) are considered to be the most unsafe transportation choices in a pandemic.
Destination detours and travel safety
Once you determine your destination and your mode of travel safe, you also need to consider the policies of your destination, as well as any places where you may be staying along the way. As infection rates reduce and vaccination levels increase in some areas, health and government officials may be scaling back or waiving some health protocols, like self-quarantine upon arrival.
However, with no uniform standards, it is up to the traveler to know the requirements of each location. For example, if you want to visit Paris for the holidays, note that a vaccination is required for entry. Whereas if you want to fly to Jamaica, you simply need a negative COVID test to enter.
There is no doubt that careful pre-planning can make for seamless, or near-seamless, safe travel trip execution. That can be time-consuming, though, as well as challenging if you are not that experienced or know where to turn for information. Discussing your options and proposed itinerary with a travel consultant just may save your travel experience – and your sanity.
Making preparations before you leave
Once you’ve decided on a location, you’ll need to take some steps to secure your home before you leave. Make sure to keep up with regular maintenance like yard work so potential bad actors think you’re still home. Ask a neighbor to retrieve your mail and check on your home every couple days, and leave on a few lights inside your home.
If you’re an entrepreneur, carefully plan your vacation strategy by informing your clients that you’ll be out of town, keeping paper copies of important contacts and phone numbers, and making sure your employees are set up to handle any potential issues if anything should go wrong.
Make sure you also have a plan for a potential emergency. Keep some extra cash on hand, have your car tuned up before you leave and be sure to have copies of your health insurance card. If you plan to travel internationally, make copies of your passport, carry your vaccine card if you’re vaccinated, and alert your credit card company that you’ll be out of the country.
In the event that your wallet or purse is stolen, let your family or friends know they can use a platform like Remitly to quickly send funds your way. For instance, if you’re visiting the Dominican Republic, your family can use the express service to send you cash within minutes to your preferred pickup location.
Scratching the travel itch safely
The “travel itch” is real, particularly for serious travelers who love exploring all the world has to offer. With these travel safety tips, you’ll be able to seek out new and exciting locations, and to do so safely.