While the new coronavirus is defining a new style of living, a quick change in perspective can thoroughly improve your lifestyle.
Before diving into this, bear in mind that things are constantly changing and conflicting information may be coming from the same sources. Obviously, things like online check-in and other protocols are already in place so we won’t be looking at those, but rather the top 5 questions to ask yourself to help you travel safely in this new “normality”.
1. What’s Your Destination?
Firstly, let’s address where you will be traveling to. Jumping on the first international flight might sound tempting, but you should consider the following before booking a flight:
- Many travel insurance companies are no longer offering insurance policies due to government restrictions. Travel insurance, especially in unstable times, is an absolute must for international travel.
- Even if flights become more readily available, the countries that they are flying to may still require mandatory 14-day quarantines on arrivals… and what fun is flying South only to sit in a hotel for 14 days?
- A quarantine may also be compulsory when you return home, which means that another 14 days off are required on top of your vacation.
- In order to avoid this, stay up to date on travel restrictions with apps and interactive maps. We find United Airlines’ interactive map to be pretty good. Check it out here: Click Here
2. Who Can Fly?
When it’s time to fly, whether it be domestic or international, the biggest question is “WHO can fly?” more so than “WHERE can we fly?”
Countries like South Korea, and many others in East Asia, have deployed a Coronavirus tracking app allowing for real-time alerts & digital contact tracing. A system like this allows citizens to be notified & isolated when they have come into contact with a confirmed Covid-19 patient, and the app displays as green when you are safe to go about your daily life.
These apps are just one thing that the countries that have been effective in flattening the curve have in common and North America and Europe will most likely be (or already using) using similar apps to determine whether or not it is safe for citizens to fly.
Additionally, many airports only allow passengers to enter the airport. That means that gone are the days of meeting your loved one for a hug at the arrivals gate.
3. What Are the Expectations at the Gate?
In addition to plexiglass barriers to separate travelers from gate agents, technology like facial recognition and pre-boarding temperature screenings has been put in place. So, make sure to check your temperature before going to the airport to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
In some countries such as Iceland, you may even be required to provide recent proof from your physician that you are safe to fly.
4. What Awaits After Landing?
As well as the temperature screenings that you are guaranteed to encounter multiple times throughout your journey, you may be asked for a mandatory blood test screening in major hubs like Hong Kong.
These blood tests, while widely criticized after their initial roll-out in the United States, are designed not only to detect whether a traveler currently has Covid-19, but also to signal whether or not they have built an immunity to the virus.
5. Where Are You Staying?
Finally, it is more noticeable as time goes on that personal space is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity and that accommodations like hostels and other shared spaces are likely to see a more difficult recovery.
Airbnb accommodations have risen in popularity since it is easier to maintain the hygiene of the private space. However, should you want to stay in a hotel, try and follow these guidelines:
- Before booking a hotel, research the hotel’s plan to protect guests and staff.
- Find out what the hotel’s plans are for guests who fall ill during their stay.
- When possible, ask for a room that has not been occupied for a few days.
- Upon arrival sanitize your room and keep the windows open.
- If you are out on a day trip or longer, decline housekeeping services to reduce the number of people in your room and order room service rather than dining out.
- Avoid shared hotel facilities like the gym and spa.
Whether you are traveling domestically or overseas, stay safe and come back soon!