Most of the world’s travellers have been grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it will continue for much longer or come to a definitive conclusion, nobody knows for sure. Many countries have seen success in containing the transmission of the dreaded virus, but others were not as fortunate.
For travellers who have had to postpone or cancel their trips, your plans need not to go to waste. There’s hope that your travel goals can still be accomplished within the year as countries are gradually opening their borders while implementing COVID-19-related travel restrictions for international tourists. In addition, global tourism is slowly adapting to the ‘New Normal’ brought about by the pandemic.
Travel in the ‘New Normal’
As we continue to face an unprecedented global health crisis, strict safety measures are sure to be enforced. Expect thermal scanning, managed social distancing, transparent counter barriers, and mandatory wearing of face masks in any mode of transportation, particularly airlines. While these may sound troublesome to others, it’s a small price to pay to satisfy our wanderlust. We will freely travel again at some point. When we do, it should be done responsibly and more consciously.
‘New Normal’ Essentials
There is currently no vaccine against COVID-19. The best we can do is to observe proper sanitation practices and live a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Keep the following items in your bag before going on your trip.
- Face Masks
Prepare several spare face masks. While surgical grade N95 respirators are ideal as they offer the highest level of protection against COVID-19, they are costly and limited in supply. For that reason, disposable surgical masks are advised. These masks can protect you from large droplets from other people such as coughs or sneezes.
- Alcohol/Hand Sanitizers
Proper handwashing with soap and water is currently the most effective method to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Experts say that washing your hands for 20 seconds is effective in killing germs. Seeing that a sink isn’t always accessible, hand rubbing with 70% alcohol or hand sanitizer (with 70% alcohol) can be useful to keep your hands clean, especially in shared spaces.
- Disinfectant Wipes
Wet wipes containing 70% alcohol or other disinfectant agents are a good alternative to hand sanitizers. It can also be used to wipe personal belongings, cutlery, door handles, and other things that have been in contact with other people in public places.
COVID-19 Travel Recommendations
With international travel still facing a lot of challenges, domestic tourism looks more appealing than ever. Our own motherlands hold an incredible amount of cultural and historical treasures that are worth visiting sans the crazy expensive flights and steep accommodation costs. It may not as glamorous as cruising on the Mediterranean or backpacking across Europe, but it gives you a fresh perspective and deeper appreciation of your own country.
The threat of contracting COVID-19 is still very much alive. It is advised by government bodies to refrain from making nonessential travels. For those who need to travel internationally, having the right insurance can make all the difference. The right insurance policy can cover almost any kind of trip interruption such as car breakdowns, road accidents, and weather-related threats. Some plans even cover COVID-19-related losses, so it’s best to review insurance policies before departing.
Safest Destinations to Travel in 2020
According to the UN World Tourism Organization, all of the world’s popular destinations have travel restrictions in place and 75% of them are still completely closed to international tourists. Some countries are even re-imposing lockdowns as the number of their COVID-19 cases resurge.
In Europe, however, many countries have started reopening their borders and flights. The European Best Destinations Organization (EBD) has unveiled a list of destinations least affected by COVID-19 to help travellers who, after weeks of confinement, want to travel Europe but do not know where to go and what safety measures are currently enforced. Some of the destinations that made it to the list of best places to travel after pandemic are:
- Tbilisi, Georgia
- Corfu, Greece
- Azores Islands
- Cavtat, Croatia
- Alentejo, Portugal
- Warsaw, Poland
- Kotor, Montenegro
- Vienna, Austria
- Riga, Latvia
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