The pandemic has put a lot of our plans on pause. It has made a severe dent in tourism and traveling in general. However, as we inch closer to the new normal, international restrictions are starting to ease up to allow travelers.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a crucial development worldwide. However, it is not a magic cure that puts us back to the normal we once knew. Just because you’re vaccinated, it doesn’t mean that you can throw caution to the wind. Safety precautions are still a must, whether you are only heading to the grocery or another country.
2020 was a complete let-down for people bit by the travel bug, but 2021 seems to have a good start for tourists worldwide. Countries such as Greece, Iceland, and Ecuador now allow proof of vaccination for entry rather than a negative COVID-19 result. The EU has even stated its willingness to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated people.
With all the possibilities of traveling internationally, you may become overexcited and jump at the prospect. However, it’s important to remember that the pandemic still exists, and the possibility of spreading the virus further is still present.
Be a safe and smart traveler with these seven helpful tips for international trips!
Stay updated with restrictions and government travel advisories.
Borders can open and close at the drop of a hat. However, given the volatile situation, countries prioritize the safety of their people by heightening restrictions if there seems to be a spike in cases.
You may have already booked a ticket upon seeing “safe for travel”, but that isn’t an assurance that they will let you into the country. Your booked ticket can get you a refund at best, but it can’t ensure your way into the country.
Travel advisories can change at extremely short notice, which is why it’s essential to stay informed. For example, restrictions may be suddenly in place, or quarantine protocols may change.
The best safety and financial tip right now is to limit your travels to domestic trips. However, international excursions may put a dent in your wallet if cancellations occur.
Be diligent in looking for destinations, hotels, and activities that follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
The pandemic significantly crippled tourism last year, so businesses are eager to see visitors again. However, promoting local tourism is coupled with the responsibility of preventing a spike in cases.
Governments have put safety and health standards in place for accommodations, public businesses, and other attractions that can potentially become a hot spot for the virus.
While there are national mandates, it won’t hurt to take your safety into your own hands. First, make sure to check if the places and activities you’ve booked follow health protocols. If you’re unsure, you can check for reviews online, or you may even reach out to the business itself to confirm these details.
Avoid countries and destinations with a spike in cases.
Some countries are experiencing a sporadic spike in positive COVID-19 cases. Even though they have declared that it is safe to travel, it might be best to take it with a grain of salt. Make it a habit to check the number of COVID-19 cases and be prepared in case of sudden spikes.
The rule of thumb is to avoid crowds and opt for open spaces with good ventilation. Some activities are recommended for less exposure to the virus, such as hiking and camping. As much as possible, avoid trips that require you to stay indoors with little to no social distancing measures. Ditch the museum visits and try a little nature exploration!
Wear a mask even if you’re not required to wear one.
Always bring your mask with you. Wear it during your flight, and make sure you always have one with you. In spite of some places being lenient with the wearing of masks, we highly recommend that you fit one on anyway.
Studies have already shown that masks prevent the spread of the virus, and it’s one of the best ways to combat the pandemic.
Wash your hands frequently, and don’t forget to bring your alcohol or sanitizer wherever you go.
Take the time to wash your hands thoroughly and properly. Every time you touch something that isn’t yours, make it a habit to get your hands clean by washing it or using alcohol.
You should also avoid touching your face, especially if you’re outdoors. This is where a mask can come in handy, as it prevents you from touching your face often.
Limit your itinerary.
We recommend sticking to maybe two to three spots for your trip. It can be tempting to visit all the places you missed out on finally, but this may not be the safest move to make. The situation is being fairly managed, but it doesn’t mean that it’s entirely under control.
Try to curb your wanderlust a little and limit your destinations to only those that you can’t miss out on. Your health is not worth sacrificing over a few Instagram-worthy photos.
Do as many things as you can online.
Limiting face-to-face or physical interactions is critical to prevent the spread of the virus. While traveling comes with inevitable interactions, it will be beneficial and safer to limit them as much as possible.
Find out what steps can be done online, rather than waiting to do it when you’re at your destination. This will save you a lot of time and give you a fuss-free trip.
As we slowly move towards the new normal, we must consider our safety and that of those around us. We hope that this article helped guide you with its seven valuable tips for international travelers amid COVID-19.
The most important thing is to stay alert. No matter where you go, remember that circumstances can change in a snap. So be flexible with your schedule and understand that safety comes first.
If you’re struggling to complete the required travel documents due to language barriers, we’re always here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to make your trip as easy as it can be!