People are now experiencing the changes brought by the “new normal” due to the risk of contracting COVID-19. Most people are currently working from home, there are limited public transportations, and many online businesses are emerging in social media. Due to the community quarantine, they also stay at home most of the time, which canceled a lot of travel plans this year.
While this also gives you a lot of time to prepare for your next trip, you should bear in mind that things will never be the same again. There are travel safety protocols set by the government to ensure minimum risk of virus infection.
Health should be the priority to whatever travel goals you have for the next year. You surely want to take a vacation once the pandemic has subsided, away from the stress and boredom brought by the quarantine. But as long as there is no available vaccine, we should always be cautious, especially when going outside.
Here is a list of travel resolutions you should follow:
1. Wearing of face mask wherever you go
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Expect that wearing of face masks is now part of your OOTD wherever you are. Whether you're planning to go to the beach for a quick getaway or to see sakura in Japan, wearing a face mask is still required. Staying safe while traveling must be your priority to protect yourself from illnesses.
Make it your travel habit of being conscious not to touch your face, especially when outside. COVID-19 spreads when droplets from the mouth of an infected person launch in the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby.
2. Bringing alcohol
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Alcohol is one of the new normal travel essentials you should pack for your trip. Although handwashing is still the best way to clean your hand, it's a must also to bring your alcohol spray to disinfect, especially when outside. Sure, there are sanitizer dispensers in the airport or hotel lobby, still, bringing your own alcohol spray comes in handy when you need it (which is all the time!).
Ensure your alcohol contains 70-90% alcohol concentration for better efficiency. Going outside your home now is risky as it is, so responsible traveling is the best way to keep yourself safe and healthy.
3. Using of disinfectant wipes
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Being extra cautious is never too much since we experienced this pandemic. The novel coronavirus spread in less than a week, and we can expect that it won't be gone anytime soon. So wiping your things or rubbing that airplane seat with a disinfectant wipe before you use it is smart. Better to be safe than sorry.
Disinfectant wipes contain chemical agents that kill viruses in just a matter of minutes. Use this to clean surfaces before touching it and clean your hands with alcohol after.
4. Knowing the health protocols of the destination
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Before you plan trips, research about the place and know their health protocol for travel safety. Some countries set travel bans to the Philippines or have strict rules when entering their country. It is important to educate yourself first for better travel planning.
A good way to know more about your planned destination's health protocol is to check their Department of Health website or read news about current travel updates. If you're planning to travel locally, you can check their local government's updates regarding safety and health protocols.
5. Washing of hands often
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The coronavirus can live for hours to days on surfaces like countertops and doorknobs. It can spread by touching infected surfaces and touching your face. That’s why it’s important to keep your hands clean by using soap and water.
Wash your hands every chance you get while traveling. Although this might be a bit of a hassle, you should remember that frequent washing of your hands dramatically reduces the chance of you catching the virus.
6. Choosing the best hotel
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Accommodation is crucial to avoid the risk of COVID-19 infection. It should be part of your non-negotiable hotel checklist to choose accommodation that isn’t crowded and has safety and cleanliness protocols. It's a smart choice to make an advance call before booking a hotel to inquire about their safety measures.
The staff must be well-trained and educated about the virus and should know how to minimize the risk of infection. Remember that these people are the ones who will attend to your needs while on vacation. It’s also important that the hotel premises and amenities are always disinfected and they provide clean sheets for your room.
7. Practicing social distancing
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People used to love crowded places when traveling. Meeting new people while traveling is one of the best experiences as you hear their stories and dive into their culture. You must have enjoyed the fun nightlife in Boracay or the magical Disneyland in Hong Kong, but surely you would want to stay away from the crowd.
Instead, you can use this time to be with your loved ones to relax and enjoy nature. You might still meet new people while on your trip, but you should be conscious of keeping your distance for safety.
8. Traveling in a smaller group
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Joiner travels surely should not be on your list right now. It’s better to travel with your friends or family who you share a home with. You’ll feel more comfortable and secured to travel with the people you personally know. It’s also a good time to plan that solo travel you’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
Despite this, you should still practice social distancing and obey travel safety protocols set by the government and establishments where you will visit.
9. Traveling in local destinations
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Since traveling outside the country is not yet ideal, why not start off with local destinations? Travel to the local places you’ve been planning to visit for a long time. It’s cheaper, convenient, and you’re more at peace with all the travel rules since you’re still inside the country.
There’s a lot of local destinations waiting for you. Visit the beach you missed this summer, indulge in seafood and other local cuisines, and enjoy the beauty of your own country.
10. Bringing your own utensils
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As much as you want to enjoy your trip with the cuisines that place is known for, we should always remember that we can’t be totally safe as long as there is no available vaccine for COVID-19. It wouldn’t hurt to be cautious of the things that you use, especially the ones that touch your mouth!
Put your mind at ease with one less problem to think by bringing your own utensils. This way you can be sure that it’s clean and safer.
Traveling will never be the same as before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your idea of traveling might be different now but this doesn’t mean that it has to be less fun. You just have to make the most out of your vacation while ensuring health practices and keeping in mind the things you should follow for safe travel.