For someone who has been out for years of discovering the world, being at home for several months is a change that is quite a lot to take in. We would often find ourselves longing for a refreshing view, air and great outdoor adventures; checking our digital galleries and recalling our epic experiences. Being pinned down at home for quite some time, the news about travels finally being allowed is indeed a tempting bait to take a step into the outside world. Shall you be weak for this temptation and decide to give in, here’s what you might want to know about the “New Normal for Travelers” including the things that we need to keep in mind before, during and after our trips.
The New Normal for Travelers: Before the Trip
Before, we could always embark on a spontaneous trip anywhere in the world whenever we please. However, this could not go the same way anymore given the global pandemic that we are currently facing. Consequently, we have to consider an extensive planning and research looking into the following:
Reason for Traveling
You may also want to consider the urgency and essence of your travel. If it’s for work or business and it requires traveling, then, going from a place to another might really be necessary. If it’s for leisure, on the other hand, you might want to think a lot about it – the risks, where you want to spend it and how are you going there.
Destination and Accommodation
Research about the travel requirements and restrictions in your target destinations. We need to know beforehand if they are already accepting tourists especially those who are coming from our region and so on.
Safecation is in, staycation is out. Check if your target accommodation has complied strictly to the health protocols and the local and IATF requirements.
Budget would be one of the greatest considerations in this new normal for travelers. Before, we would only mind about the expenses for the actual trip. Now, we might have to consider the health-related tests, preparations and post-travel concerns as part of our budget, too.
Say for instance, if Cambodia is among your dream and target destinations and you wish to travel in there soon. You might want to reconsider as you need to prepare roughly $3,000 for the entry deposit covering Corona virus costs.
Also, rates could possibly be higher since the establishments need to comply with the health protocols to ensure everyone’s safety. This could mean lesser people to be accommodated in a room and extra service fees for sanitation.
Health Certificate or Medical Clearance
Securing health certificate or medical clearance and filling in health declaration forms at the airports or borders would surely be among the requirements of some provinces and countries to protect its people as well. Just give those places and its people a favor: be a lamb and don’t fake it.
You might also want to read: Requirements for Local Travel: Where and How to Get
The Means of Transportation
A lot has started going to places since traveling has been allowed in some areas in the General Community Quarantine. However, most of them travel by their own private vehicles. If you still insist about traveling by commute, you have to consider the schedule of trips (shall there be a new one) and of course, the safety precautions.
The New Normal for Travelers: During the Trip
The Health Protocols and safety tips
We’ve been hearing these protocols for several months now and I would reiterate:
- Wear face mask (better with face shield).
- Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water.
- Carry around a bottle of disinfectant or sanitizer with 70% alcohol. This might come handy especially if you will be dealing with a lot of high touch-surfaces.
- Bring your own pen.
- Maintain a social distance of at least 1 to 2 meters.
- Keep an amount of money in mobile applications that allow you to do cashless transactions.
- Bring a small belt or body bag where your pen, sanitizer and valuables can be kept. This will keep you from putting your bag up and down surfaces.
On food handling
While there are no news nor studies that tell us about someone contracting the virus through food, its delivery and packaging could be another thing. It would be safe if we’ll transfer our food to clean containers and dispose properly the to-go packaging.
The New Normal for Travelers: After the Trip
Self-quarantine after traveling might be necessary especially if you traveled to a place that is once a COVID hot spot or where you interacted with a lot of people (especially if you are commuting). There’s no problem if you live by yourself. If not, you might not want to risk the health of other people especially your family, friends and colleagues. Hence, self-quarantine elsewhere might be a little necessary.
Disinfecting your Stuff
Before, we could just proceed to our house and our room with our bags and unpack the following day or whenever we have time. In the present, we need to do some disinfecting even before we could actually get into our houses. This could mean a lot of washing and spraying of disinfectant. Always bear in mind that we could not just set things aside as the virus stays on surfaces for several hours or even days. Using warm water, detergent soap, bleach or 70% alcohol-based disinfectant would do. Observe the proper handling and using of disinfectant.
The most important thing that you need to do is to monitor your body and your health after the trip. You might want to watch out for some signs or symptoms. To be sure, you might even want to get tested since a lot of people are literally asymptomatic.
The New Normal for Travelers, in a Nutshell
Let us all admit it to ourselves. It will take a great amount of time for everything to be back on how it used to be before this global pandemic. Worse comes to worst, the change that it has brought will be our new convention. This new normal for travelers might be taxing but if we really are itching to go somewhere and we would want to explore the rest of the world in the future, then we’d better keep ourselves and the people around us safe and alive.