2020. The year that changed the world as we know it. It took one tiny organism unseen to the naked eye to critically harm every global facet. Everyone and everything is affected, and slowly, the world is coming to terms with the fact that the normal we once knew is now just a piece of history. The travel industry has been one to suffer the most from this pandemic, and even now that borders are reopening, people are still scared. I’m scared. We should all be scared.
It’s still not the time to encourage others not to be afraid, even though that’s such a travel influencer thing to do. The pandemic hasn’t ended. Many people do not see that, but again, it’s still out there. However, some of us have essential travels to attend to, including myself, because big news, my family and I are migrating to UK! There’s been a big delay on our move already, but I’ll get to that another time. The point is, I am preparing to cross continents in this very unsettling time, and one day, maybe you will too. But hard fact; traveling won’t be the same for a very long time. The term “traveling comfortably” probably won’t be a thing again for awhile, but there are things we can do to feel safer about it. I’ve listed a few ideas we can do as steps to prepare for traveling in the new normal. Because in this terrible, terrible time we call 2020, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
1.) Book an airline that requires swab testing certificates.
This may sound like it’s coming from a place of privilege, but let me just remind you again to say goodbye to the convenience of the normalcy you once knew of. Get that out of your mind because that’s long gone.
Now, I’m suggesting this just in case you want to feel more safe and more at ease during your travels. Some airlines such as Emirates, requires each passenger to provide a certificate of swab testing as proof that you do not have covid. Obviously, it’ll cost you money, but this is a suggestion for those who are extremely paranoid, or those who are at risk (although if you are at risk then you probably should just stay put. There are two great highlights if you do this. One, you can relax a little on your flight, knowing the other passengers have been tested too. And two, most importantly, you will not be responsible for spreading the virus because you’ll be a carrier. Think of others too, not just yourself 🙂
2.) Get your basic new normal sanitation travel pack ready.
Mask, alcohol, antibacterial wipes, and a hazmat suit if you must. I was already a germ freak during my flights pre-pandemic, wiping down windows and arm rests and spraying my hands with alcohol religiously. Now is a really good time to practice being anal because although airlines seem to be sanitizing their planes nowadays, I just wouldn’t risk it. Having a basic sanitation kit ready is just a part of living in the new normal now. And if you really feel like you gotta suit up with a PPE, then do so. Screw the judgments. It’s not extra. Ok it’s a little extra, but isn’t that what 2020 turned us all into?
3.) Buy a new reliable luggage.
New normal, new luggage. Although researchers have suggested that spreading the virus through fomites or surfaces is very uncommon, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. There’s still a possibility of it happening, so it’s best to opt for easy to clean luggages. Fabric is probably the least reliable these days because it’ll be harder to clean and sanitize. I have my eye on this carry on luggage because it’s made of poly-carbonate shell and could be easily cleaned and sanitized with alcohol or a few sprays of Lysol before you even check in your room. Plus, it’s so aesthetically pleasing too.
An alternative option or if you just wanna be a little more extra, you could use a suitcase cover. Those are usually made of fabric, but it would be a good way to add an extra layer of protection.
4.) Avoid public transportation.
Do understand that we are talking about essential travel here. Public transportation is always the cheapest option, but 2020 is not the year to travel cheap. It’s the year to travel safely, and if you can’t afford do that, then you probably shouldn’t be traveling.
5.) Get your travel documents ready.
Very very important. Every country have different rules and requirements for traveling so make sure you research what you need. Whether it be quarantine protocols, travel certificates, swab testing certificates, or even as simple as proof of accommodation, have them ready to avoid any delays and drama. Expect the entire airport and immigration process to be longer than usual. This is the new normal.
6.) Two words: TRAVEL INSURANCE.
Many times I have traveled without it, but this year isn’t the year to play around. Please get insured. You may not be riding around motorcycles around Bali, but you might be surfing the second wave for all you know. STAY PROTECTED. Again, if you can’t afford it, then you probably can’t afford to travel right now.
With all that said, please do remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. The world hasn’t coped yet. Not even close. Regardless of how confident you feel, please only travel when it’s essential. If you must travel, please do the most not only to protect yourself, but others too. If you’re feeling even just a little bit suspicious about your health with even just a little bit of scratchy throat, postpone it.
I’m not usually the one to discourage traveling, but just wait it out a little. Things will get better. If we all do our part.