Top tips for travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic
Many of us will have had holiday plans for 2020 disrupted, so it’s understandable that grabbing the chance to get away this year – even if only for a few days – might be high on the agenda.
While attractions and travel options are slowly starting to open again, it’s good to remember that, even while abroad, we still need to remain alert and continue with good habits, such as maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands.
But despite having to remain vigilant, those who want to can get away to enjoy a much-needed break. Here are six top tips to help you travel safely during COVID-19.
Research local rules and guidelines
Rules and guidelines across countries, states, regions and territories are constantly changing, so make sure you keep on top of the local regulations wherever you’re headed on holiday, and in whichever areas you may be travelling through.
This also includes whether you’ll need to quarantine on return to the UK, as it may affect your choice of destination. Remember, the designated “travel corridors” at any point in time may also be different depending on whether you are returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Equally, on return to any part of the UK (even if you’re just transiting) you’ll need to have completed a UK government Passenger Locator Form. These may not always be checked, but it will make your journey through the airport a lot faster and smoother if you have it to hand. This is free and easy to complete online, up to 48 hours before you are due to arrive.
Travel with a stash of face coverings
It’s likely that unless you have a medical exemption, you’ll have numerous face masks and coverings dotted around the house and car by now.
If you’re travelling abroad, it’s even more important to be prepared with a stash. If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off to a hot country, the masks are likely to get pretty sweaty, so simply for comfort and hygiene, you’ll want to rotate between a few during your break.
Also, many countries now mandate the wearing of face coverings in all public places, so even if you’re not in a hot country, it’s good practice to change to a fresh mask every day or two.
Our sister site, the Fashion & Style Directory, has plenty of ideas for fashionable, reusable face coverings if you need to stock up before you travel.
Travel with plenty of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser
It may seem obvious, especially given the dearth of hand sanitiser in UK shops during the panic-buying period in March, but it’s always a good idea to have hand cleanser (at least 60% alcohol) in your bag or pocket.
You might be heading into a restaurant or shop, or getting on public transport, but equally it’s good practice to use antibacterial wipes on the pump if you’re driving on holiday and stopping for petrol, and on frequently touched surfaces in your hotel room, such as door handles, taps and the television remote.
Take as few stops as possible
Air travel may not be for you at the moment, so, if you’re planning on a driving holiday, try to plan ahead so you need to take as few stops as possible.
Fill up with petrol at the start of your journey, and ensure you use the bathroom before setting off too. While it’s always a good idea to stop for a driving break for safety reasons, many of us will also like to stop for food or drink along the route, but in the current climate it’s best to prepare snacks for the car to avoid this where possible.
If you do need to stop for food, drive-throughs and take-aways are better options than eating in.
Deal with your own luggage
Usually if you’re jumping in a local taxi to or from the airport, the driver will load your luggage into the car, while the bellboy at many hotels and resorts will kindly deliver your luggage to your room.
In normal times, these are all nice touches that many of us appreciate. However, in the current climate, it’s best to deal with your own bags and suitcases, or at the very least be sure to wipe all the handles down with those handy antibacterial wipes once someone else has touched them.
Visit outside attractions
Much scientific evidence suggests the chance of coronavirus transmission significantly reduces when outside, so if you’re planning attractions to visit, try to choose outside options.
Zoos, parks and natural landscapes – such as mountains and waterfalls – are all ideal, so, where possible, try to schedule these in over and above museums, observation towers or anywhere you’re likely to encounter large numbers of people in a confined space.