It’s been a bit more than two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of us may be feeling burnt out and desiring a return to how it was before. The biggest change to many people’s lifestyles was the lack of travel, as many countries placed restrictions on their borders in an effort to curb the spread further.
Now with borders opening up and the world returning to a sense of normalcy, the idea of travelling has become extremely appealing to those who have been feeling stir-crazy the past two years of lockdown. However, even though the severity of the pandemic has died down in recent months, there are still some risks that are present, especially for families looking to travel. There are many things you can consider to protect yourself and your loved ones on your next holiday like travel insurance policies. Here are some things to consider if you’re intending to take your family out on their next getaway in this new climate.
Documentation and rules
Though many countries have relaxed their borders and are allowing more travel, they are likely to still impose certain requirements and additional documentation. Your travel destination may require you to do additional Covid-19 testing as well as provide proof of vaccination. It is important to plan your travel well, so do check with the local government organizations and ministries (for example, A ministry of Health or Foreign Affairs) regarding their entry requirements. We highly recommend preparing both softcopy and hardcopy versions of your various documents to ensure that you will have a copy on you at all times. Oftentimes, they will post entry requirements on their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or as an entry. Do also check what will happen if any of your family members are to contract Covid-19 during their visit. It is important to have contingency plans in the event of such situations. Do also check what accommodations and transport options are available to you.
Ensure your family is protected
It is important to take precautions when travelling to other countries during this pandemic, especially if the country in question has looser restrictions. Ensure that children and immunocompromised family members wear facemasks in public areas, as they are the most susceptible to Covid-19 symptoms. Additionally, also seek medical attention as soon as possible should anyone develop a cough or flu. It is doubly important you get proper travel health insurance coverage for your family and ensure that the insurance will also cover covid-19 infection. This is because contracting covid-19 overseas can add up the costs pretty quickly when you consider specialized accommodation, extra days in quarantine, as well as possibly paying for the healthcare provided by the government there.
What to do when you’re travelling overseas
We shouldn’t let the excitement of travel overwhelm our sense of safety, as the pandemic is still very much a real issue at present. Ensure that everyone in your family wears a face covering and possibly face shields if they’re considered to be at high risk of covid-19 infections, as well as sanitize their hands regularly. This goes doubly so for children, who are more likely to touch more surfaces. When planning your itinerary, it is also recommended that you avoid visiting spaces and places that will have a large number of people or venues that are poorly ventilated.
Enjoying local cuisine
One of the biggest joys of travelling is eating and sampling the local food and cuisine. It is advised to opt for outdoor seating wherever possible, as the ventilation will reduce the chances of infection while you eat. Do also practice good hygiene and sanitize your hands before your meals, either by washing your hands thoroughly for more than 30 seconds or by using antiseptic liquid.
Do not feel intimidated to leave the establishment if you feel that the restaurant is not adhering to the standard of hygiene that you are comfortable with (for example, chefs cooking without a face mask and waiters serving various tables without a face covering). You should just pay your bill and leave. What’s most important is ensuring that your family, particularly children and older people, are kept safe.
Choosing where to stay
Before booking our accommodation, be it a hotel or an Airbnb, or other alternative arrangements, it is important to check on the health and safety recommendations and protocols that the local health authorities have in place. Especially with accommodation, it is important to ensure that they adhere to a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness. Look for health and safety certificates and accreditations to guide your decision on whether the accommodation you consider is safe. Do also ensure that items that are regularly touched by other people, like the access card or fob, light switches, and doorknobs are kept clean as much as possible.
Travelling while not fully vaccinated
It is highly advised to not travel if you have not had the full course of covid-19 vaccinations. Many countries that have opened up actually do not allow the admission of partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people into their country. This is why ensuring you have your proof of vaccination papers at hand at all times. Some countries do allow the travel of unvaccinated people (oftentimes, with provisions that they are unable to receive the vaccination due to medical reasons), but they have to take a viral test shortly before the trip.
Even when you’re travelling, it is more important than ever to prioritize your family’s and your own health first and foremost. It is vital to ensure that you have sufficient travel health insurance, especially with the pandemic still being prevalent in our world today. You may end up not needing it at all the entire time you travel, but the risk of spending a lot more of your own money than you initially expected as well as the risk of covid-19 contraction does make it worthwhile, and necessary, expense.
It is important to avoid crowds as much as possible and to keep your hygiene practices consistent to ensure that everyone is kept safe. By doing all these practices, you can have ample peace of mind and enjoy your travel to the fullest!