We’ve been locked down for months, enjoying (or enduring) life being still and all our travel plans being either postponed or cancelled. If you’re a traveller, by now you’re absolutely chomping at the nit for new experiences, nee sights, new cultures, new food! As the world slowly opens up, you might be thinking it’s the perfect time to start planning post lockdown travel or even just start thinking about it.
I share some of the advice I have (and will be using) to help navigate the new world of travel. You’ll probably think some of the tips on the list are super obvious while some could be new to you but I still hope this guide helps relax your mind as you start planning post lockdown travel.
1. Consider Staycations to Avoid Flying
If the idea of getting on a plane fills you with dread, you might be better off considering a staycation. Most places have a lot of local has to offer and all you need to do is explore. You get the new experience and break form home that you need. And as a perk, you don’t even have to get on a plane! Win Win!
From the rugged Cornish coasts in the UK to the insane Antelope Canyon in Arizona to breathtaking Banff in Alberta, Canada or even Ado Awoye in Oyo state Nigeria. It’s time to give where you live a second look and get creative! it’s time to look again at what Britain has to offer.
RELATED: How to Disinfect Your Airplane Seat
2. Consider Shorter Trips
Until further notice, it’s probably best to consider shorter trips and cheeky weekends instead of long, far flung vacations. Shorter trips are a great way to slowly ease yourself back into the idea of travelling. Enough to scratch the itch but also short enough that you worry less about being stranded. Always check the quarantine requirements for any destination you consider. If a 14 day quarantine is required, then a long weekend or a short trip won’t really be possible.
3. Be Airline Savvy
In general, you want to book flights with airlines that offer flexibility in some way. Be it free flight changes in case of policy changes or even just great customer service. Low cost airlines might be easier on the pocket but may not necessarily be the best with flexibility. Just make sure you check the airline’s policy before booking.
4. Mask On (and take plenty extras)
It’s good practice to wear a mask in busy places like airports, train stations, on public transport and some indoor spaces. Some airports actually require wearing a mask while inside so make sure you have them handy to wear when required. Some countries also enforce compulsory wearing of masks in certain places so it’s a great idea to have more extras than you think you’ll need. It might not go with your outfit I know but we have to think safety first!
some airlines are also advising passengers change masks every 4hrs, so if you happen to be flying long haul, make sure you have enough.
5. Pack your Essentials
Make a list of post lockdown travel essentials you’ll need to feel comfortable as you consider travelling again. Such as:
- Extra masks;
- Hand sanitisers;
- Disinfecting wipes;
- Small sized laundry detergent (to wash your mask each day)
- Seat covers
- Snacks for your flight
Making a list helps ensure that you don’t leave any essentials when travelling.
6. You may need more than your passport at Immigration
Beyond your passport, a lot of countries will require more paperwork to allow entry into their countries. Some will require a recent positive PCR test result. Fit to Fly certificates could become a regular requirement for entry so make sure you sort it if required.
Always check the requirements of the countries that you want to visit and what their requirements are. The best place to check would be the country’s immigration or health website. As good as blogs are, don’t rely on them for the most up to date information.
7. Prepare for Longer lines at Security & Immigration
As you would imagine, different countries will want to properly check and ensure the safety of their citizens and you. So be prepared to expect some queues at security and immigration on arrival. Mentally preparing for it means you’re less likely to get annoyed by waiting.
However, some airports like Manchester Airport, have now introduced free pre-booked security slots which is AMAZING! So when you pre-book, you’ll have a dedicated lane to help manage traffic flow through security and it also reduces your waiting time significantly. check if your local airport also offers this as an option.
8. Make sure your Insurance has you covered
I strongly advice that you check the terms of your coverage with your insurance provider. Many providers are not covering Covid related cancellations but may cover hospital stays if infected. For UK travellers, the EHIC scheme still provides medical cover to British travellers until the end of the year.
Is your insurance still valid if you visit a country not on your country’s exemption list are you covered? Are you covered if you happen to get ill abroad? It might also be worth looking into Covid-specific travel insurance.
For your own peace of mind, please please check before booking!
9. Choose Nature over the City
A nature break makes it much easier to avoid crowds while still enjoying time away from home and effectively social distance. Think mountains, beaches, hiking, quaint lesser known towns and any wide-open landscapes in general. This would be a great time to explore lesser known places or even just travel a little differently!
10. Pick your Accommodation Carefully
When planning post lockdown travel, your search for accommodation options will definitely change a bit. It’s super important now to look for accommodation that offers flexible and free cancellation. Airbnb offers the option to filter on properties with flexible cancellation. Booking.com also allows you to do the same thing and also offers much longer cancellation periods.
Also, where possible, look for accommodation that allow payment on arrival so you don’t have to deal with refunds in case of cancellation.
11. Wipe Down your Luggage on Arrival
I can’t even imagine the number of hands our luggage goes through by the time it comes off the conveyor belt. Hence, it’s a good idea to wipe down luggage with disinfectant wipes once you get into your accommodation and when you return home. Don’t forget to focus on the handles and wheels, the grimiest parts! And please, don;t out your luggage on your bed! It’s such an easy and convenient mistake to make.
12. Wash your hands ALWAYS
I know this is super obvious but the list won’t be complete without it. Wash your hands before you eat, whenever you get back to your accommodation or whenever you can. If you’re black or darker skinned, hand cream would be great to avoid ashy hands after all that washing haha! Also wipe your phone and credit cards if you use them when you’re out.
13. Avoid Crowded places
Lockdown measures are easing in most countries around the world, borders are opening but we still have to find ways to be cautious in different countries. When doing a city break, try to avoid taking public transport during rush hour or super busy times. If you’re going to he beach, try to pick an area away from the crowds or go to a less know beach. When thinking of having lunch, try hold of till a bit after lunchtime/12 pm so the restraint won’t be as busy.
14. Don’t forget your Hand Sanitiser
After being out and about, handling cash/coins and just touching different things, you should be looking to wash your hands or at the very least, use hand sanitizer. So don’t forget to pack them when you’re out and about.
For flights, remember to take a travel size bottle if you’re not planning to check in luggage, as the 100 ml liquid rule is still in force. Or you could buy as many Antibacterial Hand Wipes as you want as they’ll be outside the liquid allowance. Planning post lockdown travel means having your wipes, gels and sprays ready.
15. Stay Up to Date
Keeping up to date with news and current developments is essential and don’t book anything until cases decline or you feel more comfortable to do so. Until the time when you feel comfortable to travel and it’s sensible to, look back at past trips, plan future travel and be inspired!
We’ve come to the end! I hope you’ve found this post useful and maybe it;s giving you a bit more knowledge and peace of mind if you have been considering planning post lockdown travel. This post isn’t to encourage anyone o travel, it’s more as a guide for those who feel they are ready to start travelling.
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Until next time Biscuits xx