After what, for some, feels like a lifetime of being confined indoors, countries all around the world are slowly allowing their citizens to move around with a little more freedom. With nations lifting their quarantine and putting an end to most lockdown policies, it’s safe to say life is slowly returning back to normal. Or, better yet, to the “new normal” that the world will have to deal with moving forward.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “So, when can I start traveling again?! This lockdown has me going C-R-A-Z-Y and I can’t handle the cabin fever anymore!”
Before you start pulling your hair out, the answer to your question is easy – and hopeful. Although international travel is still months away, your best bet right now is local travel. Sticking close to home, or at least within your country’s borders. And, because I know you’re also wondering how safe it is to actually move around, I’m happy to say the answer is also simple: safe, as long as you stick to certain rules.
So, if you’re looking for ways to pack up and go as soon as you can, here are five tips to keep in mind for safe travel post-COVID-19.
1. Stay close to home
The great thing about travel is that you don’t necessarily have to go far in order to enjoy new places. Sometimes, epic adventures are waiting for you just around the corner. That, my friends, is the great thing about domestic travel!
When planning to book an upcoming getaway, check out nearby hotels, and organize a staycation with someone you love. Whether it’s your partner, your parent, or your friend, booking a night or two away from home can feel like a break…big time. A change of scenery will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed; and, the best part is, you won’t have to go far to get that electrifying dose of “away-from-home-ness”!
When choosing where to escape the quarantine blues, make sure you focus on value over cost. While there might be tons of local hotels out there offering incredible deals, you don’t want to get stuck with cheap, yet traumatizing experiences. Look for hotels nearby like Selina who offer their guests flexible cancellation policies, great on-site help from the local staff, and different types of accommodation choices – from luxurious suites to long-stay apartments – that suit all needs.
Also, if outdoor restrictions where you are have been lifted, why not give camping a chance? A natural getaway seems like the perfect opportunity to be outside while still sticking to social distancing policies within the lines of safe travel. Most campgrounds are big enough so that campers can enjoy their privacy, which means there will more than likely be plenty of room to set up shop somewhere serene and enjoy your time outside your four walls as far away from others as possible.
The bottom line is that your dream travel plans don’t necessarily need to suffer because of what’s happened. Granted, they might not be exactly what you had imagined, but let’s face it: local travel can be pretty magical too.
2. Plan a road trip
With international travel still out of the question, for the time being, making your way to the airport doesn’t seem like a necessary hassle. Instead, why not pack up the car – or bike, if you’re into that – and set off on an epic road trip?
Get to know your country through local travel while staying on the ground. Explore the roads you’ve never taken, stop at the viewpoint you always drove past. Travel like a local again, and discover the hidden gems that had always been there waiting for you to show up and take notice. Road trips are the perfect way to hit the road the first time in months because they’re cost-effective and they also allow you to follow social distancing guidelines. When you plan a road trip, for one, you avoid overcrowded airports and airplanes. And with all the stress that’s currently clouding your mind, the last thing you need is to risk feeling more trapped or worried by stepping foot inside an airport terminal.
All in all, choosing to move around and explore on a road trip – with or without someone there by your side – is easy, cheap, and safe. Plus, you also get to move at your own pace, which means not having to stick to strict deadlines threatening to stop the good times.
3. Take your time, but be mindful of the situation
Although borders might still be closed and year-long stints in faraway places might be out of the question for the time being, your local travel hopes and dreams should be shining brighter than ever at a time like this. There’s plenty to see and explore within your own country – much more than you can even imagine – and, the best part is, it’s waiting, sometimes literally, right outside your doorstep.
Quick weekend getaways, mid-week staycations, and even week-long trips are both possible and safe for people who have obligations at home such as taking care of an older relative or younger kids. Plus, the fact that you’ll be traveling close to home will also make these quick trips a lot easier both on you and your wallet; so, technically, it’s still a win-win for everyone involved.
On the other hand, if you’re a free roamer with a no-strings-attached lifestyle, setting off indefinitely on a country-wide adventure has never been easier. Plus, with a home base still so close by, coming and going, and packing light, are added benefits.
4. Continue with all safety precautions
Yes, local travel is possible. Yes, it’s safe for you to move around. However, this doesn’t mean you should throw all caution to the wind and forget about what the virus has taught us.
In order for safe travel to happen, all redundancy aside, safely, you need to abide by the health and safety measures your country has put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings, constant hand-washing, carrying around disinfectant, physical distancing…these should all still be at the top of your ways for ways to stay safe and keep others safe as well.
Choose reputable nearby hotels that are well-known for their cleanliness, like Selina, and who you can be sure will go the extra mile to keep guests safe, happy, and comfortable. Doubt and tensions will still be running high after restrictions are lifted, and the best thing for travelers’ peace of mind is that they know the people running the show are giving their all to make their stay as easy and relaxing as possible.
5. Stay up to date with all coronavirus-related news
Once all is said and done, the most important thing you can do is to stay connected and up to date with all coronavirus-related events and news briefs coming from your local government. The way things are evolving, changes are happening almost every day, which means that what was true this morning might have changed by the afternoon.
Check up on all safety precautions, and make sure you’re well-aware of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to local travel and moving around your city or state. Will you have to be quarantined again once you arrive or come back from your trip? How have the numbers changed around your area? Are you visiting a place that’s more vulnerable? These are all questions you should ask yourself before leaving. Once you’ve made sure all the necessary precautions are in place and that you won’t be breaking any rules, the world – or your country, at least – is your oyster!
So, let’s go back to your initial question: is it safe to travel? The short answer is yes. Just make sure you don’t throw all caution to the wind. Life after coronavirus is something we all need to get used to, and although things definitely aren’t how they used to be, one thing’s for sure: we will travel again.
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