The COVID-19 pandemic has created an impact on almost every field. Be it finance, education, economy, agriculture, trade, construction; the pandemic has inflicted some irreversible repercussions on the world.
Unfortunately, these repercussions are not just for a short period; they will stay for a longer time. While the pandemic has slashed economies and doctors are struggling hard in the frontline to battle against the virus, another important sector that has been backlashes is travel and tourism.
Travel agencies are facing the worst situation ever. Many people canceled their vacation packages to not take risks. Booking rates have gone lower. International travel has been halted and become bankrupt. Airlines are suffering to pay salaries to their employees. Though social distancing is extremely necessary at the moment, the future of travel is the biggest question right now. Even if things start to come back to normalcy, travel will not be the same as before. It will be quite different.
But what if you have to undertake travel due to uncontrollable reasons? Or you want to take advantage of the limited discount rates on airfares? What if coronavirus is still on the prowl?
Too many questions. No accurate answers at reach as for now. But, here are some things to take care of while traveling after the lockdown.
Avail travel insurance:
If you have not yet availed travel insurance, then this is the correct time. Insurances purchased earlier may not include coronavirus. But, now since the pandemic has deeply affected the travel and tourism industry, travel insurance may cover the virus. Factors such as where and when you will be traveling also count.
Please note that there are two categories of insurance: trip insurance and health insurance. The former covers travel-related issues such as lost luggage delayed and canceled flights, accommodation expenses, etc. The latter includes sudden health issues, accidents, doctor checkups, admission in the hospital, medicines, ambulance facilities, etc.
Travelers may think to avail health insurance since that seems to be more important at present. But there is also a chance of your trips getting postponed or canceled due to sudden government decisions or whatsoever reason.
Carefully choose proper travel insurance based on your destination and days of travel.
Check out for discounts on plane tickets:
The absence of tourists has brought the tourism industry to a standstill. To pick up sales of vacation packages, travel agencies and airlines are expected to announce discounts on airfares. Travelers can finally undertake travel to their favorite destinations at a cheaper rate. Since offers will not last long, it is wise to take that one expensive tour at a lesser price than wait for everything to come back to normalcy as before. Reports suggest the travel industry resume their business with appropriate precautions and safety measures for tourists.
Know the current situation of the destination:
Research well about the COVID-19 spread in the destination you are visiting. Some countries have temporarily blocked their borders strictly for travelers. Stay updated about the news and know what health officials of the location have to say. Make sure to follow the rules and oblige to the instructions. Some sudden changes may disrupt your vacation package so it is better to be prepared.
No luxury travel options:
The entire tourism industry has been collapsed due to COVID-19. Many agencies and airlines are trying to pitch in customers back to boost the purchase of vacation packages. While a few countries have initiated relaxation in the rules and commencement of travel, social distancing has been kept as the top norm to be followed. Planes accommodate no more than thirty passengers. Passengers will have to undergo COVID-19 tests at airports and meals will not be provided while on the plane.
With too many regulations, it will take some time for undertaking a luxury trip. Hence, travelers need to adjust to the said norms to flatten the curve.
Wear a mask at all times:
Experts advise wearing a mask at all times since the COVID-19 curve may pick up the pace at any time. Further, it is important for travelers and tourists to not become infected and become potential carriers of the virus. Masks act as a potential barrier between you and germs. Cloth masks are not much effective in protecting against the virus, but certain materials do provide superior protection by filtering out contaminants.
The spread rate is very high and tourists need to be careful. As tourists and travelers, we need to travel safely so that the tourism industry does not disrupt further.
Carry sanitizers and towels:
When kids come home after playtime, mothers give them a dab of sanitizer. Now, this has become a part of our daily routine.
Washing your hands with soap and water is not always possible while on the go. Hence, hand sanitizers are a good option. The alcohol content in it helps to clear germs to a good extent. Put a dab of it on your hands whenever touching an exposed surface such as the handlebars on doors and carts, restaurant tables, etc.
Try not to use others’ stuff and vice versa as much as possible since it may pose a significant risk. Travelers need to understand that others’ health is as important as theirs. Even the slightest failure to follow the norms may result in widespread infection.
Seek medical help if you feel sick:
Do not travel even if you have normal flu. You don’t want to embarrass yourself amid people.
But if you feel sick while on the destination and doubt that you may have COVID-19 symptoms, immediately receive help from medical professionals. Book an appointment with the doctor and wear a mask before attending the hospital. Separate yourself from people. Avoid going out until your test results come negative.
The future of travel and tourism lies in our hands. Together we shall overcome the pandemic if we pledge to follow social distancing and hygienic practices.