How to Stay Conscious While Traveling During a Pandemic
Now that more and more destinations are re-opening their doors to tourism this summer, fall, or winter, all of you travel lovers feel it coming again. That travel bug. That little voice in your head saying, no, screaming: I want to travel!
As seen in my previous interview about the future of travel, it will look a whole lot different. Unfortunately, since we’re still in a pandemic, there are many things to be considered prior to boarding on your next flight to the first re-opened touristic destination. So not click on “confirm booking” yet, not without these travel tips and hacks.
Why Travel Now?
What Is the Real Reason?
First of all, take a look at why you want to travel now. Why do you want to leave the country? Why do you want to go on a trip? We all have deeper meanings buried under our prior motivations, so feel free to ask yourself the same questions a couple of times: Why?
For many, this can be: an escape from home. Seeking a silent, calm place. Maybe you have had enough tranquility at home and you want to spread your wings and seek adventure. Or maybe, you’ve had to endure a lot during this time and you just want to cool off and blow off some steam somewhere on a tropical location sipping margarita’s under a beach umbrella, without your screaming kids running around the place. We all have our different motives, so take a moment to decide on that.
Make Your Trip Great
Intention Is Key
Setting an intention for your next trip is key to making sure you know what your want and you will get what you want. If you just book the first destination that re-opens, but it doesn’t give you what you want, you’ll end up getting disappointed and not fulfilled.
Next, you’ll want to think abut what you want to get out of your trip. Again, is it peace? Is it adventure?
When you set an intention on what you want to get out of your trip, it’ll be much easier to stay in that frame and really have a great vacation that gives you what you need.
Choose The Right Place
Jot down a couple of destinations that come to your mind first when you think about your next trip (you know, the ones you’ve been daydreaming about and seeing daily in your Instagram-feed), and think about what activities or surroundings you want to be in.
Do you feel like hiking? Or do you want to go to the beach? If you’ve read about a destination that is re-opening their doors soon and you’re eager to visit it, you can try this in reverse: will this place fulfil my needs? Greece is opening their doors mid-July. Which island would be best for you? Since there are so many, they each have their own culture and character. It’s important to not get caught up in an impulsive deal just because you’re so excited to travel again.
Think about the consequences
Take health and safety measurements
Make sure to carry enough face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, etc. You never know when you might need extra ones on your trips. And normally, yes, you should have access to them everywhere in the world by now, but you never know when these items could be sold out in the nearest pharmacies or supermarkets. I’m not saying you should bulk up – please don’t -, but just make you have enough at least make it to your hotel.
Also, think about your mental health: do you feel good about soon traveling again? Are you ready for it? Do you realise the risks, and health and safety precautions you have to take? And are you willing to do this? Seeing the world so empty and abandoned, walking around with a face mask and stepping into this new reality can feel overwhelming. Take a moment to check in with yourself and decide whether or not you’re ready for this.
For Our World
Research Your Destination
Follow any mandatory requirements
This is super important: no matter where you go, make sure to look up the local health and safety precautions. Not only of the destination itself, but of your journey towards it, too. It most airports, it’s mandatory to wear a facemask. Make sure you’re prepared for this, even though if you’re traveling to an abandoned place and won’t need a face mask.
Tink about purchasing a travel health insurance so you’re covered in all cases. First, check with your normal health or travel insurance plans and see if they are already covering this.
Take precautions and keep yourself to the rules regulate by the local government. This starts the moment you leave your home.
Don’t be scared to talk to people: you can still have interesting connections and meetings while on holiday. Keep your distance and mask on at all times to protect not only yourself, but people you come in contact with as well.
Remind yourself it’s about the physical part of social distancing, not social distancing itself. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone. Just because you’re both wearing face masks and keeping distance, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with each other. We are still human beings who needs to connect with each other, and that’s a wonderful thing we should never stop doing.
For the Environment
Now that we stopped producing, ravelling and polluting, the earth is cleaner than ever before and is healing. Be conscious of the way you travel: can you travel by a more eco-friendly way, such as a train? Some airlines offer to recompense your ecologica footprint and with a small contribution, you can help them recover the damage of pollution.
Take a look at what destinations have re-opened or will re-open soon. This is, of course, a crucial part of your travel planning. Grab your list of destinations you wanted to visit and see if any one of them has already communicated their opening date.
Travel Deals, Travel Deals Everywhere!
Make use of the flexible cancellations policies, waived fees and low prices before they go up again. Maybe you had a cancelled trip and you received a voucher: this is your perfect shot to get back your money’s value!
Make use of the flight deals, hotel deals and other vacation deals while they last. A lot of travel companies. Check out this link for an overview of worldwide airline deals.
Star Alliance, which has 26 airline loyalty programs to offer, has made this page to check out all the Coronavirus updates of each airline member program.
Hotels & More
Here are some hotel chains that have updated their loyalty programs or extended their cancellation policies:
IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental,…): extended cancellation policies, a new rate and the ability to upgrade faster to a higher teer level and keep your points valid longer than usual
Miles & More: mileage bargains, in addition to alternative ways to earn and redeem your Miles
Marriott: extended cancellation policies for all guests
Hyatt: flexible cancellation an extension of their member programs for all members globally
Tip: if you’re not sure on traveling yet, but you want to start saving loyalty points, you can always check out the credit card services of these loyalty programs. Often, you earn a monthly amount of points when you spend a certain monthly amount with the credit card. That way, you can shop from home and start saving up for your next trip.
Be Gentle With Yourself & Others
Travel is a tool we use to relax, to grow, to connect, to experience, to taste, to wonder, to go outside our comfort zones. The longing for travel is in our human nature.
As this time is unseen, it can be very difficult for some. Keep in touch with yourself by journalling through your travels: write down everything that’s on your mind, no matter how small or how big.
Count On Your Support System
Ask someone to be your support system when things get rough
Whenever you feel uncertain, anxious, of frightened by the situation, rely on your support system. Ask for the help of your close and loved ones to support you and guide you whenever you might feel like it.
Count On A Professional
We all need someone who motivates us, who encourages us, who supports us, no matter what.
A certified life coach, or license therapist or a type of counselor can help you with that.
In these uncertain times, it’s natural and logical we are in need of some vacation. It’s important to set your intention for this new trip and to be clear with yourself on what it really is you are looking for. That way, you make the best out of your getaway. Next, it’s always crucial to follow health and safety precautions, wherever you go. Take advantage of travel deals, waived cancellation fees, and lowered prices now that it’s still ongoing. And finally, count on a support system to be there for you when things get rough. It’s normal to feel lots of different things now, and it’s even more important to deal with them on a healthy way.