7 Essential Tips for Traveling in the New Normal
The recent pandemic took the world by surprise, and even with vaccine, it’s likely that it will have lasting effects — especially on travel. Whether we like it or not, there will be a New Normal and we need to be flexible to the changes that go along with it. Here we’ve written some tips for traveling in the post-pandemic world.
1. Bring your own PPE items
Did you know that in countries such as Japan, it’s normal for people to wear face masks in public when they are sick? This is to prevent others from being infected whether it’s a simple case of flu. With the spread of the COVID-19 around the world, this practice is slowly becoming the norm.
We personally love the face masks from BidiBidi and other woven masks from Abra, Ilocos, and Ifugao.
Always make it a habit to bring your own face mask or bandana, sanitizing alcohol, cleaning wipes, and other protective items you might need outside.
You may also want to bring your own pen, so you won’t need to borrow one in the airport or other receptions. If you want to start an eco-lifestyle, this might be the time to buy your own reusable cutlery too.
Not preparing or bringing your own protective items is one of the basic pandemic travel mistakes you should avoid.
2. Get in touch with the local government
Every country has its own travel requirements for international tourists. In the Philippines, you also need to be aware of separate guidelines for each city implemented by their respective local government units (LGUs).
Contact the LGUs online about what you need to bring or do, list of open establishments, updated opening hours, and so on. You may also ask the hotels or accommodations on your destination for updates.
3. Go local
One of the trends that we’ve seen during the pandemic is the rise of local tourism and it’s only bound to get bigger traction in the years to come.
Traveling locally is cheap and convenient. Explore the local scene — including city attractions, homegrown cafes and restaurants, staycations, or nearby mountains or nature parks you can visit. You can also look for local experiences, such as photowalks and cooking classes.
4. Choose less-crowded escapes
Consider planning an isolated escape instead of your usual trips. If you’re going on a short vacation with family or friends in Mykonos, for instance, book a private resort or one of the Mykonos luxury villas for yourselves.. This will minimize the risk of contact with crowds and also guarantee that you’ll have a safe, peaceful, and comforting stay.
You may also want to choose alternative tourist destinations that are less crowded or populated.
In the Philippines, some of my favorite off-beaten locations include Balabac, Sorsogon, and Romblon.
5. Prepare a backup plan
It’s important to check in frequently as your travel date nears. Check that your flight or accommodation have flexible booking policies and that you have a backup plan in case your original trip can’t push through.
6. Buy the right travel insurance
A travel insurance is important in cases of delayed flights, lost baggage, and unforeseen accidents. More than that though, it gives you peace of mind.
Make sure that your travel insurance has updated coverage, including COVID-19 to help you with any travel mishaps or hospitalization.
7. Take care of your mental health
Travel can be stressful in itself, more so in the face of uncertainty. If you don’t feel safe venturing outdoors, remind yourself that it’s okay to stay home. The places you want to visit will always be there — what’s more important is that you’re taking care of your overall well-being.
*Featured image: Medical vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com
What are your tips for traveling in the New Normal? Let us know in the comment section below!
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).