COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted the travel industry and has been heartbreaking for travellers. Long weekends, planning for foreign trips and even short staycations have become a challenge. Safety, precautions, state quarantine rules have completely changed the face of travel.
Here are a few of the travel thing I learnt during COVID-19 outbreak:
Don’t be in a hurry to travel… start with baby steps
Foreign travel is out of the picture right now, but if you are keen to travel, its best to start with domestic travel. In fact, a solo trip or a staycation to some nearby towns is a good starting point for travel right now. Road trips seem safest at the moment and would be ideal to experiment. Once you are confident to travel, then once can take a flight to Goa or other touristy places. Flight bookings are quite affordable on ixigo and your tickets will be booked in no time.
Precautions are everything
Whether you are travelling by road, air, rail or bus, don’t let your guard down. Practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, frequently sanitizing your hands, following hygiene rules is extremely important at this point. In the bus, at the railway stations and at the airports, there are safety rules everywhere and passengers can be fined if the rules are not followed. Interestingly, if a passenger refuses to wear a mask while on a flight, they can be put on a no-fly list by the airline. So, remember that precautions are literally everything.
Be aware that different states have different rules
Even though most of the things have opened, some states have still not opened up for tourists. Thus, before you plan your trip, make sure you check all the state quarantine guidelines or testing requirements. For example, Goa has no requirement of a test or quarantine and it is the same for Rajasthan. At the same time, if you are visiting Chandigarh for more than 72 hours then 14 days of home quarantine is mandatory. Several states may do a Rapid Antigen/RTPCR or other COVID-19 tests for passengers on arrival or at the entry.
Foreign travel might be a challenge right now
Even though several countries have started opening up, many of them haven’t opened yet for tourism. There are quarantine rules in places, visa applications are on hold or visa offices are temporarily closed. Some countries such as the Maldives have opened up for tourists, but they require a negative COVID-19 certificate. Thus, keeping all these things in mind, foreign travel may take some time to bounce back to normal.
Embrace sustainable travel
Sustainable travel has been quite a buzz word but makes more sense in the current light of COVID-19. To put it simply, sustainable travel is about being more mindful of travel practices spending habits and where and how you travel. Some of the ways to embrace sustainable travel are opting for short trips and staycations over foreign travel as that reduces the carbon emission, spending mindfully and opting for local over global and lastly travel slowly as it allows travellers to explore the culture and be more creative.
Travel insurance is immensely important
Many countries have travel insurance as a mandatory part of the visa process, while some don’t. However, in the current situation where the world is witnessing a pandemic, travel insurance becomes extremely critical. If one falls sick while travelling, at least insurance will have you covered. Next time you plan your trip, research well and take travel insurance along with your flight booking.
Nature oriented travel will be the safest
Outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, chilling by the beach etc. may be a safer option for a while. Social distancing can be practiced easily when one is outdoors, and with restrictions and safety guidelines everywhere, that might be a good idea. Travellers could head to the hills, coastal towns or national parks to experience nature and enjoy travelling while still following the necessary precautions.
It’s our duty to travel responsibly
Keeping the sustainability aside, as travellers, it is also our duty to ensure that we support the travel industry in following all the safety guidelines and measures. Starting from wearing the mask, to adhering to distance markets on the airport, or not sitting on the chairs marked red, it is essential that travellers keep their guard on while travelling and stay safe for themselves and others.
Lastly, travel is slowly opening up and things will go back to normal. Till then, we must embrace the new normal and take a leap of faith while travelling. Travellers can explore some unique destinations within India. Later, when travel bans are lifted and the majority of foreign countries open up for tourism, foreign travel will be possible too. Till then, stay safe and travel safely.
By Surabhi Nijhawan
when not writing, Surabhi loves to travel. She has written over 200 stories for ixigo. We hope this story inspires you to plan the next trip. Also, flight bookings via ixigo are super simple with great deals and discounts.
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