Flying During a Pandemic? Here Are 7 Ways To Stay COVID-19 Free Overseas
With the U.S. lifting restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers and Aseana increasing its flights to Singapore under travel bubble conditions, you can finally commence the vacation plans that have been put on hold since the pandemic started.
However, it’s important to remember that the risk of COVID-19 infection is still out there even though travel bans are lifted left and right. Traveling safely is possible as long as you take steps to minimize the risks and the people around you.
Here are some tips to stay safe, whether you’re on a plane, in the car, or at a hotel.
1. Check your destination country’s guidelines thoroughly
Entry rules differ from country to country, even those among the same region. And these rules change constantly. So it’s crucial to get everything covered if you want to avoid being held at the airport or other hassles that can spoil your trip.
2. Find a reliable pre-departure testing service
Ensure that your vaccine is approved by the country you’re traveling to and that you’re prepared to take a COVID-19 test and/or quarantine in a hotel if the government requires it.
If you do need to take a test before leaving, book for a pre-departure testing service here via the SmooveX app so that you can take that flight without trouble.
3. Follow airline protocols
We’ve all heard of those horror stories about people who get kicked off their flights because they or their companions refused to wear masks. No matter your opinion about wearing masks, it’s best to put your protests aside if you plan to board a plane.
Airlines require passengers to wear masks, and this usually applies to children as well. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to train them to wear masks before your trip. It’s irresponsible to hold the flight just because you can’t make your four-year-old wear a mask.
4. Traveling by car? Ride with as few people as possible
Limit the number of people in your vehicle and wear masks in the car, especially if you’re riding with someone at high risk. Wearing the mask is especially important if you’re traveling with people outside your immediate circle. Designate one or two people at lesser risk to serve as runners when you stop for gas or food. During the trip, keep the windows open if possible to let fresh air circulate within the car.
It’s not recommended to go on ride-shares or carpools, but if you have no other option, at least make sure that the vehicle is sanitized continuously and most preferably has a partition between the front and back of the car.
4. Choose hotels that implement strict cleaning protocols
Whether it’s a hotel or a rental property such as Airbnb, it should have a thorough cleaning protocol disclosed to guests before check-in. A lot of places are taking the initiative to inform how they keep the area clean and sanitized.
You can also make the extra effort of bringing your cleaning supplies such as alcohol so you can clean spots instantly anytime. And since you will be sharing the establishment with other people, always keep your mask on in public spaces and wash your hands regularly.
5. Practice social distancing even in public parks
Expect local parks and campsites to draw lots of people during this time, so you need to protect yourself even when outdoors. Avoid crowded parks and other recreation areas and play it safe when using swimming pools and water playgrounds. If you’re taking children with you, make sure that you can make them follow guidelines.
6. Handle your vaccination card properly
Your vaccination card is your ticket to practically everywhere, so handle it with total care, just like you would a USD 1,000 bill. You can put it in a plastic holder, but don’t laminate it – you need that card accessible in case you have to get booster shots in the future. Snap a picture of your physical card and store it in your phone or keep a digital copy of it. Protect your card against water and creases.
7. Monitor travel advisories regularly
Things may be easing up right now, but surges can still happen anytime. If you’re overseas, always check in with travel advisories in the country you’re staying in and in your home country. Lockdowns and travel bans can happen anytime and anywhere. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a foreign country unprepared and unable to fly back home, would you?
Keep things smart and develop a game plan before you get on that plane to keep yourself and the people around you safe. Now relax and enjoy your vacation – you deserve this after being cooped up for so long!