It’s been just over a year since I wrote my 5 travel tips during covid-19 blog and never did I imagine things would be even worse now than they were when I wrote it.
Since Covid-19 first arrived in the UK, I have travelled to Sweden, Ibiza, Tanzania (to climb Mount Kilimanajro), Dubai, Italy, France, Scotland and Greece. Almost all of which have been due to work. But the question I get asked a lot is whether or not it is safe to travel. So I wanted to put some of my thoughts down as responsibly and true to my experiences as possible.
It’s definitely worth prefacing this by saying regardless of any personal beliefs I may hold. Always follow the government guidelines set out for your country or region. They have far more access to information and data than I do, and the guidance will be far more in depth than the anecdotal experiences I’m giving on the internet. It’s also worth adding that if you’re anxious about travelling, or the travel doesn’t feel essential to you, don’t do it. I’m writing this to hopefully help people travel a little safer, by providing information and tips. But also to help people feel a little bit more relaxed about any travel they may have to do.
How safe are flights? –
I’m amazed to see the Euro Football 2021 take place. Bars, clubs and restaurants open. As well as those horse racing events where people wear funny hats. So I wanted to remind people that unlike most of these events, in order to get on a flight, you need to have a recent negative Covid-19 test, wear a mask throughout (when not eating or drinking), and in some cases, quarantine when you arrive. Flights are also fitted with even better air filtration these days and said to remove 99.9% of all viruses.
If you’re someone that has been attending bars, restaurants, offices or regular meet ups. Then likely you’ve been putting yourself in far riskier Covid-19 situations than getting on a flight. But of course, travelling abroad can mean introducing Covid-19 strains into new and unexposed places, so please be aware of the massive risk you’re taking by travelling without taking the proper precautions.
- Tip 1: My biggest tip in light of this is to quarantine BEFORE and AFTER flying. If you know you have a flight, severely limit the contact you have with other people for a couple of weeks in advance, and again when you arrive. This will leave you assured that you’re not spreading the virus internationally when you travel.
- Tip 2: Take extra tests. In England it’s cheap/free to get access to rapid antigen tests. So whilst you may not have to take one on the day in order to fly, why not get some extra and take tests as frequently surrounding your flight as possible. Remember that the sooner you identify that you have Covid-19, the sooner those in contact with you can isolate and restrict the spread before more people get exposed.
- Tip 3: Inform the airline/track and trace app as soon as you get a positive test or Covid-19 symptoms. Again, the goal is to ALWAYS AVOID being in contact with anyone at a time that you might have been infected. But if that fails, the goal is to inform everyone you’ve been in contact with as soon as possible.
- Tip 4: Websites like Skyscanner will tell you when you’re searching for flights how Covid-safe your flight is. They provide information such as whether face masks are mandatory. If the flight is deep cleaned in-between each flight. Whether the crew wears full PPE. If passenger sanitation packs are provided. And any changes to the food services.
Know the country! –
As I mentioned in the first blog, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Each country will have different regulations, distancing rules, mask mandates, vaccine availabilities etc. It really is vital that you know what you’re getting yourself in for and to what extent you will be putting yourself and others at risk.
- Tip 1: Stay somewhere remote where possible. If you’re going abroad to hike, camp, enjoy nature and relax by yourself/with your household then you will find it extremely easy to avoid any major Covid-19 risks.
- Tip 2: Mask up! I know masks are a contentious subject but for me, I would much rather be safe than an ‘idiot abroad’. In situations where you’re interacting with people, even if outdoors, throw one on and be secure knowing you’re being as safe as possible.
- Tip 3: Stay outdoors. If you’re travelling to a hot country then it’s so much easier to avoid going indoors. If you don’t want to eat at home, most restaurants will have outdoor and distanced seating available.
Choose your accommodation wisely! –
- Tip 1: Do your own cleaning, when you arrive and before you leave. It may seem like a lot but I’ve stayed in a lot of places that request this measure and it really didn’t take much of my time or effort to fulfil.
- Tip 2: Let the host know your test results. If they know you’ve tested positive then it will be much easier to take the appropriate action when it comes to their own safety, and the safety of their future guests.
- Tip 3: Leave a review. I know this may seem off key, but when others come to search for accommodation it can be valuable for them to know the Covid-19 safety of the accommodation, the area, the restaurants, any rules in place etc.
I know everyone is eager to get back to travelling and living how they did before the pandemic. But it’s important that we don’t endanger the lives of those most vulnerable by doing so. I hope this will be helpful in providing some middle ground and help those that need to travel, do so in the safest and most responsible way possible.
Wow, this is probably my most serious blog to date. I’ll try to make the next one about the most silliest thing I can think of. Like “5 secret handshakes loved by Octopi” or “I tickled under my chin every day for 45 days, here’s what happened next…”
Stay safe friends.
Love, Kallum <3