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The C Word

Traveling during COVID

By A’Dia G


I just need everything to slow down a bit. I heard this phrase repeatedly during the later months of 2019. Even I made very similar statements. The words once spoken, were pushed out into the universe with such force. You know the infamous saying, “Be careful what you wish for”. Like a genie’s three wishes gone wrong, 2020 the year of endless possibilities, soon became 2020 the year indoors.


Being in the house for roughly two years really made me cherish everyday face-to-face interactions. The isolation made me realize what was important. It truly made me see things that I took for granted. I wanted to be around people. I wanted to go out and hang with my friends- attending festivals and going to concerts. I missed having family cookouts and going to the movies. Lastly, I truly missed the hustle and bustle of running through an airport to make my flight. I really missed traveling internationally.


With various countries, opening their borders with minimal to several COVID conditions, it’s critical that everyone follows proper protocols to ensure that we do our part to keep the world “open”. After traveling to three countries, soon to be four, amidst this pandemic, I believed providing tips on traveling during COVID would be helpful to anyone thinking of resuming international travel.

 

Know Other Countries Policies


Many of you may be concerned about traveling to another country during these times. You may think “If I go to another country, I’m going to catch COVID”. But let me tell you, many countries have several safety protocols in place to lower the transmission of COVID-19. In countries like Dominic Republic or Aruba, you cannot go anywhere without a mask. Masks are provided to visitors that do not have one, when there is a requirement for a mask. Social distancing is still a thing! People seem to be more open-minded internationally and provide other parties their six feet distance. Some activities and tours limit their participants to fewer numbers to lessen the spread. Hotels and resorts offer on-site COVID testing options for their guests. Some sites offer free testing, while others may charge anywhere between $50 to $125 for COVID antigen or PCR tests. Most countries’ have their COVID policies and practices on their websites. Before booking your trip, I would recommend checking the countries’ updated restrictions to determine if visiting is favorable before planning a trip. It is also important to determine if your lodging of choice has on-site COVID testing options or provide a list of nearby COVID testing sites. Like I stated previously, stay on top of the current COVID situation in the desired country travel. Ask yourself questions like, “Did {insert country name here} have a recent outbreak?” or “Has {insert country name here} added or removed any COVID travel conditions?”


Make Sure to Protect Yourself


As stated in my Ishhh Happens blog post, it is important that you make sure that you protect yourself, your things and your trip from the unknown. Yes, even protecting your trip is important. With COVID still prevalent, it is highly suggested that you consider purchasing travel insurance. Traveling delays and even cancellations can occur at any time. Stay informed through various methods of communication. Turn on your travel alerts with the airline companies and hotels/resort alerts and email notifications. You want to make sure that you are aware of any delays or abrupt travel restrictions. Having travel insurance is beneficial if it becomes necessary to request a refund or travel credit due to any occurrence.


Packing Smart during a Pandemic


Please remember that you won’t be home for a few days on vacation. So, make sure to pack the essentials! I’m talking about those masks. You might need them in hotels, restaurants, and yes during and throughout your travels at airports. Make sure to pack a Ziploc bag filled with masks. Along with masks, I pack my go to… Lysol wipes. Rather than dragging around a heavy round container of wipes, you can purchase travel size wipes for travel ease. Whether you’re wiping down light switches in your hotel room or the tray table on the airplane, antibacterial wipes are handy. Last but not least, bring the hand sanitizer. I would suggest packing several travel sized hand sanitizers. Although maximizing space is important with your luggage, you can never have enough.


 

You too can travel during COVID! It may seem like a lot to remember. However similar to a packing list, jot down a few reminders regarding COVID testing and country requirements. Make sure you stay connected with notifications sent from airlines and your hotel or place of stay. Finally make sure you pack smart, having all the necessary supplies with you to make sure you keep yourself and others safe. Safe travels!


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