TRAVEL PLANNING DURING COVID-19
The travel and tourism industry has been hampered if not completely halted by the coronavirus outbreak. Not singling it out, all industries are actually affected; manufacturing, education, logistics, and more. But this crisis hit the tourism and accommodation sector really hard, with left and right closing of borders, cancelled flights and postponed vacations. Majority of the countries across the globe have stopped flights and closed airports without any clear indication on when it will start again. Cruise ships are docked and its passengers and crews are sent home. Even mass gatherings that relate to tourism has been cancelled or moved like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Will everything go back to normal? We have yet to see the effect of the pandemic on one’s way of travelling once the travel and leisure industry restarts. In the meantime, here’s how you can plan your next trip while on lockdown.
First things first. Let us discuss the obvious and that is making sure you keep yourself healthy whether you are just at home or on the go and travelling. Contracting a disease with no known vaccine or cure (yet) is not a fun way to start the vacation. The elderlies and kids are part of the high-risk population so more care should be taken when travelling with them.
Plan on the safety measures you will be taking and take into consideration the people you will be traveling with. That is where the issue of getting quarantined will come in to place. It is an automatic 14-day quarantine you will be facing once you travel to high risk places and/or symptoms are found in you are found by the authorities.
When booking for your trip after this crisis, try to avoid as many nonrefundable bookings as possible. If not possible, try to negotiate on the terms of the booking. Better yet, try to book directly, especially for accommodation. In airlines, the refundable fares are usually more costly than the non-refundable ones. Also check the hygiene and sanitation of the places you’ll be staying at in your bookings.
Take a travel insurance, if you haven’t gotten one. Find a trusted provider and take time to read the policy. There should be a basis on what would be covered in times of crisis like a pandemic.
Differing travel restrictions and community quarantines are placed in majority of the countries of the world. Traveling is still for necessity and not for leisure and many places will still be unreachable (for now). Prepare a contingency plan for everything you have planned ahead, taking into consideration the duration and location of your stay. Look for the places near your area that you haven’t visited and plan to go there once the restriction eases. Still look into the places that you planned to visit but got to postpone. Think of how you could reschedule in a time when everything is a bit more stable.
Where and when the virus will end is still a big question so until a vaccine or cure is made, the travel industry will have to endure a bit more. If there is an extreme need to travel despite the ongoing restrictions, protect yourself as much as possible by washing your hands properly, wearing a face mask and avoid mass gatherings as much as possible.
Staying informed is also the number one key in facing a crisis like a pandemic. Keep with the latest news wherever you are and keep tabs on news alerts and other resources that can provide up to date and accurate information.
This too shall pass. Everybody will get to travel again. Us being on lockdown and isolation will come to an end and a vaccine or cure will be found. In the meantime, all we can do is try to stay safe with proper hygiene and by following the authorities. Continue to plan and look forward to the destination of your dreams. The world is waiting for you, we just have to wait for it to heal too. Write a list of the places you would like to visit after the pandemic and keep the desire to travel alive. But for now, let’s continue to support each other and communicate. We will make it out of this with flying colors!