And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.Eleanor Roosevelt
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going stir crazy and wondering when you’ll be able to travel next and to where. Unfortunately we may have to be content with exploring closer to home for upwards of one year. It may not be ideal, but savings lives, including your own, will be worth when this pandemic passes.
That being said, there is no harm in beginning to plan your next trip and lear how to best overcome the obstacles of what travel will look like when the time comes to book your next trip. Because it will happen one day in the near future and that’s definitely something to get excited about! Here’s how I am going to plan my trips in the future. Hopefully it helps you keep your adventures both safe and fun!
Choose Your Top Five
What better time to pick your absolute must-see travel destinations than when you’re stuck at home? Get the adrenaline pumping again by planning your solo trip or having a zoom call with friends to plan what you want to see and do. I always like to start with 5 ideas and then narrow it down naturally and systematically from there. No matter what you end up choosing, you’ll know you are picking somewhere that you truly want to visit.
Check Your Top Five for Covid Hot Spots
With all of the mismatched facts out there from different countries and states regarding the status of Covid-19 and how many cases are present, it can be hard to visualize what’s actually going on. The CDC compiled an interactive map that color codes countries and states based on their risk factors to help you make a more informed decision.
Find your top five picks on the map and determine how high of a risk traveling to that country would be. Eliminate any that are moderate to high risk.
Check Quarantine Policies
Don’t forget to check your point of origin (usually your home country) as well as your destination country. Both will most likely have separate policies that are strictly enforced. To date, many countries are requiring a two week self-isolation period when entering the country. While many people may have two weeks to spare, most do not. Also consider that you may have to self-quarantine for two additional weeks on your return trip.
To further narrow down your travel destination choices, eliminate any countries from your list that would require several weeks of quarantine. One month total of self-isolation is not feasible for many people, especially considering the economic climate.
Prioritize Social Distancing in Your Itinerary
Traveling in uncertain times makes seeing everything on your list more difficult and sometimes impossible. As more countries open up, always check to see what, if any, restrictions there will be on those places. Outdoor sites will most likely remain open with limited capacity. Indoor areas, such as museums, may be closed or only allow a certain number of people inside at once. For popular destinations, you may need to book well in advance or choose to visit on another trip.
Closures and limited openings don’t mean you will have a bad trip. If possible, try to plan a more adventure or outdoorsy focused vacation. You’ll reduce risk and hopefully miss the crowds of tourists while you experience a more natural part of the country. Most hiking trails, parks, and beaches are open with moderate restrictions. Always put safety first, but remember there are plenty of options if indoor activities are limited.
Practice Safe Travel
Now more than ever it’s essential to take extra precautions when traveling. Always bring a mask while traveling or bring several in case one breaks or gets dirty. Pack sterile gloves in case you have to be in a highly trafficked area so you can reduce the potential spread of disease. Pack wipes and sanitizer to keep yourself and the surfaces you touch clean for you and the next person who comes into contact with it.
Social distancing can help prevent the spread of the virus, so try to avoid crowds. If you have to wait in line, keep a few feet in between you and the next person. Opt for takeout at restaurants as well. You can always find a fantastic view where you can eat and enjoy the scenery. After all, it’s way more fun to explore while you enjoy a meal instead of staring at the restaurant.
Remember Your Why
In the words of Jonathan Van Ness “just because you Ameri-can, doesn’t mean you Ameri-Should. Opting not to travel is a hard choice, but it’s the right choice at certain times. Just remember why the entire world is self-quarantining and social distancing. We do this for ourselves, for our family members, for our friends, and for other peoples’ loved ones. Even if you aren’t sick you could be a carrier and that’s terrifying.
Opt to explore closer to home. Road trips to nearby hiking areas, camping, or even concentrating on saving for a year to upgrade your travels next year are all great options. Try to view this challenging time as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to self-reflect. It’s an opportunity to not only keep yourself safe but others as well and that’s a gift everyone can appreciate. These times are an opportunity to grow as a person and a traveler. Let’s take full advantage of that, even if it’s from home.
One thought on “How to Plan Your Travel in a Post-Covid World”
It’s very true. People often ignore closer to home in favour of more exotic locations. This year, if I travel, it will only be in France where I live. Next year, I may also venture (by car) into Italy and Spain.