Aside from having a devastating impact on the global economy and livelihoods, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also disrupted many travel plans. At present, we have no idea when the situation will improve and people can start traveling without constant concern for their safety. Even though countries like Thailand have managed to contain the virus, others have been less successful.
With over 7 million active cases globally as of September 2020, exercising caution when traveling remains crucial. Our friends from Pacific Prime Thailand are here to offer some tips for traveling after quarantine to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Post-quarantine travel tips
While it may take some time before people resume booking their holidays, those with the travel bug are already making plans for domestic or international travel. Traveling can be safe if you take the right precautions and choose a destination that has contained and managed the outbreak. Keep the following tips in mind to safely travel after quarantine.
1. Continue to practice social distancing
It’s important to maintain social distancing as often as possible during these times. Following a lengthy period of self-isolation and social distancing, you probably realize the importance of keeping a safe space between yourself and other people. It can be difficult to stay six feet away from others on crowded transportation, so just do your best. You should also keep human contact to a minimum and avoid touching surfaces with your fingertips.
2. Keep your hands off your face
One of the easiest ways for the novel coronavirus to spread is if a person touches an infected area and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. When you first started wearing a mask, you probably realized just how frequently you touch your face, as well as how difficult it is not to. In addition, if you have to touch public surfaces such as buttons, doorknobs, and handles, use tissues, wet wipes, or other alternatives to avoid direct contact and properly dispose of them immediately after. If you must touch these surfaces, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward.
3. Carry disinfectants with you
One of the best things you can do while traveling during the pandemic is carry alcohol gel, wet wipes, and other disinfectants. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, train, or plane, make it a habit to wipe down the surfaces around you with a disinfectant. Be sure to work the disinfectant into the areas in front of and around you and give it some time to work. Avoid using wet wipes on upholstery and other soft surfaces since it can spread the germs even further.
4. Only drink from sealed water bottles
The water that is used to make coffee and tea onboard an airplane comes from the airplane’s water tanks. Since a droplet that spreads quickly is the cause of this particular health crisis, it’s advisable to refrain from drinking water that could be contaminated. This rule doesn’t just apply to airplanes, but everywhere else too. While drinking from sealed water bottles is your best bet to stay safe, those who are eco-friendly should only drink filtered water.
5. Check cancellation policies
Becoming familiar with cancellation policies could be an overlooked travel tip post-COVID-19. After the novel coronavirus pandemic, the travel industry is likely to make bookings and cancellation policies more flexible, so you should get to know them before setting off. You’ve probably noticed cheaper airline tickets with flexible cancelation policies, such as the ability to change flight dates. Before purchasing affordable post-quarantine tickets, however, be sure to take a closer look at the fine print.
6. Know that another outbreak is possible
While this may put a damper on your trip, it’s recommendable to be prepared if worse comes to worst. In this case, travelers should realize that a new outbreak can occur during their time abroad. Just take a look at those who found themselves stuck during their travels and were unable to return home right away because of the coronavirus outbreak. Find out how your airline and accommodation would handle another outbreak to avoid any surprises.
7. Secure travel insurance
With so many things that can go wrong, travel insurance is something we advise everyone to get whether traveling near or far. The pandemic has turned travel insurance from a recommendation into a must. Without it, you could risk losing your nonrefundable tickets, deposits, and more. Important inclusions to look for when purchasing a travel insurance policy include pandemic, medical, and cancelation coverage. Spend time going over your travel insurance policy just like you would your itinerary so you know what’s covered and what’s excluded.
8. Stay home if you’re sick
Last but certainly not least, do not travel if you are sick or feel like you’re getting sick. We spend so much time and effort avoiding getting the virus yet forget that preventing ourselves from potentially spreading it is just as important. Do not go out if you’re feeling under the weather. Instead, take some time to rest and see if your symptoms worsen for at least 24 hours before leaving your home or accommodation.
Even though we don’t know what to expect when it comes to post-COVID-19 travel, the tips above give us a good starting point. At the very least, it could help you plan for future travel and give you something to look forward to.
As a leading insurance broker, Pacific Prime offers health insurance in Thailand and around the world. Whether you’re looking for travel insurance, family insurance, or retiree insurance, Pacific Prime can compare medical insurance plans to help you find the right policy for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Thailand for expert advice or a free quote and plan comparison today.