Traveling, as we knew it a year ago, is completely different from what traveling is now. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, trips are all about meeting new people and going where the crowds go. Now, due to the threat of the novel coronavirus, traveling becomes more individualistic and solitary.
From skipping the local marketplace to ditching public transport, travel choices are now shaped by our fear of the virus. And with the pandemic still far from over, these changes in the way we travel are expected to stay for the long haul. If you’re planning to go on a new trip soon, it’s only smart to know how you can move ahead in the new normal. Below is a brief guide that will help you prepare a safe and memorable trip in the time of COVID-19.
Pandemic Travel Tips
Mode of travel: Private cars over public vehicles
If you’re planning to take a trip soon, traveling by private car is your best option. Since COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact, shared spaces, such as public transport vehicles, are now sites of worry. Researchers already raised this concern as early as last year. In a July 2020 study, scientists reported an average 0.32% transmission rate among ‘close contact’ travelers in trains.
Of course, wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance from each other inside the public vehicle can help reduce the risk of infection. However, the possibility of acquiring the disease remains. And for most people, that is enough to make private transport their preferred mode of travel. No wonder car sales experienced a significant surge during the pandemic. As people fear the possibility of getting the disease during their day-to-day travels, many are forced to spend their savings or get a loan to buy a car of their own as soon as possible.
Where to eat: Spacious outdoor spaces over indoor restaurants
An ideal trip could never be complete without getting a taste of the most popular local foods in the area. For most travelers, this travel-related habit lets them experience the local culture of a place through their stomachs. Often, this leads them to crowded and even enclosed spaces. Some prefer to enjoy the variety of food in crowded food houses. Others opt to experience the comfort and luxury of high-end restaurants.
But with a deadly virus currently making rounds, this usual food-hunting habit isn’t the ideal activity. Indoor diners are especially dangerous. Since these areas are enclosed, the virus can stay longer in the air. To make matters worse, you’ll eventually need to take off your mask to eat and drink.
Weighing the risks, the best option is to eat outdoors. Luckily, many restaurants around the world are now embracing the outdoor dining setup. From cafes to restaurants, food establishments are finding new homes in the open space.
Ideal destination: Secret, hidden gems over tourist hotspots
Your destination is also a key factor in keeping a safe trip amid the threat of COVID-19. While most of us want to visit top-rated tourist attractions, the usual crowds in those popular areas pose a high infection risk. Sure, you’re still free to go to your dream destination with a mask on your face and a sanitizer in your bag. But if you’re worried about possible infection and want to ditch the anxiety completely, the best option is to skip the popular travel bucket list for now and go to secret, hidden gems that are yet to become popular.
Usually, these untapped destinations take on the form of lagoons, local resorts behind the rocky mountains, and even calm guest homes with scenic views in the countryside. While these places aren’t as popular as the other destinations that you often hear on the radios and TVs, they still promise a chance to let you unwind and enjoy.
You can ask your friends for possible recommendations on what to visit in their hometowns. You can also consult travel agencies and tell them that you’re eyeing to visit secret yet beautiful destinations. They can give you a list of places that are less-visited but are worth seeing.
Ready to explore the world in the new normal? Now may not be the perfect time to travel and discover the great outdoors. Yet, missing the familiar bliss that comes with traveling once in a while is normal. After all, you can’t stay locked up indoors. Just make sure to follow the health guidelines and keep yourself and your family safe during your trip. Prepare for your future travel with the help of these tips.