It’s hard to know whether or not it’s OK to travel this year. For all of us who love travel, it’s becoming increasingly tempting to book a trip, but is it safe or sensible to take a holiday during a global pandemic? If you’re thinking of booking a trip for the next few months or later this year, here are a few questions you should ask yourself prior to booking.
What is the current situation at home?
Do you live in a country where cases are rising, or has your curve been flattened? If there are still a high number of cases at home, perhaps it isn’t sensible to travel just yet and you should wait until the virus becomes more under control. If you live in a country where the virus has been eradicated or there are only a small number of cases, it would be sensible to restrict your travels to within your own country, to minimise risk.
What are the current stances on travelling for both your own country and the place you wish to visit?
If you travel abroad will you have to quarantine when you return home, and is that feasible? What about the country you wish to visit? Is there any point going if you have to spend two weeks in lockdown when you arrive? Keep up to date with the latest government advice and travel updates, and only travel abroad to places that are deemed safe.
Where do you want to visit?
This is probably not the best time to book that once-in-a-lifetime adventure to a country on the other side of the world. Many bars, restaurants, galleries and other places will still be closed or under strict restrictions, so that dream holiday is perhaps best saved for a time when you can experience the destination at its best. It’s also worth thinking about the possibility of further lockdowns and restricting your travels to closer destinations that would be easier to find your way home from.
Do you have any symptoms of the virus or have you come into contact with anyone who has it?
The answer to this is pretty simple: if you think you have the virus or could have contracted it, isolate yourself for two weeks and do not travel.
Are you particularly vulnerable to the virus or do you live with anyone who is?
If you are in a risk group for the virus (older age, pregnant, pre-existing health condition, etc.) or you live with someone who is particularly vulnerable, it would be sensible not to travel at all until the pandemic has passed.
What kind of trip are you looking for?
This is not the year to book an all-inclusive package holiday in a busy hotel, a crowded festival experience, a short break to a busy city or a group travel experience. If you are planning on travelling this year, book trips where you can easily practice social distancing, such as a relaxing beach getaway, a road trip or a rural escape.
Do you have the funds saved in case of emergency?
If you contract the virus abroad or find yourself in lockdown in a foreign country, what would you do? Do you have money saved in case of emergencies to extend your accommodation or to book a different flight home?
Do you have comprehensive travel insurance?
If you do not have travel insurance, reconsider booking any trips this year. Ensure that you have an extensive insurance policy that would cover you in case of an emergency, to ensure that you aren’t stranded abroad.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.