Now that travel restrictions are gradually lifting, you’re free to resume your adventures and take the vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Though the COVID-19 vaccine has made a hugely positive impact on public health, the pandemic has altered the outlook of global travel for the foreseeable future. As you plan your next vacation, you’ll have to take public health and personal safety into account.
In this unprecedented time for travel, you’ll have to blend traditional safety measures with new procedures that will keep you (and everyone else) safe on your next vacation. Keep reading for a list of updated travel safety tips that will help you plan responsibly for your first post-pandemic trip.
Research COVID-related rules
As usual, you’ll start your vacation planning process by determining a location and making time-sensitive reservations. In the post-pandemic travel scene, you’ll also have to take COVID-related restrictions into account and take the proper measures to prepare for your trip as determined by your destination’s local laws.
While many travel bans and mask mandates have been lifted, some states and countries still have regulations that limit travel and require travelers to take specific steps before their visits. For example, there are travel restrictions in effect for all of the major Hawaiian Islands that require visitors to be vaccinated, participate in self-quarantine, or test negative for COVID-19 before their trips. If you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii, you may need to start preparing early and complete these requirements in a timely manner to gain entrance. These restrictions are designed to protect everyone’s health, so it’s essential that you follow your destination’s guidelines.
Check out travel advisories
In addition to checking COVID-related restrictions for your destination, you may also want to do a little research on the other location-specific issues that may affect your trip. If you are traveling to another country, you can check out the U.S. State Department website for updates on your destination. The State Department’s travel advisories will note any upticks in crime, social conflicts, health concerns, and natural disasters in the area that might affect your travel. Each report is rated and may help you decide when an area is unfit to visit.
Organize emergency contacts & documents
If all of your preliminary research turns out positive and your trip is confirmed, you can focus on finding ways to practice travel safety once you’ve reached your destination. A great way to feel prepared for anything is to compile a list of emergency contact numbers to keep with you as you move around a new and unfamiliar city. Write down numbers for local police, health resources like hospitals and ambulance services, and the nearest embassy to make it easy to get help when you need it most.
It’s also smart to make copies of important travel documents--like your passport, driver’s license, hotel reservations, and tickets for excursions--so you always have that information handy.
Travel with a group
After months of social distancing, it feels good to be able to reconnect with friends and family. When you start traveling again, make sure to keep at least one other person with you as you explore new areas. There is safety in numbers--lone travelers are far more likely to be victims of theft, assault, and other crimes common in popular travel destinations.
Avoid walking to and from your hotel alone, taking a Lyft or Uber by yourself, and visiting attractions without your group. Now that you are able to get back out into the world and be social, take care of your friends and allow them to look out for you.
Share your plans with family & friends
Finally, it’s always a good idea to share your travel itinerary with your family and friends back home and keep them updated on your trip’s progress. If anything goes wrong at any stage of your trip, you’ll have people looking out for you. Your family and friends will be able to trace your steps and call authorities to intercept if you get hurt, fall sick, or lose contact.
If you follow all of these safe travel tips, you can enjoy your dream vacation risk-free. Develop a smart plan, travel responsibly, and get out there and enjoy the world again!