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COVID19: When Can We Travel Again?

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2020

Year 2020 is significant to world history as the time of coronavirus pandemic. One day, international and local movements halted to stop virus transmissions. Airports, seaports, and borders closed. Flights canceled, cruise ships docked somewhere; no buses, trains, and taxis; and cars parked in your garage!  All travel plans set aside.  With COVID19, when can we travel again? I wish this is everything you need to know.

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A Perspective Insight

This is an article of perspective as the coronavirus situation is developing and measures change from time to time.  Amidst the pandemic, traveling has slowly resumed to refuel the economy and due to the necessity to go to destinations such as repatriation, work, family visits, and yes, for holidays as well!  Considering this is the summer season for most Europeans and Americans.

Flight Board Information

When we can travel again?

Now! Yes, we can travel now!

Flights are now available, though limited and secondly, we need to check which destinations will welcome us and the protocols we have to comply.

There are also places where we can venture locally. Domestic travel, road trips to the next city, town, village, parks, beaches, malls, and several places that are now accessible.

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Is it safe to travel now?

I say that is your decision. These are the questions that will help you ascertain your travel plans these days.

  • Where will you go?
  • Do you need to fly out internationally or domestically?
  • Will you drive your car, or take a taxi, bus or train?
  • How many days? Will you come back on the same day?
  • Do you need to book a hotel, Airbnb, hostel, or stay with a family or a friend?
  • What will you do? If it is a holiday, are you inclined to do specific activities?
  • Do you feel safe about where you are going?

At this time, it is best to limit movements to prevent possible transmissions. Thus, flattening the curve and to avert possible second wave occurrences.

However, situation calls for a restart of the economy and here we are at a gradual reopening of borders. Now the engines are turning on and people traffic is starting to flow.

Availability of Vaccines

When we can travel?

A previous article of mine about New Normal, has a section about the outlook of tourism. World travel seems to be bleak unless travelers feel safe.

We all agree that we feel safe to go out once the vaccine is available. Until then, we can move freely and be in the closest state of our previous normalcy.

Pharmaceutical companies are on a race to develop a vaccine at the shortest possible time.

“A vaccine would normally take years, if not decades, to develop. Researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months.

Excerpts from BBC Health News

Aside from availability of vaccine other factors are of imminent concern such as clinical trials, productions and logistical processes.

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When will I get a hold of the vaccine? Oh, this is another thought to ponder. So let’s be still and wait while scientists and experts are working their best every day.

It is still a long wait considering all these factors. Will it be ready by 2021, 2022, 2023, or when? Do you have the patience to wait indefinitely? In the long run, many will feel the compulsion to get out of their space or may need to take an inevitable journey during the pandemic.

Hamad International Airport, Doha-Qatar

Go or No Go?

While your mind is at tug of war of Go or No-Go.

Here are some travel stories, in time coronavirus.  Each one accounts for their experiences both joyful and bittersweet and most importantly, what you need to do.

1. The Traveling Writer

Chris expresses his reasons for exploring places right now and decides to fly out from UK to Rhodes, Greece for a city break! Find out more from this article.

Why I’m taking the first flight to Rhodes?

And let’s hear what happened during the trip!

Travel During COVID – The Co-Verdict

2. What A Crazy Life

A family with two boys traveling from Denver to Anchorage, Alaska with a stopover in Seattle. If you are feeling dizzy imagining the scenario, check this out first!

Traveling During Pandemic With Kids

Vinn: Are you planning another holiday after this?

What a crazy life: Yes, we will fly again this December!

3. Nomadic Backpacker

Trevor has a saga of backpacking stories during this pandemic time. He recently escaped from Kenya to Serbia then Kosovo, and now holed up in Tirana, Albania till further notice!

Backpacking During Corona Virus Pandemic – Chasing Open Countries

Vinn: What are your realizations from your recent travel?

Trevor: Travelling is my life so I am very grateful I can still do what I live for though it’s a new normal. I believe we can travel now but people have to be extra cautious and the few I have met are too slack.

And yours truly, Vinn, taking you to places within Cyprus as we commenced our post lockdown stage.

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My Takeaways!

Before I start a list of takeaways, I just want to establish that I am not persuading you to jet away at this time. It is in your greatest judgment, to travel when you feel safe and when you’re ready!

1. Get the most recent updates.

It’s not that you drop a dart on the world map, and voila you are heading to that country. Be in the know of the travel restrictions of your destination country. Know which countries you are allowed entry!

Timatic solutions by IATA gives real-time info on procedures, documents, restrictions, and protocols to traveling passengers. Your airline or travel agents can assist you with this.

Check out embassy websites and travel advisories for more information as well, as there may be additional protocols during your stay.

Countries have also released color zones for travelers – green and red lists! Basically tells you where and how can you go. Europe has color code zoning released by every country and may be different from other countries. Add to this orange and yellow zones. Colorful isn’t it? Don’t get confused!

Here in Cyprus, countries are categorized to A and B with their respective guidelines. Depending on the situation, a country’s category may change too. Previously Greece was in category A, now it is B!

Again, this information is changing drastically based on the Coronavirus situation. Update, update, update!

2. Travel Insurance

We all know that travel insurances are essential and more so now with COVID19. Insurance companies have included additional policies that will cover travelers with pandemic related situations.

Here is an article on insurance companies with COVID19 policies that may be useful for you in the future. From the list, I have used Seven Corners before for my travels in Europe.

Also, I just received from my email that Emirates Airlines automatically adds insurance to your booking at no additional cost – Free Global COVID19 Cover . This covers medical expenses to infected passengers (God forbid!) while on a flight. How’s that? Go or No Go!

Future travel perhaps! (Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash)

3. Get Ready

Yes, traveling this time entails readiness in so many aspects.  Our way of traveling has shifted a lot for health and safety precautions. Get ready for changes in procedures, additional guidelines, long waits, and probably some confusion.

Get ready to have sufficient funds, for sudden changes in your plans. For example, you may need to book a room instead of staying at a friend’s house. Or you may need to redirect your route due to sudden closing of borders. Add to this the cost of coronavirus testing too!

Prepare yourself since traveling is not the same way as before.

4. Take Responsibility

You know what to do. Wearing masks, proper sanitization, social distancing, and following protocols to stop virus transmissions.

Complacency is one of our biggest enemy today.

Don’t forget our medical friends who are the busiest at the hospitals and care facilities, surely they look forward to the day for a lovely break!

5. Be patient and be kind.

Our partners in tourism are carrying the biggest weight on their shoulders, all for health and safety. We heard a lot of complaints about inconsistencies, miscommunication, and inefficiencies. 

I’m not saying to forego, instead of whining direct the complaints properly to the correct channels. I believe everyone is trying to make things work at this time. We have to manage expectations too!

No matter how cautious you are, some people around you aren’t! So what will you do? Will you tell them frankly or just distance yourself away?

Lastly, don’t forget to breathe and smile!

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Sounds tempting to go and not to go. Is it a Go or No Go?

With COVID19, when can we travel again?

It’s discussion time! I know all of you have something to say! The floor is yours, hit the comment button. Feel free to add insights too. Thanks for reading!

64 Comments

Add Yours →

Hello there,

What a very helpful and beautifully written post. For those who want to travel in this time, they must read this article first before leaving. I agree with you that we must travel more consciously now.

Thanks for your feedback. It’s a matter of traveling responsibly and whenever you feel safe. A lot of research is also one thing we need these days too.

Ahahaha that’s great! I know some people who don’t like to fly. There are so many places we can explore around us without taking a plane. Stay safe always!

What a wonderful post. This pandemic sure has changed the travel Landscape for sure. I like to think that people are discovering things closer to home right now.
I really enjoyed your post. Still can’t believe that insurance will actually cover covid costs but hey all the power to those that are venturing far away right now. Not for this girl! LOl!

Thanks for your thoughts Coralie! Oh well, that flight insurance can be a hook for those itching to travel. And hey that caught my attention got them sort of free advertising lol. The tourism companies are finding ways to entice customers coz it is kinda scary to be outside.

I have had to cancel so many trips that I had planned over the past few months. I agree with you about getting the travel insurance right now for SURE! It’s a must have. It’s still scary to book and cancel trips but I’m trying to be optimistic that it will all be better soon. Thank you for sharing your insight.

Hello! I agree better days will come soon. At some point, more people will start to travel while COVID19 is still around. Preparation and clear implementation of protocols are essential for travelers to feel safe.

Wonderful article! I appreciate your efforts in doing a lot of research and addressing all the common questions. Nowadays, we all are in a great dilemma, and as the fight for survival continues at the same time we all are getting mentally detached since we aren’t able to travel. I miss traveling a lot 😪

Hi, thank you so much! Yes, we all miss traveling. Though we are exploring places locally but I still miss flying. Last night I was dreaming that I boarded the plane for a long flight LOL! In the meantime let’s enjoy the places within our reach. Take care!

I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been traveling the US throughout the pandemic, and everything has been great! I’m glad other people are putting money back into the hospitality and travel industries who are hurting so much right now. Great read!

Hi Ashley this is so good to hear! It’s not so scary as most of us think, probably it is the mindset that the spread of the virus started in airports. The protocols in place now came from the advice of medical experts, with proper implementation and having responsible travelers it should be ok. Travel safe!

A lot of good information here, thanks for addressing this topic! We’ve had two trips cancelled so far during 2020. I was actually glad, as I don’t feel safe traveling by plane right now. We did have to take one trip across the country due to a family emergency, but we went by car. We took so many safety precautions! I hope everyone stays safe out there!

Thank you! That’s right we cannot compromise these days. Safety is the utmost priority. Glad that you were able to take a road trip instead.Take care!

I agree to stay updated because it can change at any time . As long as you’re safe and responsible, you should be fine .

Health and safety issues are one of the major concerns of why people are hesitant to travel. Add to it the surges of infection in different countries and some people don’t adhere to protocols. Question is, how long one can stay in a confined space, no one knows when COVID19 goes away or when you can get hold of the vaccine.

You know what I realised yesterday, that this covid19 lockdown is probably my intermission point in the middle of my actual life. How weird would that be if it turned out to be true?

Anyway, nothing would make me want to travel anywhere in my own country at the moment, let alone outside of it. The headaches of trying to arrange it and fix things if stuff changes, like trying to get your money back if the country your were going to go to was placed on the list of countries you’re not allowed to go to due to covid19 hot spot developing. I’m happy to skip traveling abroad for quite a while

Hello! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, in reality, it is quite a hassle. Be comfortable on where you are, enjoy the pause till you are ready to pack your suitcase for the next destination. Stay safe always!

You listed some great points here. All you need to know before traveling, and it’s great. I agree with you, everybody should decide on their own. But the most important thing is that we have to adhere to the given regulations. Stay safe 😊

It’s tough to know what the best course of action is, as the virus is still at large. I would go to visit local places but I wouldn’t go abroad yet. Great to read

Unfortunately, the virus is just around the corner. One should gear up and be more than 100% ready if he/she decides to go far or abroad. Stay safe!

This is a good read for travelers. Covid-19 changed the way we all travel and this post is a good reminder for that. Thank you for sharing 🙂 – Dan “Jay” Reyes

Great tips. I’m focusing on short breaks in the U.K. at the moment. I’m not too sure how I’d feel going on a plan right now.

This is so detailed and practical! My brother is planning his next holiday at the moment so I’m going to forward this to him – thanks! I’ve got travel-cravings now, too 😀

It’s so important to understand the travel restrictions/regulations both in the country you’d like to visit and your own upon return. For the time being, my husband and I have decided to keep our travelling to within Canada. We have a 9 day camping trip planned next month at a park further north that we have never explored before. Over 40 kms of trails to check out with our pups!

That’s cool! Instead of planning to faraway places taking flights; road trips are relatively safe and there are several areas we haven’t visited yet. Have an awesome time and be safe!

This is such a tricky topic! Even within Canada there is such a variety of restrictions between provinces, so there is a lot to consider when travelling that’s for sure. I’m really impressed that Emirates is adding insurance to all of their flights. That’s so valuable anytime, but especially now!

I know these are one of the major concerns for those who want to travel. Situations may change drastically and travelers will face a lot of hurdles instead of enjoying the holiday. For Emirates this is a good marketing strategy as so many people are hesitant about flying these days. But still safety is the major concern. Thanks for dropping by 🤗

Because I haven’t been able to travel this summer due to COVID, I’ve been relying on travel stories and vlogs, so I’m glad you placed some here. I’m able to travel again, but just giving it a little longer!

This pandemic is so scary. Traveling abroad is something I really really want to do but I am still not sure if I am willing to take such risk. I do go on frequent road trips and get to explore my own back yard 🙂 Thank you for sharing
Darina from daramiblog

Hi Darina, there are risks when you decide to travel abroad. If you are not up for it, it is better to venture places within our reach. We are exploring places locally and I am enjoying it. Thanks!

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