Traveling sounds vibrant. People travel for various reasons – personal, professional, vacation, adventure, and exploration.

Nevertheless, we are living amidst a pandemic, where travel may expose us to risk more than ever. Self-quarantine is our current lifestyle. Health authorities are repeatedly stressing on avoiding travel or mingling in groups and the importance of self-quarantine.

In this ongoing fight against coronavirus, there is a ray of hope for travel lovers who can travel safely and responsibly. Governments are slowly relaxing the travel restrictions, but with strict measures. Travel companies and hotels are operating with care adhering to health advisories. Travel and hospitality are all together in a new face now, with many changes in how they operate and welcome passengers. And yes, it is all for the greater good!

If you ask us guidance on how to travel safely during the pandemic, do not be surprised if we advise you not to travel. No travel is essential that puts our loved ones and us at risk. But for such group of travelers who have to travel as they have no other option, here are 7 safety tips on traveling during the pandemic:

1. Get Yourself Tested:
Staying safe means staying responsible. When there is a necessity to step out for travel, the first thing we are responsible for is to make sure that we are not carriers of risk.

Thus, getting COVID tested is the first thing that should be on the list of travel safety tips during the pandemic.

Go on a COVID-19 test and start packing the bag only once the results are negative. Also, most countries demand COVID negative proof at arrival. So this is mandatory for every travel enthusiast.

What if you were once COVID positive but now fully recovered and want to take a breath of fresh air through travel? We know this sounds disappointing, but your travel may not be permitted by state and health authorities.

Not just with symptoms of COVID, for anyone with a mild cold, headache, cough, or a seasonal fever, we suggest canceling the trip.

2. Travel wisely:
Travel implies getting in connection with strangers by some means. Sharing seats and travel space is the first possible risk. Hence it is essential to choose a safe means of travel.

Travel experts say, airlines are the safer means of travel as they pose the minimal risk of being virus carriers. Their HEPA filtering system works wonders in keeping the air clean and free from viruses. However, no one can guarantee that the stranger sharing the seat cannot be the carrier!

Driving can be a safe option to eliminate the probable risks from strangers. Pack all the essentials, stock up on fuel, pack a camping tent and gallons of drinking water on theroof rack and get ready to go on a safe journey.

On other means of travel, choose a window seat. That is the better option to escape the risk of virus contamination in closed spaces.

3. Be strict with social distancing:
Social distancing is the safest precaution to mitigate the risk of exposing oneself to coronavirus. The lesser the interaction with strangers, the safer. Remember, no shake hands and no physical contacts.

Politely distance away from people who are not wearing masks. Be doubly mindful when sharing pools, petrol bunks, shops and markets, bathrooms, dining spaces, and common areas.

Wear masks all the time (psst!..You may lower the mask while taking a selfie, but put it on asap!) Masks can prevent many hazards that could happen by touching the mouth and nose.

Invest in a pair of good hand gloves and get habituated wearing them. A mask and gloves can protect from the risky surfaces of contact such as taxi handles, lift buttons, ATM knobs, doors, windows, bill counters, POS buttons, etc.

4. Wash hands sanitize, repeat:
Washing hands thoroughly is the new normal. Get used to it at the earliest and put it in practice. Rinse hands and wash hands deeply using rich lather and dry them. Repeat this as many times as possible during travel.

Pump up the volume of good quality sanitizer in the backpack. Carry a handy-sized bottle all the time in a pocket or handbag. Sanitise hands before and after touching anything. Also, make it a habit to sanitize handbags, wallets, spectacles, watches, mobile phones, chargers, and headsets frequently.

5. Stay connected with friends and family:

Either traveling solo on business or going on an adventurous trip with buddies, make sure to be in touch with parents and family. Inform them at every stage of travel and let them know your well-being. Share the details of the day- whom you met, what you ate, and where you stay. Sharing intrinsic details with family and informing them about location and activities can help in times of need.

By Haadi