With travel restrictions easing and vaccines more readily available, many people are thrilled to book the vacations they had to forego over the past year. If you’re considering travel soon, how can you be sure you’re doing it as safely as possible?
Safety considerations vary according to where you’re going and how you plan to get there. Read on for some tips to keep in mind whatever your travel plans may be.
Prepare to Cruise the High Seas Again
The cruise industry is gradually restarting operations this year, with the specific details varying according to the cruise line. Most are optimistic about having their ships out on the seas again by the end of 2021, so if you’re dreaming of an exciting Eastern Caribbean cruise, your adventure may be just around the corner.
Some cruise lines will require proof of vaccination for adult passengers and crew, as well as a negative COVID test for children. Other precautions such as reduced capacity, increased cleaning protocols, and mask-wearing may be common for the foreseeable future as the cruising industry safely reopens for eager travelers to board.
If a cruise is in your future, be sure to check frequently with the cruise line to stay up-to-date on their plans and policies, as these may change depending on the shifting reality of COVID-19 throughout the world.
Keep Up With What’s Happening on the Ground
No matter where you’re headed, check out the destination’s COVID safety measures. The rules and realities are constantly shifting, so stay up on the situation and bring your own masks and hand sanitizer. It’s also a good idea to check with your health insurance provider to find out which health care facility you should visit if someone gets sick on vacation.
One of the best ways to find information is by searching sites such as TripAdvisor or joining a local Facebook group to stay up-to-date on what’s happening on the ground. For international travel, consider hiring a local guide to help you navigate the area as safely as possible.
Invest in Insurance
Travel insurance is another important way to protect yourself while traveling in 2021 since it can help you get back part of the money you spent should you have to cancel travel plans due to illness or forced quarantine.
If you’re traveling overseas, you should seriously consider travel medical insurance since many countries will only treat you if you prepay and will not accept your U.S.-based medical insurance.
Keep Your Distance Whenever Possible
Consider booking private accommodations rather than a hotel if possible. Bring disinfecting supplies to wipe down light switches and doorknobs, then throw open the windows to air the place out. Staying in an apartment or house with a kitchen also means less exposure to others in hotel dining rooms and restaurants. Of course, you can splurge on a nice dining-out experience by finding a local restaurant that adheres to outdoor distancing and other safety protocols.
If you do decide to stay in a hotel, check out some tips for ensuring your stay is as safe as possible. Keys to look for are hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance of the building, dust-free vents in your guest room, and a spotlessly clean bathroom. And don’t hesitate to ask the front desk staff about the COVID precautions they are taking.
Going on vacation in 2021 doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. Maintain the same safety measures you’ve been following at home, including avoiding large crowds, wearing a mask, and washing hands frequently. Schedule outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and boating that are fun and keep you safely distanced from others at the same time.
It is possible to safely enjoy a fantastic getaway this year. With a bit of planning and preparation, your vacation will be the perfect reward after all the past year’s difficulties and the source of great memories for many years to come.