The world has been aggressively dealing with vaccine distribution. Soon, we think somewhere around summer, we will see the travel restrictions lift off with cautious and advisory plans in place. This last year, the truth is that while people are safe in their homes, with limited social interactions; everyone is chafing from all the restrictions.
The fact is that their freedom has been impacted, and people are really ready to get out of their homes, and explore.
As we begin to step out of our environments, and step back into social life again, there will be few different, yet important things, we will need to add to our checklist.
Today, we help you with an updated checklist of items that would be required when you start planning to travel again.
Basic list or Anyway list -
With such a long break since we last traveled, it is time to get back first to the list we need anyways. So, let's start with tackling the basic items first.
■ Reserve your flight tickets and make sure they are confirmed. Do not forget to check your dates of travel.
■ Check the expiry date on your passports, and if they need to be updated, start the process now. Within the US and for domestic travel, make sure your Real-IDs are in order as well. For International travel or cruise, make sure your visa requirements are taken care of.
■ Do not forget to keep copies or take pictures of important documents on your phone.
■ Make reservations for hotels, AirBnB, or cars that you would need to rent out during your travel. Any activities that you plan to do, make sure you can call and book early. Leave nothing for later. Realize that things may not be as smooth as they were before the pandemic, so it would not be advisable to leave these bookings to be made in the actual travel location.
■ If traveling internationally, make sure to make all the required bookings for internal travel, by train or air.
■ Check the international phone and data plans.
■ Make sure you have all your supplements and prescription medications, and order refills for anything that is in short supply.
■ Look into the possibility of buying medical and travel insurance, especially for international travel.
■ Checkout the sites you would like to travel to, check if they are even open to the public.
■ Prepare a well-planned itinerary and buy whatever you need for your travel. For example, check if you need swimsuits for the ever-growing children.
■ Plan out your clothing, shoes, and toiletries.
■ Make an inventory of all personal items that you are carrying like tablets/ ipads, phones, airpods, any chargers, laptop, data banks, adapters and hard cash.
■ Make sure to pack any non airport-friendly items like razors, scissors, nail clippers, battery packs etc. in your check-in luggage. Just as a reminder, you can have lotions weighing 3oz or less, in your carryon baggage.
Post COVID extras list -
With the basics out of the way, let's now target some extra stuff we will need to travel with. Before jumping into the list, we would like to say that, please use your common sense, and be ready to do your own due diligence. No doubt, there is an extra hassle to travel these days, than pre-pandemic times, but instead of fighting it and stressing about it, just accept the circumstances the way they are, and keep a cool mind. We will try to make this process as easy as possible for you. So, let's begin.
■ A carryon bag will have to accommodate sanitizers, disinfectant wipes or spray, hand soap and a pair of gloves. Every time you touch any public knobs, handles or tabletops etc., remember to sanitize your hands as often as possible.
■ Of course, masks will be required to be worn all the time by all members of your family. But, make sure to carry a few extras just in case.
■ It will not be enough to be masked at all times of travel though, you will also need additional face shields or protective visors, especially while in transit through the airports or train stations.
■ Make sure to carry personal and refillable water bottles. Keep yourself hydrated at all times.
■ Check your local travel authorities for the latest travel requirements. Some countries are working on needing a Vaccination Passport, that will have all the details of your vaccination status, as well as any tests that are performed, when entering or leaving a country. If these are required, then these may need some extra time to be prepared. Make sure you have accounted for this possibility. Within the US, carry your vaccination card everywhere you go. Also, you might require to provide proof of a recent COVID test. Keep a recording of all your tests.
■ Keep a travel towel for yourself and each member of your family. Use these personal towels to wipe your hands after a restroom break, or whenever the need arises.
An additional, but important thought -
Once you have figured out all that you need to carry, and made a list that works in your favor, make sure to follow any rules or etiquettes that local airports or train stations expect you to. It is a different world now, that we are traversing, and it is in everyone's benefit that we follow caution, even if it is a little inconvenient. Here's a small list of obvious extras that might help in that regard.
■ Wear visors over your masks at airports, even if it is not mandatory to do so, and wear full sleeves and gloves. These simple precautions go a long way in making sure that there is no possibility of catching an infection.
■ The six feet social distancing is pretty much a norm now. No one will be offended if you keep a distance while talking or sitting. Keep the skin-to-skin contact to a zero, or at least to a minimum. Use a sanitizer every chance you get, especially while in public places.
■ Keep up the good hygiene practice of coughing or sneezing into your elbow. That way, there are no germs on your hands, and therefore, a really low chance of transfer.
■ Try keeping your itinerary short. What that means is to plan to visit fewer places in one go. For example, people make plans to visit Europe, which essentially means visiting five different cities in 10-12 days. What that will also mean is, many more transits, more advisories to follow while in transit, more flights, and more chances of infection.
So, that's what we have for you today. Have a safe flight, keep it light and still fun!
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