-this post is contributed-
It’s safe to say that people worldwide are missing being able to pack up and jet off whenever they want to experience the world. From spur of the moment trips to carefully planned holidays abroad, the lack of travel plans in people’s lives can really be a depressing thought.
We got married in early October (two months ago now – going so quickly!) and we’re yet to have a honeymoon. Not essential, not too awful in the grand scheme of things, but irritating and sad nonetheless. We love nothing more than packing our rucksacks and heading off into the unknown.
With the world ever-changing, rules are constantly being reexamined and new information updated, and it can be hard to keep up and know exactly what it is safe to do and what to avoid. That doesn’t mean you should avoid planning holidays – especially for 2021!
Even the thought of getting away in the distant future can be a goal on the horizon to look forward to in the coming months. We are planning to travel in 2021 if we can, heading to Thailand on our honeymoon for a month, and then a week in NYC at another point in the year. We’ve been planning for months, so all we need now is the go ahead to travel safely.
So, what are the best ways to prepare for travel in a pandemic?
The UK has set up safe travel corridors to specific countries, meaning you can travel there when it is safe to do so depending on current UK restrictions and tier levels. Countries on the safe list mean you do not need to isolate on your return. Check this daily to keep up to date with changes in the upcoming weeks before your travel date. This will allow you time to prepare should the rules change between now and your arrival/departure date. Things are changing every day, and there’s no guarantee a ‘safe’ destination won’t be added to the ‘do not travel’ list – so bear that in mind.
You’ll likely have to take a COVID test to prove you do not have the virus, leading up to your travel plans. You can do this through the Government scheme, or if you’re short on time or can’t get a test, go private. Taking a private fit to fly test will give you and your travel providers peace of mind that you have taken the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe before you travel.
Obtaining sufficient travel insurance is vital. Firstly you need to make sure you are covered for your destination and any pre-existing health conditions. Secondly, you need to check the small print and make sure your plans and indeed yourself are covered in the event of a positive COVID test. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country after catching the virus and then be unable to cover medical or accommodation costs. Ensure that you are covered before you travel, and you know what to do in the event of being unfit to return home due to a positive COVID test.
As I mentioned above, when discussing travel corridors from the UK for foreign countries, you need to be aware of rules regarding travel and isolation upon arrival at your destination. Having to isolate for 7, 10 or 14 days can seriously eat into your holiday time, especially if it is a short trip. It may be that you need to consider travelling elsewhere or not at all if you will need to spend the majority of your trip inside. There are fines applicable in destinations with this type of restrictions should you be found to be breaking the rules. The same applies to your return to the UK. Follow UK guidance on when you should isolate upon your return.
Look, we all miss travel. It’s such a shame and a kicker in the horrible year that has been 2020. However, I just implore you to simply travel safely, to avoid putting not only yourself at risk, but others too. Your holiday isn’t worth infecting other people – and the destination will still be there when we can travel more freely. Think it through and do the right thing.