Is it the right time to travel again?

A man looking at the sky, wondering if it's the right time to travel
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COVID-19 has sure left us with consequences. The virus has had a serious impact on the world economy and the travel industry. However, after being stuck in their homes for months, more and more people are eager to travel somewhere. But, is it the right time to travel again? Let’s try to answer that question here and now.

A plane flying
Photo by Sam Willis on Pexels.com

Preparation is crucial

Whenever you need to travel, you know that it’s important to get everything ready including your vehicle. But in these times, it’s even more important to be truly prepared, since the consequences could be more serious than before. For starters, your car needs to be ready for the whole trip. Next, you need to have masks, disinfectants, and gloves with you at all times. Also, carry some soap with you, so that you can wash your hands every once in a while. Remember that it’s better to follow the safety measures than to have your travel ruined by COVID-19 symptoms.

Choosing Travel Insurance

Now that Covid-19 is a part of our everyday lives, ConsumersAdvocate.org wanted to better comprehend how travel insurance works with this new “normal”. Their in-depth guide on the best travel insurance features a side by side comparison of multiple companies voted “best for” in different categories. The insurances were researched based on types of coverage, financial strength, pricing, reputation, and extra benefits like support lines and mobile apps (a must for future adventures!).

It’s important to highlight that with Covid-19 the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) add-on is considered a must for cancellation coverage. As the name itself suggests, it functions as one of the extra add on’s that allows you to cancel for any reason. It is always important to consider your travel insurance alternatives so you can travel worry-free and focus on the fun.

Is it wiser to travel to a domestic location?

The USA has many great locations that you could visit, from the best beaches in America, to amazing and awe-inspiring national parks. But, since the cases of the coronavirus have been reported in every state, you should know that even domestic travel increases the chances of spreading the virus. While experts agree that traveling close to home to a less-crowded place poses a lower risk, keep in mind that even state-mandated travel restrictions vary, so you should check the official state travel website for more information. Here’s some of the latest information:

  • Hawaii is opening up for tourists with COVID-19 testing
  • In Florida, a two-week-long quarantine is necessary for visitors from certain states
  • In Maine, visitors with a negative COVID-19 test aren’t required to self-isolate

Different sets of rules

Every country has its own set of rules right now. So, you have to know exactly the country you’re traveling to and follow the most current guidelines. Here aresome of the rules that are in force at the moment:

  • Some European countries that are major travel destinations are still off-limits to U.S. tourists, so it’s not the right time to travel to Greece, France or Italy
  • Visitors to the UK are required to self-isolate for two weeks
  • Iceland is extending the restrictions for the US tourists until at least July 1
  • Non-essential travelers are banned from entering Canada, but permanent residents or citizens of Canada are allowed entry with  a two-week-long quarantine
  • The Bahamas reopened July 1, and it appears that they won’t require testing

Hotels in the U.S.

Hotels have been deemed essential businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. However, in some states, there were certain restrictions for hotels. For example, they weren’t permitted to welcome regular guests, but only pandemic-related guests, like medical staff, or non-critical patients. Now that hotels are returning back to normal, even with enhanced cleaning practices, it’s important to protect yourself as much as possible. Be sure to clean the surfaces like doorknobs, tables, and light switches.

Renting a car

Renting a car is a low-risk way to travel, compared to using public transport that puts the passengers at risk. However, while person-to-person contact poses a greater risk, you should remember that the virus can remain on certain surfaces for days. Also, research also shows that it can remain in the air for an hour or so. For this reason, while car rental companies are carefully cleaning vehicles, you should also remember to wipe down all surfaces and increase ventilation, just in case.

What about flying?

The CDC and other health authorities are saying that flying is a good option, as there is no high risk of infection on airplanes. With the drop in air travel, it’s much easier to keep the suggested six feet between passengers, or in other words, maintain social distancing. Additionally, almost all international planes have HEPA filters that clean the air. Of course, you should still clean your hands and the surfaces that you touch frequently, and wear a mask.

Woman putting on a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Is wearing a mask mandatory?

Most airports and airlines require people to wear a mask. You might have noticed that there has been a debate on whether wearing a mask truly provides the protections against infection or not. However, the CDC advises everyone to wear masks and to keep the proper distance. While masks might not provide full protection, wearing masks can significantly help reduce transmission of the virus. Research shows that wearing a mask prevents the infection from spreading person to person. Regardless of whether this is the right time to travel, the right way to do it is with a mask.

Should you avoid cruises?

There were many reported and confirmed cases among passengers on cruise ships. For that reason, the CDC has issued a warning that advises travelers to avoid cruises for a period of time, especially for high-risk groups. Besides, most cruise lines seem to be waiting until the middle of September to start with their voyages again.

Is it the right time to travel if you want to avoid any inconvenience?

During the pandemic, some people were stuck in foreign countries unable to get back home, cruise ships were unable to dock, flights were canceled by the hundreds, etc. After all, these are peculiar andchallenging times, and no one knows what to expect in the near future. So, if you want to avoid any potential inconvenience, it might be smart to avoid any traveling for now if you can.

Suggestion

If you don’t have to travel, but still want to, choose a safer alternative. You can go visit a national park with people you’re already in contact with, such as your family members. As long as you stay out of contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces, your trip should be characterized as lower-risk.

Conclusion

So is it the right time to travel again? Well, it’s not the best time to travel, that’s for sure. But in case your trip is urgent or you’ve decided to return home after living abroad, it’s still doable. Just try to follow all the safety measures, as their purpose is to protect you as well as other people.

Tips for Staying Fit While You Travel

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on July 9, 2019 by Mark Crone

Travelling is very much about breaking your normal routine, but it’s also important to keep up with your fitness and workouts. Whether you’re staying in hotels or higher-altitude spots like towers, leave the elevators behind and climb the stairs instead. Find restaurants within walking distance from your hotel, because a nice walk back to the hotel after a meal always feels great—especially through a park or nearby shoreline. Here are more ideas for staying fit while travelling:

1.Turn airline terminals into walking tracks

In all likelihood, you’ll do plenty of walking at the airport, from checking in, through security, then towards your gate. But rather than just sitting in front of your gate waiting to board the plane, why not explore the airport? You’ll discover shops, restaurants, artwork and more by going on a discovery walk. There’s plenty of time for sitting on the plane, and a walk around the terminal is good exercise (even more so if you’re wearing a Fit Bit!).

2. See the sights on foot

From the magnificent parks of London to the streets of Paris, there’s often no better way to take in the views, scents, and surprises of the local culture than on foot.

While you can find some great guidebooks, maps and apps to help, why not have a local take you on a tour and show you the neighbourhood favorites? On my last trip to Paris, I took a walking tour with Context Travel. Context is a network of specialists and scholars who act as private guides and lead small groups on walking tours through some of the world’s greatest cities. Tours include archaeology, art history, cuisine, history, urban planning, environmental science, and classics. The tour of Marais continued for almost 3 hours and included various stops in a market, a bakery, butcher shop, foie gras shop, cheese shop, wine and Armagnac shop and a chocolatier.

We certainly hit 10,000 steps, even though it didn’t feel like it. Organized walking tours are immersive and well worthwhile to make you feel like a local (and less like a tourist). If you can, take your tour within the first few days of your trip. You’ll get a better feel for the city, culture, local area and the places that you’ll want to return to later.

3. Plan at least one activity everyday

Is the morning full of standing in shops and art museums? After lunch, change it up with some destination-specific activities. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, your concierge will point you in the right direction and to some safe pedestrian routes. Experience what the region is known for. Wanderingthe markets of London, rock climbing in Austria or surfing in Hawaii is a lot more fun than running on a treadmill in your hotel.

You can also book unique fitness outings with Airbnb Experiences. Like walking tours, these are activities led by locals who are passionate about sports, wellness, and getting outdoors—Rappel through East Zion Canyons in Utah, or go on a bike adventure in Toronto. You can get a real taste of the destination by combining a sightseeing tour with a workout!

4. Utilize your hotel amenities

The obvious way to stay fit while travelling is to book hotels or resorts with fitness centers and/or guest passes to nearby gyms. There’s nothing like a workout first thing in the morning, within minutes of waking up. Even doing a short workout is a whole lot better than doing nothing at all. You’ll have worked fitness into each day before your vacation day has even started.

The days of dark, small and ill-equipped hotel gyms are gone. Westin and Fairmont Hotels let you rent or borrow workout gear to hit their gyms or a nearby running route plotted by RunWestin concierges. Indoor cyclists at select Westin locations can even live-stream Peloton classes in a WestinWORKOUT studio. Hilton has Five Feet to Fitness, where select room categories offer a selection of equipment and accessories to do in-room workouts. Of course, you can always book a full-on fitness vacation. Look for yoga retreats with Yogascapes, immersive outdoor getaways with GAdventures, or biking escapades with Interpid Travel.

“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”


Safe travels,
Mark

Pros and Cons of Working While on the Road

Working and traveling has many advantages and disadvantages. Read on for tips on how to manage working remotely.

Working remotely is possible and can be simple with some good balance. As with any situation – there are pros and cons to working while on the road. Sometimes it also depends on the individual and whether you are able to create a habit and maintain an organized lifestyle while balancing travel and work at the same time. In any case, before you take on a remote job and hit the road, make sure that you are ready for any and all advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Working while traveling can be both fun and overwhelming. It also is not for everyone. If you are the type of person able to organize your time well and handle last-minute stress – all while going places, then a remote job could be for you. Moreover, our key tip for working while on the road is good time management. With solid tactics and strategies, you can succeed at working remotely and traveling as long as you make a plan before you start your journey. Therefore, come up with a daily schedule that works for you. Meanwhile, create it so that it enables you to complete everything in time and stay on top of your game at all times.

On the other hand, before you begin working while on the road, make sure that things at home are taken care of so that you don’t worry about it later on. For example, why not rent out your place while you are away? Doing so, you could profit while being away. In addition, storing your belongings while you are away would be a great idea.

You can have everything in one place and know that it’s well taken care of. As you are getting ready to leave, you can avoid additional wasted time by booking an efficient moving company and have them relocate your belongings to a storage unit. Now that all things are dealt with at home, bon voyage!

Pros & Cons

The list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working while on the road might differ from one person to the next. However, here is a generic list of pros and cons to help you decide whether working remotely is for you.

Advantages

If we think about a regular 9 am to 5 pm job, you spend most of your day in an office within the same setting. An enclosed space with the same people, and daily activities mostly remaining the same. If one place doesn’t hold you, and you need to have a constant change, then working while on the road is for you. Why? You will never be in the same place for a long time. Working remotely will open you up to new places, new experiences, a variety of cultures and lots of sightseeing. This, however, is only possible with good balance and time management.

Another pro of working while on the road is the variety of people you get to meet and the increase in overall productivity. I don’t know about you, but when I travel and work, I have more energy and motivation to complete my work. It is never dull. With every day being different, it always keeps you on your toes, especially if it’s an important trip. In addition, the number of people you get to communicate with and form relationships with is truly amazing.

Disadvantages

One con that might be common amongst people is the fact that you have to maintain an organized schedule. Without organization, working while on the road becomes risky and messy. You start with one missed due date and it can pile on. The constant up-keeping with a busy schedule can add to being more tired. Also, constantly traveling and moving from one place to the next – you might notice a loss of energy and more need for rest.

Another disadvantage of traveling and working is that you will be away from family and friends the majority of the time. You have to be ready for the fact that you might not see them for a while.

Furthermore, we never mentioned the finances of all of this. Yes, you are working while traveling, but going from one place to the next can definitely add up. Managing your finances is definitely key, as well as staying within budget. It can become easy to get carried away with spending.

Work, work, work!

Once again, working while on the road is definitely not for everyone. We recommend evaluating your situation as well as our list of advantages and disadvantages before you contemplate trying to work remotely. Are you good with your time management? Do you work well when setting your own schedule and handling last-minute pressure? If so, and you want to immerse yourself in working while on the road all the while being surrounded by new people and various cultures, then remote work is for you. You never know, as this can help you grow in ways you might not have ever imagined. Meanwhile, if you know yourself well and are aware that balancing all those elements isn’t for you then perhaps working while on the road is something you shouldn’t do. Overall, however, we believe that you cannot know or understand something unless you try it. The pros and cons will always be there, and so what? You might surprise yourself along the way, and in the end, you have nothing to lose and perhaps lots to gain. Get on working!

Author’s Bio

Jane Connors is a journalism graduate who decided to travel the world all the while gaining writing experience. As someone who’s been to a few countries, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips on traveling, working and sometimes both at the same time.