Not to state the obvious, but COVID has been rough on everyone. A lot of new rules to follow, and a lot of restrictions on what we can and cannot do. After all the panic and stress of the past few years, a break, or dare we say vacation, seems in order. However, after almost two years of international borders being opened and shut, rules and regulations changing constantly, the idea of travelling safely may at first appear a bit daunting. So, to make things easier, we have gathered a few of our essential tips for international travel during a pandemic.
Do your Vaccine Homework
We were somewhat shocked to learn about all the different rules specific countries have and require of visitors regarding vaccines. Not all vaccines are recognised by all countries. For example, Australia does not recognise the Novavax vaccines (at the time of writing), and will not allow in visitors that have had this. France requires visitors to buy a local health pass whilst you are visiting, with all your vaccination details on it. The rules are not overly complicated, but they are important rules to be aware of nonetheless. So get studying and make sure all of your vaccine details are in order, and more importantly, recognised in the country you are planning to visit.
Book in Advance
COVID has been a pretty turbulent time for the tourism industry. Many places that had completely shut its doors for months are only now beginning to re-open, as the virus gets more and more under control. However, whilst many places are re-opening, they are not operating under the same conditions they once were. Many restaurants/ tourism sites are opening less days a week than normal and bringing in less staff to try and remain as COVID safe as possible. Therefore, booking and planning ahead will be your best friend. We certainly do not want you winging it only to find your dream attraction is closed on that day.
Consider Travel Insurance
This kind of follows on from our plan ahead tip but is more of a ‘plan ahead for the worst-case scenario’ tip. We all know how quickly things can change in this day and age. One day there are zero cases, the next day there is thousands. Purchasing a travel insurance that covers COVID related trip cancellations or medical benefits would be a wise idea. In any other time, a pedantic move, today, completely necessary.
There are several little things you can pack in your bag to bring you that little bit of extra peace of mind. For example, it is recommended that P2 masks (AKA N95 or KN95 masks), be worn on flights. This is for several reasons but mainly because these masks are a tighter fit than regular masks, and are therefore safer for you and the people around you, especially if you are on a long haul flight. Another reason why this mask works better for international jetsetters is that they’re more comfortable and breathable due to their synthetic material. Packing other things such as a digital thermometer to regulate your own temperature, and antibacterial wet wipes are also essential items for pandemic travel. A small sling bag to keep all of your important travel documents organised is also a must. ALPAKA boasts a range of these efficient sling bags, each with enough space for the essentials. And to hold it all together, we’d recommend a lightweight backpack such as our Element Backpack that is both sturdy yet not bulky.
Your vacation does not need to be put on hold, it just needs some extra planning and care. Travel smart and you’ll be travelling safe!