None of us had ever thought in the darkest of our nightmares that someday the world would be held hostage by a microbe and we all would be locked down in our homes for days and months together. However, as it’s said, ‘reality is stranger than fiction’, we have experienced it starting March 2020 until very recently. Even though life’s getting back to normal, the horror of the pandemic continues to haunt us and probably it’ll until we get that most awaited shot in the arm, quite literally.
Travel certainly tops the list of the many things we missed badly during the lockdown. And now, when the pandemic is still around, travelling gets more responsible than ever before. Needless to say, it demands the utmost care and caution from all of us so that we can travel, explore and celebrate safely.
As you venture out in search of some much-needed rejuvenation and adventure, we bring to you 5 things to keep in mind before you travel again. So, are you up for exploration again?! Read on…
1. Keep it Normal
Probably one of the famous quotes across the globe is by the legendary American self-help author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, and we can’t agree with him more! Things are as normal as we perceive them to be. Remember, how security at airports around the world was tightened after the global tragedy of 9/11? But somehow, over the time, we all got used to the security measures and could readily extend our co-operation at the security checks, which eventually became a norm at many public places including shopping malls, events, auditoriums, cinema halls, etc.
Let’s consider the post-lockdown world to be normal too. It’ll only help us calm down and reduce our anxieties and fears to a great extent. Let masks, sanitizers, and social distancing be as normal as we have been using them for ages now and then see how life becomes easy and convenient. Probably this is the reason why all of this is known as the ‘New Normal’, so let’s even consider and keep it so – Just as normal as our grandparents and parents used to ask us as kids to wash our hands before eating, or how we have been greeting each other traditionally with a Namaste in India… It shouldn’t be difficult at all, isn’t it?
2. Plan Ahead
Gone are the days when we used to simply hop skip and jump to the nearest departmental store to buy our favourite biscuit, which we ran out of for enjoying with our cuppa. Over the last couple of months, most of us have been either buying the groceries and other essentials for the next entire week or a fortnight at one go, thus reducing our frequency of stepping out. When planning ahead has found its way in our day-to-day life, how can it not with regard to our getaways. So, right from deciding upon the destination, going through its travel guide to know the current prevailing situation and statistics in the region, to learning about any specific travel safety tips released by the authorities of the place, etc…. If all of this is done well in advance, it can really help us enjoy a well-planned and enjoyable holiday, minus any unpleasant surprises.
Moreover, our team of travel experts at Veena World is always on its toes to help you with any kind of travel information you are looking out for and can suggest you the perfect destination for your upcoming holiday. So, go ahead and plan now!
3. Safety Measures
By now, safety measures seem to have become a cliché. We have been hearing about them all through since the pandemic broke out and it has become a part of our lifestyle, if we have been really following the guidelines with sincere efforts, caring for ourselves and our loved ones. Needless to mention, when safety measures have been of utmost importance even while stepping out for groceries and other essentials, how can they not be when travelling in the post-lockdown world! So right from avoiding crowds to reducing human contact by switching to digitals modes of payments in order to maintain social distancing and staying masked all the time along with using a generous amount of sanitizer and washing hands frequently is what we have been doing all these days and will only have to continue on our travels too.
Although, we as travellers, won’t need to wear that full body-protecting suit, mostly used by the medical staff and other frontline workers, a mask is the only thing that makes for our PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. If you feel, you can even use hand gloves and eye goggles for protecting your hands and eyes respectively. Along with the protection of eyes and face, it’s also important that we get rid of the virus if it ever happens to stick on our other body parts, when we venture out in public places. Always remember to take a bath with warm water and soap whenever you return to your hotel room after sightseeing or whenever you happen to surround yourself with many people. Use a new set of clothes daily and pack the used ones separately in a spare bag. Also, do sanitize your phone, camera, handbag and other accessories upon returning to your room. And you can do it easily using an alcohol-based sanitizer spray, which you would have carried along with you. Hotel properties around the world are being cautious with regard to overall sanitization and hygiene. Still, if you feel, you can simply go ahead and clean and sanitize the frequently touched surfaces in your hotel room too, which include doorknobs, keys, light switches, tabletops, etc. using an alcohol-based sanitizer spray.
You need to clean your hands regularly. Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. We all seem to have spent most of this year washing our hands, still, a refresher’s crash course in the right way to wash hands will only be helpful. Find a chart of instructions below that explains the correct way in which we all should be washing our hands. Remember, washing your hands properly takes about at least 20 seconds or more or as long as singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% or more of alcohol) if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water. And as you know, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Always remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately either wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
Talking of the food safety precautions, while travelling, it’s always advisable that you eat piping hot food. You can probably consume foods that have been manufactured and packed at a food factory, where they would have followed all the hygiene and sanitization measures. Avoid consuming cold foods. Possibly, don’t share your plate with others and maintain a safe distance from each other while eating. Avoid talking while eating, which may release droplets from your mouth.
Upon returning home, if you have family members of the vulnerable age group, you can simply get yourself tested for covid-19, to avoid any kind of transmission to them. Even consider it to be as normal as just another blood test done at a pathology lab or a body test at a diagnostic centre. And rest assured, if you have followed all the guidelines sincerely and have been cautious enough, while still enjoying your holiday, you’ll be tested negative.
4. Stay Aware, Stay Safe
Gone are the days when we used to live carefree. This pandemic has indeed taught us to be watchful and mindful at our every step. And if taken optimistically, this is indeed a positive trait that probably we had been taking for granted. In Yoga, it’s said that meditation is indeed the best way to stay aware and be watchful of the thoughts that cross our mind, without entertaining them. Staying aware is probably the essence of our existence as human beings and being mindful of what do we do at every moment is very essential. While we undertake all the safety measures, we need to be aware of exactly how are we behaving in public or what and how are we eating or even what are we touching… All of this will only help keep our mind alert all the time and will naturally protect us from the virus. Amidst this pandemic, staying aware is staying safe.
5. Stay Positive
Optimism can probably help us beat all odds, even this pandemic. With negativity all around, the only thing that can help us sail through without taking a toll on our sanity is our positive outlook. Let’s consider the lockdown to be a pause button that mother nature pressed for nature to reclaim its spaces. It was also probably the much-needed blow that the entire humanity needed only to realise that we all have been so cruel with nature all through and for us to introspect on this. And now when we can again start travelling after being locked down in our homes for months together, our this very positive outlook will help us realise the importance of travelling, exploring and celebrating life, which we earlier used to take for granted.
Also, let’s consider ourselves fortunate enough that the pandemic has hit the world in the times when we all can still stay connected to each other without having to even step out of our houses. Although we don’t have a fully effective medication or vaccine for covid-19 yet, still medical science has developed to an extent that if diagnosed earlier, one can be completely cured of the infection. The mortality rate in the covid-19 pandemic is much lower, almost negligible, than what it was for small-pox or the very recent Ebola. And with the recovery rate hitting a record high of 90% or more in India these days, there’s every reason to be optimistic enough, but still, no reason to be complacent or careless. Stay Careful, not carefree and take measures but leave no room for getting worried, distressed or depressed. We all shall get through this together.
So, these were the 5 things that you should keep in mind before travelling again. We hope, these simple yet vital things will definitely help you order your mind and calm down all your anxieties. Just adapt to the new normal and the world will be yours to explore and enjoy all over again. By the way, can you think of any other such things that one should keep in mind while travelling in the post-lockdown world? Do let us know in the comments below. Here’s wishing you a happy and safe holiday!
Celebrate Travel! Celebrate Life!