Make sure these 5 things are on your checklist before your first holiday after lockdown
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Editor’s note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
With countries around the world slowly but surely opening up again, we’re finally able to plan a summer holiday.
With all the excitement in the air about our newfound freedom, it might be easy to get swept up in the moment and book a trip and head off into the sun without a second thought. However, travelling abroad has changed dramatically from what we’re used to so we put together this guide to make sure you’re fully prepared.
Double and triple check your insurance coverage
Travel insurance should always be on the top of your checklist before any trip abroad. Because we’re in the midst of a pandemic, having the right travel insurance and knowing exactly what you’re covered for is more important than ever.
It’s important for two main reasons:
- Coverage if something goes wrong, especially if you need medical assistance.
- If you have to cancel your trip for whatever reason.
Whether you already have an existing policy, or you would need to take out a new one, be sure to check out which policies cover COVID-19 first.
Check your airline’s coronavirus policy
The inflight experience is currently very different to what it was at the beginning of March and might not be the same for a very long time. Airlines around the world have implemented a number of changes to make flying during a pandemic safer for passengers and crew.
The most fundamental and widespread of all is mandatory mask wearing inflight. Whether or not your airline is enforcing it, it’s common courtesy to do so when flying during this time.
While some airlines are slowly bringing back inflight catering, many airlines are still offering only a skeleton service such as bottled water for those who ask. It’s worth checking with your airline so you know whether or not to bring snacks onboard if you’re likely to get hungry.
Going anywhere these days requires a little extra thought when considering what you need to take with you.
If you’re going abroad, you’ll likely be flying, so make sure to remember to pack the following items in your hand luggage:
You’re likely to already be wearing one on your journey, but it’s highly advisable to pack at least one extra per person just in case — it’s better to be safe than sorry when flying during a pandemic. A lot of airlines are not providing them either so you might be able to help out a fellow passenger who forgot one!
Make sure you have easy access to hand sanitiser for when you might need it. Try to get a bottle that’s below 100 ml too so you won’t have to throw it away when going through security. If you’re taking hold luggage, then pop a couple of extra bottles in there as well for when you get to your destination.
Though many airlines are ramping up their cleaning, it might be worth bringing your own antibacterial wipes to give the high touch point areas around your seat an extra once over, just for peace of mind.
Check quarantining rules
At the start of July, the U.K. government lifted restrictions for travel from 59 low-risk countries, meaning that travel to those countries would not result in mandatory quarantine on return to the U.K. The mandate also listed countries that the government deems it safe to travel to but travellers would still be required to quarantine on their return.
It’s possible that this list of countries could change several times again over the next few months, so before booking a trip, make sure to double-check with the government’s latest advice which you can find here.
Plan more of your trip in advance
Before you decide on a destination, it might be worth spending a bit of time researching if there will be enough for you to do. For example, are the beaches open? Do you need to book a time slot at the pool? If there are big tourist attractions that you want to visit, will they be open?
Being able to just pop to a restaurant for an evening meal also might not be possible as many places now require advanced bookings which are getting snapped up. Some hotels have even brought in reservations to use the pool.
Another thing to consider is the mandatory wearing of masks in public which some countries are adopting. You might want to consider that beach resort you’ve been wanting to visit if you’ll have to wear a mask on the beach — imagine the tan lines!
Travel is back, but with a difference. Masks, socially-distanced dining and pool reservations are here and might be here to stay. Wherever you decide to travel this summer, a little extra planning and research will go a long way to make sure you have the dream summer holiday you’ve been waiting for since lockdown began.
Featured photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images
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