Travelling is still not something many people are comfortable with following almost two-year lockdown and many relapses in restrictions. Just a couple of weeks ago the government announced a set of new restrictions to deal with a new surge in cases. It is scary stuff that has most of us spending our birthdays alone afraid to interact or put others at risk. Our lives had been on hold and it’s not just in Ireland that things like this are happening.
However, I am staying hopeful that the government is doing what they think is right to keep us safe, nobody knows how to deal with this situation effectively. But travel is still open and for those brave enough to venture back into our big beautiful and ever-changing world, so here is a guide for travelling this Christmas while also being safe and responsible.
1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself
When you are booking your flights make sure to learn the current COVID-19 situation in that country. What are the travel requirements? These can all show you how severe the situation can be or how complicated it may prove. Most countries do not require a PCR test if you are fully vaccinated. Most countries need a travel location form filled out at least 24hr before your flight. If you are still concerned about your health, get a free test at your nearest walk-in centre or book an antigen test at the airport which can cost from 35–45 euros.
2. Bring the essentials
For every comfortable trip, you need a few essential bits. Right now, apart from your liquids be aware of your face coverings. When you are travelling over the Christmas holidays you need to be aware of the climate. When you are on your way to their airport to a hot country, coming from a cold climate wear your warmer bigger clothes to the airport and leave your change of clothes in your hand luggage or at the top of your pile in your suitcase. Trust me the weather can be very unpredictable.
Over the holidays I will be travelling to the States to see my mom and sister. Now, they live in Florida so the weather of course will change and the clothing I bring will need to be suitable. The United States had opened their borders on the 8th of November but please be aware of your visa and your PCR test as proof of vaccination is not enough to pass the border of the U.S.
Flying has become different, with the additional checks and the face coverings on board, it can get quite scary and even a little uncomfortable. Make sure to pace yourself when Travelling. Avoid close contact and even though the temptation may be high, do not take off your mask. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer and hand cream to keep your hands clean and hydrated as it is guaranteed you will be touching a lot of surfaces and consuming food etc. throughout your journey. This will keep you protected and hygienic, which again is very important for your health and safe travel.
3. Book smart
This is by far the biggest thing to look out for. If you are going to a country with no accommodation planned by family or friends you need to look out for affordable places that also offer refunds. With the uncertainty of the world’s current situation, you need to protect yourself and your assets.
If you travel via Booking.com some places require upfront payment. Avoid those unless you are absolutely certain of your stay. If your flight gets cancelled and you have paid for your accommodation you will be losing a pretty coin. Consider investing in the app’s loyalty of Genius discounts. If you get to level 2 (after you have stayed at 5 properties over 2 years) you can get refundable accommodation on top of your discount, which is super convenient. Please be safe during your stay but don’t let your anxiety stop you from living your life. We cannot be confined to our homes forever.