Cancelled getaways, family vacations, work conferences; it’s been five months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced borders shut across the world. Expectedly, people are increasingly feeling the stress and lockdown fatigue has certainly set in; but even with countries gradually lifting travel restrictions and re-opening borders, many people are still uncertain about how to plan trips. Besides the considerable risk involved, new travel restrictions and regulations have made taking a holiday more complicated than before.
However, with meticulous planning and adherence to safety guidelines, travelling safely is indeed possible. So, if you’re thinking of taking a holiday to de-stress at one of the global destinations that are re-opening to tourists, or spend some much-needed time with family, here are a few tips to do so safely and as stress-free as can be reasonably expected:
- Outbound Country Guidelines: Expectedly, all countries have introduced new travel guidelines. Many, including the UAE, require a negative COVID-19 test certificate. The certificate must be for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. Asides negative PCR test certificates, there are a number of other constantly evolving guidelines, so make sure to check as many times as possible before your trip, to be sure you haven’t missed anything.
- Destination Country Guidelines: In addition to health documents and test certificates, some destinations require a mandatory 2-week isolation period upon arrival. Be sure to check the stipulations of your intended destination before booking your trip, particularly if you don’t have many vacation days. There won’t be any point in spending a two-week vacation isolating in a foreign country. If you do have enough travel days to accommodate mandatory isolation, make sure to pack adequate entertainment. Perhaps it’s time to pull out that novel you’ve been trying to read for a while. If travelling as a family/group, take board games and group activities that can keep everyone occupied for the period of isolation.
- Airline requirements: Besides having their own travel stipulations, airlines are a great place to begin your checks, as they usually congregate information from the outbound country and destinations. You can typically find most of the information you need for your trip via the airline’s website.
- Employer requirements: Some organizations have introduced a mandatory two-week isolation policy upon return from international travel, so as an employee in such organizations, you’ll need to build that into your vacation plans. This may not necessarily mean that you can’t resume work when you return – you’ll just have to make sure you’re adequately equipped to work from home before you leave, until the isolation period is over.