How to Keep Healthy when Travelling Again
For all those travel addicts who have patiently been waiting for the day that they could board an airplane, the time has finally come! As we’re sure you travel enthusiasts already know, Malta will open its airport to over 20 destinations on the 1st of July, with flights to and from the remaining destinations possible as of the 15th of July, so it’s vital to keep healthy when travelling, now more than ever.
Caution when travelling should be advised even when not taking a trip during a global pandemic, but especially so during these times as the nature of travelling itself means that you would find yourself in more crowded areas than you typically would at home. Whether it’s visiting a famous but crowded landmark, using public transport rather than your personal car or sleeping in a bed that’s not yours (we’re referring to hotels and BnB’s here, just so we’re clear), social distancing and sanitisation might get a little harder.
Despite all this, travelling has become a part of our daily lives and has been said to have amazing benefits as it helps us relax, allows us to live new experiences and pushes us outside our comfort zones. So, who are we to shun travelling? But let’s face facts, travel, at least for the time being, will not be the same as it once was. Although we recommend that you should still only travel if absolutely necessary, for those who do plan to embark on a trip in the near future, here are some tips to make sure that your remain healthy when travelling, but that your holiday is also enjoyable. Whilst washing your hands regularly, avoiding crowded places and opting for outdoor activities are standard, here are some other factors to consider.
1. Choosing a Destination
It goes without saying, when picking a destination, make sure you research the country’s health measures and check whether you need to spend the first two weeks in quarantine – not ideal for a short weekend break. In addition, there might be great sales and offers on flights to incentivise travelling, so grab yourself a great deal whilst also considering travelling to less popular destinations to avoid the crowds. You might be surprised by the hidden treasures you can come across when you venture off the beaten track. You will also help boost the economy of such places which might have taken a hit from the pandemic and that typically cannot rely on tourism for income.
2. Choosing a Hotel
When researching potential hotel options, check the accommodation’s disinfection policies. Ideally, book a hotel that offers online check-in and payments, or other contactless systems. Choose a location that is central to the places and landmarks you would like to visit so that you can, if possible, avoid having to take public transport. Most importantly, book rooms with free cancellation, to avoid any further disruption.
3. Choosing a Room
In any other situation, we would recommend booking the highest floor at one of the best hotels to make sure you get those instagrammable views. However, given the current pandemic, it’s best to avoid riding in elevators for longer than you need to. A lower floor would not only mean that it might make sense for you to take the stairs but if you do have to use the elevator, especially if you are carrying heavy luggage, a lower floor would require less time on an elevator. Plus, lower floors are usually cheaper and, more importantly, closer to the breakfast bar.
4. Eating Out – What to Avoid
Buffets. If your hotel offers prepaid meals such as breakfast and dinner, or perhaps you’re going out for lunch, avoid buffets if you want to keep healthy when travelling. Besides having people use the same utensils as others, a buffet means that individuals and groups, especially young children, are at close proximity to the food you are eating, which can be unsettling if they are not wearing a facemask. Talking about unsettling, don’t forget the occasional instances when children pick up a food item from the display, only to put it back! Forget the pandemic, avoid buffets, period. If you’re really concerned about eating out, the best option would be to order stay-in meals with a no-contact room service delivery.
5. Get an Artificial Intelligence or Printed Guide
Whether it’s an app that you can easily access on your phone or a travel guidebook that you can keep for sentimental reasons, it may be a good idea to avoid tours for the time being. Although private tours are better, those with small groups means that you might be around a bunch of people for a long duration of time.
6. Don’t Unpack
Unless you have a business meeting for which you need unwrinkled shirts, avoid unpacking. This means keeping your toothbrush in your toiletry bag once clean and dry and simply reducing the amount of contact your personal items have with hotel room surfaces. If you like to leave your stuff out while you’re not in the room, avoid instances that may require housekeeping to touch or move your items.
Remember to try your best to remain healthy when travelling this summer to keep the virus at bay. Bon Voyage!