The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we travel and experience new cultures. With your health at risk and a possibility of impacting hundreds or thousands of people around you, travelling has become harder due to the pandemic.
There are a variety of other risks you may expose yourself to if you are not prepared to travel to a new location. You may be affected by a change in climate, foods, and even water. For this purpose, it is essential to learn to travel responsibly.
Despite the many challenges, people can still travel to visit families or even for vacation. We have compiled a list of responsible ways you can travel without putting your health at risk or endangering the locals of the region.
1. Check Government Websites for Travel Restrictions and Changing Rules
Travel regulations have fluctuated over the past months due to the increase in COVID-19 cases around the world. In some cases, countries may be put on a travel ban list for the time being.
Before you make your travelling arrangements, it is extremely important to check the travel restrictions on your local government’s website. More importantly, you should also visit the destination country’s government website for more information about their travel restrictions.
Rules around travelling consistently change due to the spread of the pandemic. Taking all the precautions and familiarizing yourself with different country’s rules can help you when travelling. The government website can inform you on isolation rules, PCR testing requirements, and other proof related to tracking and tracing of travelers for safety purposes.
2. Keep Extra Stock of Essential COVID-19 Items
Whether you are traveling locally or internationally, it is important to keep a pair of extra face masks with you, along with sanitary wipes, hand sanitizers, rubber gloves, or protective screens.
These materials are travel essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is best not to rely on buying such items from the local pharmacy. You should always carry a few extras with you just in case. This is especially true when you are travelling to a foreign region where the infection cases are higher, and you are required to carry extra protection.
You should never compromise on protection against COVID-19. Not only does it keep you safe, but it protects the locals from contracting any infections or conditions that you may be carrying.
3. Always Carry Your Sunscreen and Important Medication
The difference in weather in any new location may cause skin irritation, sunburns, or other allergies. It goes without saying that you should always carry your sunscreen with you wherever you go. It is better to keep with you a high SPF when travelling to tropical countries for added layers of protection.
If you are diabetic, asthmatic, or suffer from any other underlying health condition, then you must always carry your necessary medication with you. It is also recommended that you keep anti-allergy pills, mosquito repellants, band-aids, pain killers, etc., when you are travelling to keep yourself protected.
4. Carry an Extra Plastic Bag with You for Extra Trash
Depending on where you travel, you may not always have access to a trash can. Instead of tossing your garbage out the window or under the seat of your car or plane, carrying an extra trash bag can be extremely useful.
Littering can also be deemed disrespectful to the local community and culture. Instead, you can discard items such as used masks, wrappers, spoiled foods, water bottles, cans, chewing gum, etc., in the trash bag. If you happen to come across a bin or a garbage disposal site, you can throw the plastic bag there.
Not only are you protecting the environment, but you are also paying respect to the local communities by being responsible with your trash and other wastes.
5. Learn the Local Language
It always helps when you are familiar with certain phrases in case you are not well versed in the local language. Knowing how to say, ‘thank you, ‘please’, ‘yes’, or ‘no’, can make your travelling experience a lot easier and allows the community to appreciate and respect the effort you put in learning their language.
In cases of emergencies, knowing the local language can be of great help. You can also communicate with people and understand their customs better, which can be crucial in slightly more conservative countries.