There is a lot of advice that we hear about almost everything, almost every day. Advising them to travel this year within or outside our borders, visit the wonderful beach or enjoy the mountain air, in a large hotel or in a small rural house and do it by car or plane, would be too daring for me. I prefer to leave some of these tips for politicians and bloggers with more courage and hidden interests, but I will venture to suggest the following pre-travel and post-COVID-19 tips for your physical, mental and financial safety as well.
When you get on a plane for the umpteenth time and it is time for safety instructions, do you usually pay attention to their instructions? I do not know if during any of those trips they have had a morbid thought like the following: “I hope I do not have to regret not having heard how to fasten the happy life preserver”, but in these special summer holidays 2020 I am not going to ask them their attention as do those who ask for help but I will shout like the savvy who knew how to get it: FIREOOOOOOOO! Ladies, gentlemen, before and during your vacation, please:
1. Inform yourself before you leave and do not disconnect completely.
The basic information to travel through Spain is almost everywhere and it is easy to follow, but before doing a tour of Europe or even further afield, there are a series of elementary questions that we should clear up being the first of them if we can (or not ) enter and leave the country in question for tourism.
The borders of the countries of the European Union and the Schengen zone have been opening since Monday, June 15, but it is not possible to travel freely to each and every one of them. There is some other bilateral and reciprocity agreement and it depends on the country of origin and destination. In case you plan to leave our country by car and take a trip to Europe, the French-Spanish border will open on Sunday, June 21 and the Spanish-Portuguese border will be passable from July 1. Will we be able to enter this or that country without being subject to quarantine, without a health passport or a negative test for COVID 19?Other necessary information on probable health and safety regulations are the use -and enjoyment- of social distancing, the mandatory use (or not) of a mask in public places, taking into account the number of people who can gather (capacity), the safety measures for public transport (again, use of a mask, for example). Which services are open and which have restrictions: museums, shops, places of worship, restaurants, bars, cafes. Will beaches and tourist areas be accessible or not?
The European Union has created an excellent website that compiles all this super useful information for tourists within the European continent : Re-open EU . Traveling outside of Europe is even more complicated at the moment and although you can receive help from professionals in the sector, it would be good if you do your own research on the destination country, first of all. Australia, for example, does not seem to plan to open its borders until next year.
2. Be proactive, more than ever.
Preparing vacations well in advance is doubly necessary this summer of 2020. Not only should we reserve transportation and accommodation in good time, but it would be convenient to reserve many of the activities to do during our entire vacation. It is more common to reserve a table for lunch and dinner, but we may also need to reserve a table for bars, cafes, terraces and nightclubs; reserve time for tourist visits, to make certain purchases and enjoy certain services. It may even be necessary to reserve shifts for hiking, sports, going to the beach or the pool.
3. Flexibility and security: for your health and for your pocket.
This section has to do with our physical and financial security. I am referring to the possible cancellations due to border closures or restrictions due to outbreaks and, of course, all the complications that may appear along the way. This year there is a greater possibility that we will have to cancel our trip at the last minute and, being practical, we should seek the greatest possible flexibility in our reservations to be able to cancel the trip and the stay without any penalty (or the least possible). If it is not possible to book with a possible last minute cancellation, it would be desirable to contract a good trip cancellation insurance that covers these “new contingencies” related to the pandemic, with states of alarm or with possible border closures.
Regarding their health, when they visit another country of the European Union they should remember to apply for the European health card and for trips outside the EU, an international travel insurance with good medical coverage. This year we have no excuse not to. It is very important to protect yourself.
4. Be very patient and adapt to the moment.
I am convinced that many of you are more travelers than tourists and that the unforeseen events of the way are part of those incentives that push you to continue discovering the world, but I believe that this year will be full of surprises and inconveniences of all kinds, for those who they enjoy them and for those who avoid them at all costs. We have all made the effort to adapt to the new circumstances in our homes, in our jobs and in the social environment of our towns and cities. We all interact with much more care and with enough caution and outside the home, on the road, we will have to take it even more into account and we will make an effort to adapt and also to enjoy as much as possible.Hopefully all the trips this year are full of adventures and anecdotes that we can remember fondly in a while. Have a lot of patience and good handwriting.
All of the above tips apply even more strongly to air travel: air travel, airports, and airport borders.
More information – for updated information on air travel regulation: IATA .
Even more foresight – check with the airline to make sure the flight is not delayed or canceled and check the specific conditions on hand luggage, as some do not allow it in the cabin of the plane; maintain a safe distance at all times, including when collecting luggage ; Follow all hygienic measures and take into account the use of masks will be for a long period of time (bring spare parts, that are effective and comfortable at the same time, etc).
More flexibility – again, in case of flight suspension or border closure, it is important to know the policy of changes and refunds of the fare that we have contracted , in particular, and of the airline, in general. Will they give us a voucher? Is it valid for how long?
More patience – go to the airport with much more time than usual to avoid stress due to the slowness of each of the steps and travel services such as check-in, go through security, check-in, airport services: catering, shopping, toilets, etc; baggage claim, passing through customs in the case of third countries, filling in special forms, possible health security measures, transport to our accommodation at destination, etc.
And little more to add, for the moment.