Traveling during and after a pandemic. Just a word or 2. Or 3...
Whether you say no way would I ever (as is completely your right. You need to be comfortable with whatever decisions you make). Hmmmmm, been thinking about it but I don’t know or anything else. If you happen to decide to travel, here are a few words from your friendly neighborhood world traveler/retreat leader/global lovin’ sistah:
Any and all decisions you make should be well informed and researched.
- Research. A lot…. And from various sources.
- What are the COVID rates where you are going? How did they handle the pandemic?
- What are the procedures to enter your destination?
- If you stay at a hotel or resort, how are they handling all of this and make sure it is safe for you.
Be aware of and respectful of the rules put in place where you are traveling, then adhere to them.
- It's fine if you do not agree with the rules, they have set in place to protect their population, by the way. Just stay your ass home then and don’t bother them with your nonsense.
- Know there is an “after” after the pandemic Just also know it will forever be different. Think face masks, vaccinations (I’ll talk about that later), testing before flights, fewer peeps on planes (I am loving Delta Airlines for sticking with this and being extremely strict), a little extra research about your destination of choice, etc.
- Take every and any precaution to stay safe. Wipes, double face masks, soap and water when you go to the bathroom. Honestly, this is stuff you should be doing anyway but thought I would stress this.
- Get the COVID test before you leave, then quarantine until you leave. I would hate for you to contract COVID between the time you test and leave. You don’t want to be a way for a little while and start to feel symptoms…. Or spread it around to the country you are travelling to. That’s just so damn rude.
According to one publication, here are the SAFEST PLACES to travel right now. Remember, one publication. Always check multiple sources.
- Vaccinations are an option for added safety. I am not telling you what to do or to go get the vaccine. I am simply telling you it is an option.
- Please, please, please do a ton of research and ask questions so you can be fully informed when you make a decision on what to do.
- Ask your doctor or a doctor you trust to address any questions or concerns.
- Here a few MYTHS BUSTED. It’s only a little bit of info but it's scientific truth. Gather your info, gather your thoughts, and make an informed decision for yourself.
Am I getting the vaccine, you ask?
Honestly, after doing all the research myself and speaking to doctors I trust (including my best friend), I decided to get it when my time comes. I registered and, as of the writing of this piece, am now waiting for my appointment. For me, being vaccinated just makes me safer and it does open the world up to me a little bit more.
I am known to be the most natural of the natural when it comes to taking care of myself, I never thought I would make the decision to do this. But, hey, here I am. I want to go more places (slowly and surely, I will) and want an extra level of protection so that is the decision I thought was best for me.
As Erykah says “you gon’ hurt your back / carrying all them bags like that”. (admittedly this is a good habit to have in general).
If it can be helped, have a small carry-on suitcase on wheels (put in the above compartment), backpack (put under seat in front) and a fanny pack wrapped around your waist (don’t judge me for my fanny packs, y’all. I swear by mine!). Not having to check bags minimizes the time you have to spend in the airport going and landing.
Another word on those fanny packs, you can say those are for grannies but y’all obviously missed those vibrant and active grandmas out there! It’s also a safer way for you to keep your important items closer to your body and out of the hands of peeps that have no business with your stuff. Oh, and my fanny packs are hella cuuuuuute! Sorry, I digress.
- Check the ratings of how the various airlines have fared during this time. Do they care about the safety or their customers? Are they taking this seriously?
Here’s a List of Airline Rankings.
- When flying, don’t get mad about wearing your mask the entire time (except to take a sip or nibble on a snack). Also, don’t feel you’ve worn your mask long enough you think it is time to take it off in the middle of your 9-hour flight. You have to wear your mask on the plane, people. Wear it the whole time and suck it up or, again, stay your ass home.
- Get to the airport early. There may or may not be delays. It just makes more sense to be prepared for anything than pissed off at anything.
- Upon arrival to your destination, have your negative COVID test result ready. If you are traveling outside the country, check the portal of the country you are heading to. They may need you to fill out some extra info there
If possible, grab an Airbnb, VRBO or private residence. It reduces your exposure to people and COVID and allows a great deal more autonomy. It’s also a little less expensive and you can grab your own food (I love this part. Gotta stay healthy. I like to know exactly what I am eating!). I have been staying at a condo when I travel to St. Thomas. It is easy to keep to myself. Therefore, I truly have no worries.
Travel throughout the US is still an option.
There are so many attractions and amazing landscapes here. BUT! You still have to be hella safe, cautious and research how the states you are going to have fared during this time. A lot of the same rules above should be applied.
Final words of wisdom
When you know you have done everything you can to be safe for yourself and others, travel unapologetically. By that, I mean you do not have to make excuses to anyone.
People may want to “shame” you or chastise you, but you know you have (hopefully) taken every precaution if you choose to travel.
People travel for a variety of reasons during this time. Some reasons may seem frivolous (still, no one’s business but yours...just be safe). And some, whether people know this or not, are for some serious mental reasons (honestly, I fall into this group).
Whatever the reason, be accountable for how you move about the world, be safe and kind to others, follow the rules of safety, seriously avoid large crowds, wear your mask and be respectful to others.
Be a good human.
“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything