Although traveling isn't as wild and carefree as it used to be, that hasn't stopped these travel creators from strapping on a backpack and hopping on a plane to live out their travel dreams.
Here they share their experiences of what it's like traveling during a pandemic, the things to look out for when plotting your next adventure and why it may actually be a golden opportunity to get on that plane stat!
I've managed to travel quite a lot, actually. Three days in Mallorca in September, five days in Tenerife in October, five weeks in Turkey in November, then straight onto 10 days in Egypt in December. Then I flew from London to Thailand at the beginning of January.
It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to travel. I know not every country allows its residents to travel internationally as freely as we are in the UK, so I'm just grateful for every trip I can take.
Staying safe from COVID just feels exactly the same as it does at home. In all the places I've travelled to, you must wear masks in indoor and crowded spaces. That is just the new normal for the moment. Everyone gets on with it the best they can - the show must go on!
I don't find that part of travelling stressful at all. I've been fully vaxxed and already caught COVID in 2020, so I'm as immune as I can be, and there's nothing more I can do. So, it's just about acceptance. COVID is around in the world, and you obviously hope that you won't catch it, but I don't get stressed about it because it's pointless.
Honestly, the most stressful thing is just getting all your documents ready before you travel, especially as the rules and requirements seem to change all the time. So, you really have to be on the ball and organized to get everything prepared.
The UK government website foreign travel advice section is always my first go-to. It is pretty good at telling us everything we (as British residents) need before we travel. I've also found that once you have booked a flight, the airlines themselves are very good at emailing you to make sure you have all the documents you need before you fly.
My biggest tip is to make sure you have your vaccination certificate and any documents you have had to fill out for that country very accessible and available offline on your phone. People ask to see them a lot for getting on transport, entering restaurants, staying in hotels etc. Being fully vaxxed and showing your certificate on your phone honestly feels like a superpower a lot of the time.
I haven't come across anyone who does not accept my international travels at this point. It's been two years since the start of the pandemic, and COVID clearly isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so we have to learn to live with it. I understand that not everyone is comfortable with international travel due to the restrictions, requirements, extra expense for PCR tests, and honestly, I don't blame them! Governments haven't made it easy for us at all, and it truly is a hassle!
But in my opinion, it is still totally worth it to travel if you have the opportunity. Attractions that are usually too busy are quieter than ever. So many businesses rely on tourism for income that are suffering and are so grateful for tourists coming back. And once you have landed in the country and look back at the hurdles you have jumped over to get there, it feels good to be there and makes you appreciate it a lot more.
The last six months have been a little wild on the travel front. All the weddings that I was supposed to attend in 2020 and the beginning of 2021 got pushed to the end of the year. I traveled to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, Cartagena, Colombia, Quito, Ecuador, and now Italy. Also, these events have been a good excuse to do a little exploring before and after.
Traveling internationally at first felt complicated. Pre-pandemic, I'd find a place that was interesting and book. At that point, all that was left to do was plan the trip! Now there's an added layer of complexity. Before booking, you need to check what is required to enter and the laws once you've arrived. I've found that international laws are much stricter than in the US. All the countries I've visited have required masks inside and outside, COVID tests to enter the country, and vaccine cards to enter establishments.
I've found the trick to staying safe is being aware of your surroundings. Leave an area if it's too crowded, or change the plan if you feel uncomfortable. Wear a heavy-duty mask like a KN95 and always have wipes and hand sanitizer on standby, although this should not replace washing your hands! Also, make sure to go out of your way to be healthier than usual and take vitamins.
Do significant research before booking your next trip to ensure you know the COVID situation in that spot. Also, I highly recommend booking international insurance. You never know if you need medical attention. Lastly, if you are open to going anywhere, I've found far fewer people and more travel deals (especially in Europe).
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Feature image: Giulia Dugo from Palm Trees & Pellegrino
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