Travel is incredibly uncertain during these times. People are asking how to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re like me, you’ll be remaining optimistic that your future travels, if not already cancelled, can still go ahead. But is that the right thing to do?
How to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re here, you’re here because you like travel, and you probably have travels planned for later this year. These travels ave usually been booked months, sometimes a year or two in advance, and no doubt you have been looking forward to these travels for quite some time. It’s natural that you should be asking how to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s some tips on what to do, before we’re either put into lockdown, or something worse happens.
On advice from UK government, the WHO, CDC and various other governments around the world, the simple answer to travel during the coronavirus pandemic is don’t do it. You had flights booked to European, American or other destinations in the world? Well, they may have already been cancelled. If they haven’t been cancelled yet, you should be checking the government website and seeing what the latest is. Read the news, and I recommend trusted sources, such as the BBC, to see if there is anything new being reported in places such as Thailand, Europe or the USA.
Contact your flight provider
I recommend you contact your flight providers as soon as possible. Airlines such as British Airways are prioritising flights in the next 72 hours. If you are not flying until late April, May, keep your eye on travel updates, as well as the news. Airlines may be cancelling your flight. Or, to be on the safe side, you may need to go ahead and cancel yourself. Before doing that, see what the advice is with coronavirus and your rights to refunds. Many airlines have already issued statements on how they will deal with cancelled flights. Click below for some statements.
Keep up to date with travel advice
Many travel authorities are keeping you updated on how to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. A quick Google search of travel advice will bring you various websites, who are keeping updated with the latest on what is happening. Right now, most places are restricting travel until April. Furthermore, as uncertainty continues to spread like the virus itself, it’s not surprising that some airlines have suspended flights for longer periods of time. Optimistic thoughts are beginning to diminish, as it’s looking very unlikely that normal travel will be able to resume as quickly as we hope.
Here are some websites to refer to in regards to travel advice.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Currently, we are on Level 3 travel, which means that there is restricted travel globally. Advice is that unless completely essential, travel should not be undertaken. It includes most of Europe, but you can see advice here, and a full list of countries here. There’s also a post here of fifteen countries restricting travel.
Practice the staycation.
Unless you are showing symptoms – e.g., a fever, cough or shortness of breath – or you think you may have been in contact with someone that had these symptoms, you should look at a staycation. Before the UK announces a potential lockdown, Italy style, and orders that hotels and accommodations should shut down, you should look at exploring what your country has to offer. Currently, many hotels are still open for business. In these troubling times, many of these hotels will be relying on your willing to travel in your own country.
The government hasn’t advised strict isolation, unless you, or somebody you know or have been in contact with, is showing symptoms. They have even suggested that whilst people should avoid places like the gym, you can still remain active by taking walks in parks, or going hiking, or participating in outdoor activities. The National Trust has closed many of their owned buildings, and heritage sight owners CADW are temporarily closing down tourist attractions around Wales. But The National Trust has opened their outdoor areas for free during the pandemic, to encourage people to still get fresh air. As long as you’re avoiding mass gatherings, and washing your hands, as well as staying at least two metres away from people, you should be okay. Naturally, wash your hands as often as possible, as well as using elusive hand sanitiser, whilst you’re out and about. If you feel a sneeze or a cough, practice the age old advice of catch it, bin it, kill it.
Take a look at some of my UK destinations, and see where you should visit, if you’re able to.
My flight has been cancelled.
So, your flight is cancelled? Don’t panic. Because of the global pandemic, many flight operators are offering temporary cancellation policies, and working ways to ensure your travel disruptions are rectified as smoothly as possible. Airlines will either offer a refund, or they will offer you an amendment. Each airline will have different policies on how they are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, so make sure you check their websites for more information.
Don’t book flights now.
If you’re optimistic like me, you might be planning travels for later in the year, probably after the summer, when, surely, this pandemic should be over. However, it’s probably best not to do this. Airlines are making it clear that flights booked now, for the next few months, will not be refunded or amended. This is because most flights that are being amended or refunded were booked months before the coronavirus outbreak. If you are booking to a country currently affected by the crisis, your chances of getting refunds, or claiming off insurance, are very low. Your best bet is to wait and see what the future advice is as the months go on.
Stay safe. Be sensible.
It goes without saying that what we all should really be doing is staying safe and being sensible. Practice good hygiene, take time off work and self isolate if you have any particular symptoms that could be coronavirus, and look after yourself. Be kind, look after neighbours, and keep your head high. We’ll get through this!