5 Tips for Safe Post-Pandemic Travelling
The global pandemic has been impacting lives and derailing travel plans for over six months, but now, as the world is gradually opening back up, it’s a good time to start thinking about your next adventure.
Whether you want to explore Canada or visit a new country abroad, here are five tips to help you travel safely after the pandemic.
1. Check for health advisories and travel warnings
Before making any firm plans, you should make sure there are no significant travel warnings or health advisories for your destination. You should check Canada’s travel and tourism site, as some cities, regions, and countries will take longer to get the pandemic under control, and they may be facing other local issues.
It can be challenging to understand which warnings and advisories are risks worth taking, and which should stop you from booking a trip. Working with a travel agent can help rule out destinations and build a short list of a few vacation options.
2. Search for great deals
The pandemic has severely impacted the travel and tourism industry, and businesses have two options to get back into the swing of things: raise prices to make up for lost time, or drop prices to draw more people in.
Look around online for travel deals and check to see if you can take advantage of any special offers available through loyalty programs you’re a part of. For example, CAA Members get access to deals on hotels, car and RV rentals.
3. Work with a travel agent
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to book! While there are many ways to book each part of your trip online, booking with a travel agent can make the whole process easier.
Travel agents are your single point of contact for everything related to your trip. They’ll help find a good deal on flights, a great place to stay, and a comfortable rental car for when you land. Plus, a travel agent is there to help you if anything comes up and impacts your trip.
When the government declared COVID-19 an official pandemic, the benefits of having a travel agent became clear. While thousands of Canadians tried to contact their airlines, hotels, and credit card companies to reschedule their trip or get refunds on bookings, those same companies were struggling to keep people working to manage the incoming calls.
However, within just 24 hours, CAA North & East Ontario’s entire travel workforce was set up to work from home, continuing to serve travellers without a break in service. In the initial days and weeks of the pandemic, CAA Travel agents helped over 3,000 local travellers with their bookings. This freed up more time for Canadians to spend with their loved ones.
Rather than sitting on hold or waiting for live chat services for each individual flight, hotel, and car rental, CAA Travel customers could rely on their travel agent to modify all their travel plans with just one call.
4. Register and get travel insurance
By now, your trip is booked. You know where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you’ll do once you arrive. But before you start packing, there are two things to do: register as a Canadian travelling abroad, and get travel insurance.
Registering as a Canadian travelling abroad will help the government get in touch with you in case of a family emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest. Best of all – it’s free to register.
You should also make sure to get travel insurance, for both medical coverage and trip cancellation and interruption. CAA Travel Insurance provides coverage for both, helping protect you in case you get sick while abroad, or getting you home in an emergency without having to pay for last-minute flights.
5. Pack smart and safe
Finally, you’re ready to travel. If you’re taking a road trip, make sure you carry hand sanitizer to use when you fill up on gas, stop at restaurants, or make stops along your journey. CAA Members can pick up the Travel Care: Travel Wellness Kit (a CAA Member exclusive item) at CAA Travel stores for only $5 plus tax.
If you’re flying, be sure to wear a mask when in close quarters with others, wash your hands often, and sanitize your hands when you don’t have quick access to bathrooms.
Travelling after the pandemic will be a new experience for all of us. And while there are extra steps to take to stay safe while you’re away, the most important thing to do is enjoy your trip. Bon voyage!