words Al Woods
‘Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage‘ – Paulo Coelho
Today, these words ring truer than ever as most of us think twice before finalising our next travel plans. 2020 has put a stop to, and made drastic changes to the travel and tourism sector.
As winter approaches (a peak season to travel) we need to rethink our annual getaway and consider a few important things before we fly:
Get a coronavirus test done
Many airlines and hotels now ask you to show proof of a negative Covid-19 result before you use their services. Covid testing is quite easily available now, both in-person and through various health centres and clinics across the country. Getting yourself and your family members tested before you fly will make you feel safer, and minimise the risk of spreading the virus to others as well. Go with airlines that ask for a fit-to-fly certificate, as you can rest assured that those flying with you have also shown proof of a negative Covid test result, and that is one less thing to worry about.
Domestic or international – choose wisely
Getting on a plane is the first step. Once you’re in, it won’t matter if you’re flying domestic or internationally – the risk across most airports and aircrafts is almost the same. Check the airline’s safety protocol, seat spacing, cleanliness and flight timings to decide what will suit you best. Pick what makes you feel the safest.
Long-haul flights could be riskier because of longer exposure time, more people moving to use the lavatory and more passengers taking their masks off in between for meals. Whether domestic or international, it might be wise to choose destinations with a shorter flight duration. Consider flying on a weekday to avoid the weekend rush and crowds.
Safety in airports
No matter where you fly to, you will need to go through an airport, and maybe even multiple terminals or connections. Airports across the world are doing their best to minimise the risk of contagions, especially in crowded areas, through strict sanitisation protocols, enforcing social distancing and minimising contact between people.
To ensure your safety and that of your fellow travellers, wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth, and avoid unnecessary contact with people and surfaces.
Winter travel is always a risk
Travelling during the colder months of the year poses a risk to your health even without the current global pandemic in place. Cold and flu season is rampant across the world, and as families come in contact with each other to celebrate winter festivities, germs and viruses get passed on at an increasing rate compared to the rest of the year.
Pack warm clothing and as many basic essentials as you can that you may need on the flight and while you are away. Pocket-sized sanitary wipes are especially handy on the go. Look at protocols of flying before you set out so you are fully prepared.
Will flying be completely safe again?
The answer to this will always be no – flying or any form of transport will never be 100% safe. However, airplanes are universally known to be the safest form of transportation. It is up to each of us to take into consideration what we can do to stay safe and keep those around as safe as well.
Consider the points we talked about here, and make them your own for a truly comfortable and safe flying experience this winter.