INDIA. New Delhi: The increased workload of WFH during the two waves of the pandemic, and not being able to go out to exotic locations must have taken a toll on your mental health. People have not been out for an outing or a long drive for quite a long time. The only outings they have had were the visits to the grocery shop and that too for a very few times as most of the purchasing was done online. Meeting colleagues and friends was only on Zoom, Webex, Google Meets, or similar apps. I am sure, everyone is longing to meet friends or colleagues and go for a vacation to chill out.
Traveling during the pandemic to exotic locales was difficult, very difficult. Even after the unlock-downs, it still is difficult to go out to exotic locations, as the entire world has rushed out to treat their mental illness. With the crowds heading to all the popular locations, a chaotic situation was created, and once again, restrictions were imposed. And travel became difficult again.
Well, you can still travel. The rule of the thumb should be: Do not even think of Travelling unprepared in the new normal era.
Here are a few suggestions:
Choose a local destination
Who doesn’t want to go to a trendy destination? But, such a destination can be risky. We saw images and videos of packed trendy hill stations all over India. This simply was inviting trouble. The best destinations today could be the off-season locations where you will not find many tourists, like places in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, and Goa, and desserts and fort towns in Rajasthan, etc. Also, these off-season destinations will save a lot of money for you as they will be more reasonably priced than the trendy locales.
At the destination too, try and stay some distance away from strangers in the outdoors to avoid getting infected. Also with strict restrictions, the locals might be all COVID-free, the risk is from other guests, who also are visiting the exotic locales just like you. So choose your property carefully and enjoy your holiday.
It is much safer to choose a destination that is within self-driving distances. The crowded bus stands, railway stations, or airports are very much prone to infections and should be avoided at all costs. Self-driving also means more flexibility in your schedule, saving on ticket cancellations, etc.
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Choosing the right hotel
You can never be sure about other travelers. Irresponsible travelers are a risk, and they certainly will be infecting people at places they will be staying. Hence, it is advisable to always look for a place that has enforced all COVID protocols strictly. It is very important as in the new normal era, you will be spending more time in the hotel than you would have done some time back in the pre-COVID times. So, don’t compromise on the hotel, as the right hotel is very important for your own safety.
Also choosing the location of the hotel is very important – try and choose a hotel which is away from the crowded tourist areas.
The Transcontinental Times spoke to various hotels near Delhi and everyone shared the same view that a traveler should choose a hotel that adheres to strict procedures like touchless procedures, regular sanitisation of the property, vaccinating the employees, etc.
Even with all the precautions, we saw lots of COVID cases surfacing at the Tokyo Olympics. So, it is always good to be extra careful and follow all the protocols of the pandemic like wearing masks, maintain social distancing, staying as far away from strangers as possible, etc. You need to be extra careful with kids in your group as there is always the possibility of them getting infected.
After the easing out of the pandemic, many countries are now opening up their boundaries, and many of us are thinking to go. In this case, too, be careful while finalising your destination. Check on all the necessary COVID protocol notices issued by the country you are visiting.
Memories of the nightmares that Indians had after the first COVID wave in the Maldives are still fresh. Tourists were forced to spend fortunes after landing up at the island on COVID checking and quarantine procedures.
If you still are keen on international travel, plan for a European vacation. Recently the UK government has moved India from the red to the amber list, thereby allowing Indians to travel to the UK. Similarly, Spain has also opened its doors for Indians.
Have you vaccinated yourself?
The vaccination process is now almost nine months old. In an ideal world, you should be fully vaccinated by now. But, there are chances that the people you meet while traveling are not. This calls for a super-careful approach again. Not to worry, just choose a location where they ask you for a compulsory vaccination certificate. It will make you safer and tension-free.
I am sure you must have noted down all the precautionary steps. So, go out, and have fun.
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