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A Guide To A Socially Distanced Holiday
A guest post by Stuart Cooke, on behalf of mybaggage
For most of us, 2020 certainly hasn't been the year we were planning and between lockdowns and travel restrictions, thousands of people ended up having their holidays canceled. After spending months at home without being able to go any further than your local supermarket, the travel industry has begun to ease regulations and people have begun traveling once again. Understandably, many are desperate for a getaway, whether that's a camping staycation or a beach break in Europe.
But no matter where you decide to go for your holiday, social distancing is going to play a key role in protecting yourself and others from the virus. To help you prepare, we've created this guide on how to have a fun and relaxing but socially distanced holiday.
Choose your Destination and Transportation Wisely
Some destinations are safer to visit than others when it comes to COVID-19 as some nations have not been as adversely affected by the virus. With this in mind, it is important to consider your destination carefully when booking a break. You must find out whether your chosen country has been hit hard by Coronavirus and if they've taken effective steps to get social distancing and other safety measures in place.
Similarly, choose your mode of transport carefully to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. For example, traveling by car can be much safer than traveling on a plane or train. Of course, your chosen mode of transport will depend on your chosen destination, but consider safer alternatives like ferries or camper vans if you're worried about flying. These can make it easier to keep your distance from other holidaymakers.
The best way to ensure you have a socially distanced holiday that is as safe as possible is to make sure you're well-prepared. Come up with a detailed travel plan and have all the paperwork or e-tickets with you. By doing this, you can reduce your interaction time with employees and other travelers wherever possible.
What we mean by this is printing out any itineraries, holiday vouchers, tickets or boarding passes ahead of time, or having easy access to these on your mobile device to avoid hanging around in queues or busy areas when you're traveling.
It's also a good idea to download and sign up for any relevant apps before you set off on your holiday. This could be apps for checking into your hotel, arranging transport, ordering food at a chosen restaurant or track and trace applications.
Do your Research
It's important that you do your research to help ensure social distancing. This means looking into any local rules and regulations to see if they have effective safety measures in place. You will also be able to look at any places you might wish to visit such as museums, parks, restaurants, bars and see what their social distancing rules are. If there aren't any rules in place, it might be a good idea to avoid these locations or take extra precautions to protect yourself, such as wearing a mask or face covering.
Use a Luggage Shipping Service
Another way to ensure you reduce the amount of time spent around strangers and to allow for effective social distancing is to use a luggage shipping service to get your bags across. These couriers will collect your bags from your chosen location and deliver them safe and sound to your holiday accommodation.
This saves you from having to wait in queues to check in your bag, it limits the number of people in contact with your luggage, and you don't have to wait about with a group of strangers at the luggage carousel when you arrive. You can do this both on the way to your holiday and on the way back if you wish. This means you can get to your accommodation quicker, reduce stress and the risk of contracting COVID-19. It's a win-win situation!
Avoid Over-crowded Hotspots
As we said, some countries are safer to visit than others. Some other areas that have been badly affected by the virus will have their own safety rules and regulations in place. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid going to any over-crowded tourist hotspots, where people may be unaware of or even flouting social distancing rules.
The same also applies to your hotel or local supermarket. For example, in many places, swimming pools are open and, in hotter countries, these could become crowded with holidaymakers trying to cool down. If at any point you think an area is becoming busy and people aren't keeping their distance, take yourself away from the situation. This is the best way to safeguard yourself, your family and friends.
Last but not least, if you're concerned about your health and looking to keep your distance, it might be better to opt for self-catered accommodation. Even though lots of places will have safety measures in place, it still reduces the risk of spending time in a busy restaurant around lots of strangers. Catering for yourself means you only need to make one or two visits to the shop, and then, you can dine in the comfort and safety of your apartment, cottage or chosen accommodation.
If you choose to go out for food, it's a good idea to choose quieter restaurants and certainly avoid buffet services! Table service is your safest option, and better still, choose a restaurant that uses a smartphone app allowing you to order food from the safety of your table.
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