Planning to travel? Take these steps for a covid-proof, happy holiday

​Checks for a covid-free vacationiStock
​Checks for a covid-free vacation
Traveling, taking a vacation or holiday had become distant plans a few months back. Now, however, with the fatigue of the lockdown and confinement, many are looking for the much-needed break or getaway. Staycations, working from holiday destinations are some of the up and coming travel trends and seem to gaining favour.

With a more watchful way of life, the hospitality and travel industries are also taking the necessary measures for travelers' safety and well-being. With the festive season now and holidays approaching, if you too decide to travel and hoiday, take these precautions and run these checks right from when you start packing to when you reach your destination, for a covid-free vacation.
​Ensure you're insurediStock
​Ensure you're insured
Two types of insurance covers need to be taken into account. Firstly, check that your travel insurance covers Covid-19, has a hospital network in the area you are visiting and covers you in case of flight cancellation. Whether you are planning a domestic or international trip, this needs to be checked regardless.

Also make sure to carry your and your family's health insurance documents. If you need to be hospitalised, these will be crucial for cashless reimbursement or you'll end up bearing the costs out-of-pocket.
Keep transactions, payments digitaliStock
Keep transactions, payments digital
If you are still among those few who don't have mobile wallets, net/mobile banking, UPI apps etc. on your phones, you are running a risk by making payments physically. Since most hotels and airlines are encouraging contactless, digital transactions and advance check-ins, it’s best to be tech-savvy. Relying on ATMs is not a good idea because many would have used it and chances of catching the virus are more.
Planning to t​Check travel regulationsavel? Take these steps for a covid-proof, happy holiday_4iStock
Planning to t​Check travel regulationsavel? Take these steps for a covid-proof, happy holiday_4
Make sure you check inter-state travel rules and compliance before booking. Some states still require a pass for crossing borders, while some hotels are demanding Covid-negative certification. Some Indian states have imposed restrictions in keeping with the specific Covid-related situation there.
​Villa, suite may be wiser optionsiStock
​Villa, suite may be wiser options
While booking hotels or resorts, check if you have the option of villas or independent family suites. These will be safer as they will cut your interaction with other guests and reduce your frequency of using or getting exposed to common areas with more touch points.
​For entertainment, recreationiStock
​For entertainment, recreation
If you are going away to work remotely, Wi-fi must be a priority. Check this and if it is free or chargeable before booking your place of stay. Even if you are not working, you and your kids may spend time on your gadgets since many of the fun, outdoor activities in hotels or generally in cities are still barred.

This also implies that hotels are not yet re-opening spas, swimming pools and gyms. You may get access to very limited outdoor activities. So go prepared with board games, cards, novels or kindle, yoga mat etc. to keep yourself entertained.
​Your co-travelers should know Covid careiStock
​Your co-travelers should know Covid care
It’s important that whoever you travel with is aware of and well-versed with patient care in case you test Covid positive and need to be quarantined.
​Longer flying routineiStock
​Longer flying routine
Since the safety and hygiene drill, as well as the staggered boarding procedure at airports will consume more time, arrive early and be prepared for a longer stay at the airport.

(Based on text by Riju Mehta)
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