Working abroad and not being able to return home when you want to is depressing. Millions were and still are deprived of the chances to travel home as they would normally do. I was no different. Despite the company approval to go on my annual leave, travel restrictions and related constraints prolonged my travel plans. Travel during pandemic can be a challenge and struggle when you are on foreign land.
Regular international flight traffic is still regulated in most countries thanks to the pandemic. The good news however is most countries permit their principal carriers to operate to different destinations.
Since I work in UAE, depending on Etihad Airways, Emirates or Air Arabia is the best option for me. And all these airlines follow every precautionary measure needed. As long as your travel documents are clear and health is in good shape, there is nothing to worry about. With a little precaution and patience, you will enjoy your flight. Since I flew back to India a couple of days back, I would like to share a few valuable tips on travelling by flights.
Points to be Noted before Departure
Avoid or postpone the trip if it is not essential
Leisure trips can still wait. One's own well-being is of the utmost importance. We could be unintentional, accidental carriers of the virus too.
Carry your own safety and hygiene properties
Do not forget to carry the essential travelling tools befitting to current times. Ample quantities of high-quality masks, gloves and bottles of sanitizers should be in your backpack. You can add other items in the list like PPE kit, face & hand wipes, hand washes, antibacterial creams and sprays. (All airports will not permit sprays onboard!). Add caution while disposing of them too.
Consult a travel agent
Booking ticket online is convenient. We may have been doing it all along. However, consulting a travel agent before booking a ticket can be a good idea NOW. Travel rules and regulations are volatile these days. Even if you may have to throw a few additional bucks, having updated info about your trip is handy. You won't like to scramble through any last minute registration and form-filling, do you?
Follow the travel norms strictly
Once you know what to do, do follow them strictly while you travel during pandemic. Depending on the origin and destination and flight, you will have to register and fill up different documents. Don't try to be over smart here, you may escape through a few hurdles, but you may be cheating yourself.
Be prepared for the hours-long discomfort
Having to wear the masks, face shield, gloves, or even PPE kit for longer duration is irritating and depressing. You may have to control your hunger pangs and even the urge to use restrooms often. News of a flight delay can be nightmarish. It was a sorry sight to see parents with kids struggling to cope with the conditions and control the crying kids. When travelling with infants, do get expert opinion before the trip. Well, at the end of the day, a few hours of discomfort provides long term safety.
Choice of food and beverage
It is best to avoid the food courts in airports or even buying food or beverages onboard. But food is essential and one must have it. Your discretion is what counts while you travel during pandemic. If you should have anything, avoiding cold drinks/food could be a good idea.
Points to be Noted after Arrival
Nothing more exciting than landing on your homeland after a very long gap. The fresh lease of air surely refreshes. One shouldn't be carried away though.
Be patient and polite
Airport authorities have installed different stages of screening centres. We may have to patiently beeline through the process while we travel during pandemic.
Book a taxi
After the airport formalities, it is better to go home by an airport taxi. Calling someone from home to pick you can push that person to quarantine as well.
Follow quarantine regime
Each state has laid out its own quarantine rules. Do follow them strictly. No fun in risking your health and that of those at home. At the end of the quarantine period, get yourself tested. The result will speak for itself.
Enjoy good food
The quarantine can be a happy time to enjoy good food. For an ex-pat from the gulf, food from one's home and home state is always a pleasant experience. Add sufficient portions of nutrition and vitamin properties to make it wholesome.
Even after the quarantine period, it is important to follow the precautions. It is good to follow up on travel news or your travel agent for travel-related updates. There is some change or other happening every now and then. Being aware of the latest updates will smoothen our travelling back after the holidays.
Being a responsible traveler, we can do our bit to curb the spread of virus. And yes, as you can imagine I am enjoying my quarantine days.
Safe and happy journey.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers