Traveling while vaccinated

Traveling while vaccinated

As a travel blogger, I often see and hear that the reason for being vaccinated is to be able to travel.  The reality is that being vaccinated will not only lessen your anxiety about social situations but puts others at ease as well.  However, being vaccinated is not a guarantee that you won’t get or spread the covid virus.  There are still precautions you need to take in social situations and when traveling.

Wear a mask.  If you chose to be vaccinated, it means you have made a social commitment to the health and well-being of others.   It means that you are caring enough about your health and the health of others to opt for a vaccine, none of which are 100% effective. Continuing to wear a mask is still part of the social commitment you take to show the value you have for people in social situations at home and abroad.

Covid testing is still a requirement in many places.  Just because you were vaccinated does not preclude you from Covid testing.  If the state or country you are traveling to requires testing, you will have to comply with meeting their requirements to travel. There are different types of testing and timing restrictions for testing.  Make sure you do your research and know what is needed to avoid any travel complications. I wrote a previous blog about Covid and its impact on travel that you may find helpful.

Follow the local guidelines.  Being vaccinated does not permit you to act without thought for others.  There are still state and country restrictions on the number of people allowed in a group, when and where to wear a mask, and even outdoor activities requiring you to wear a mask. Please be aware that you can be fined or confined for flaunting local rules, and you might have to cut your vacation short if you don’t follow local guidelines.

Be prepared to show documentation.  To date, there is no uniformity in requirements locally or internationally for vaccine or testing documentation.  Know that the documentation you have given to you at your local vaccination or testing site may not be acceptable at some places as documentation.  If possible, have paper copies of documents or authorizations printed ahead of time.  Often, we rely on our phones for data such as QR codes and emails; there is no guarantee you will be able to access this information at all times, so be prepared.

Finally, please remember that although you are vaccinated, there is no guarantee that others have been, particularly in social situations.  Especially on public transportation, when you are in confined spaces, be aware of the possibility that you can come into contact with someone who may be Covid positive.  We come into contact with hundreds of different people daily, and there is no way of knowing who, how, or where you may have interacted with the Covid virus. Be safe.

Have you been vaccinated and subsequently traveled?  Any complications or stories you like to share? I’d like to know.

Travel without traveling.

Travel without traveling.

With Covid realities, many people have put off traveling due to health and safety concerns.  For those who love traveling, however, Covid has not stopped them from traveling. I’m an advocate of traveling, but I highly advise doing it safely and with the thought of not only your health but the health of your fellow traveler.  Although staycations are great, here are a few more ideas to temper the travel bug without traveling long distances.

Visit local tourist attractions as though you were a tourist.  Often, we take our cities for granted and never take advantage of the local attractions those who pay to fly into our towns to enjoy.  One of the single most significant costs of a vacation is the flight.  Not having to pay for travel might cover the cost of a local tourist attraction you would otherwise consider expensive.  Additionally, you can go whenever you choose.

Read travel blogs like mine (shameless plug), watch travel videos, documentaries, podcasts, and all things travel. You’ll be amazed at the things you can learn from other people’s travels and experiences.  You will also be better able to plan your trips in the future by knowing some tips and tricks about your preferred destination.

Visit an international museum virtually.  One of the benefits of Covid is that museums worldwide now offer virtual tours.  A virtual international museum tour could save you time on your itinerary to visit something else or do another activity you might not have time for when you finally reach your destination.

Try dining out in different international restaurants in your area.  The world is so multicultural that it is almost a guarantee to have an international restaurant in your area.  Why wait until you travel far away to try the cuisine.  Dining locally might give you a better palate for the food when you do travel.

Try cooking an international dish at home, along with an international wine, or making a destination drink while you’re cooking will make you feel more compelled to complete the plans for your trip.

Have you tried any travel without going places? I’ve taken advantage of my home city Dallas Texas and seen places I hadn’t even considered.  How about you? Let me know.

Five safety tips when traveling solo.

Five safety tips when traveling solo.

Traveling alone can be challenging whether you are an adventurous person or not, and no timing or circumstance can make the journey ideal.  As with all travel, the key to traveling is preparation.  When traveling solo, you should give thought to some safety precautions.  These five tips are not all-inclusive but are meant to help those planning to travel alone.

1.Share your information with someone, whether it is a family member or a friend.  Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.  If you’ve planned an itinerary, share it with someone and in the age of social media, stay as connected as you can.

2.Upon arrival, take note of your surroundings and the people around you.  Do they look like tourists, or do they look local? Is there anyone you notice who is paying particular attention to you?  There will always be locals trying to provide transportation upon arrival, but pre-planned transportation or recognized taxi service is always a better option.

3.Get an idea of the travel time to your destination.  When making reservations, take note of the driving time and/or distance to know if your ride is taking longer than usual.  Often, taxis will take the scenic route to increase the fare, but knowing timing lets the driver know you have an idea of your destination and that you are an aware passenger.

4.When checking into your room, ask at the check-in desk for a floor plan.  Some people prefer to be close to the stairs, while others prefer to be near an elevator.  Seeing a floor plan lets you know the general area of the floor you will be staying on, and you can request a change before you leave the check-in desk.

5.Check the room as soon as you get in. Hotels are not perfect, and you might be checking into an occupied room.  Check closets and bathrooms before closing your room door completely.  Use all deadbolts and locks when in the room and always check before opening your door, even if you expect service from the hotel.

I could add so many other tips, but these are some of the most common guidelines that come to mind.  Traveling solo can be wonderful, but it’s best to do it safely.  What are some of the tips you would give if you’ve traveled solo before?  If you haven’t, were these safety tips helpful? I’d like to know.

Travel is more than a physical journey.

Travel is more than a physical journey.

Many people will tell you that they want to travel and have spent years saving or planning for travel yet have not done it. Traveling is more than a physical journey; it takes a lot more mental effort than most people realize.

If you have yet to travel and have a strong desire, ask yourself why not? Often people that have finally made an effort to travel will forever be travelers. I have yet to find someone who has traveled and said, “never again.”

Travelers become addicted to the people, places, and experiences they have while traveling. They become more open-minded and able to challenge their beliefs and strengths. Many think travelers focus more on the destination. Still, at the core, the destination is never satisfying because they want to go somewhere else, they set a new goal, a new destination, and it never ends.

Travel goals mean little if a traveler does not consider the process of achieving the goal. Just like setting a plan to lose weight or getting through a job interview, mental preparation is often the key to success.

To achieve your travel goal, here are five questions to ask yourself,

  1. Why do I want to travel?
  2. Where do I want to go?
  3. When do I want to get there?
  4. How much effort am I willing to give?
  5. What do I want to achieve by traveling?

I am sure that finding the answer to some, if not all, of these questions, will put you on a path to start traveling as you desire. The only way to start traveling is to do just that, start. Let me know if you find value in this piece; I’d like to know.

COVID Impact on Travel(dated content).

COVID Impact on Travel(dated content).

Even though we spent most of 2020 living with COVID and its impact on travel, it has become clear that 2021 will not be much different than the last year. The choice to travel or not will continue to be a personal choice. Here are my 5 tips on traveling during the COVID pandemic. Please note that this content is date sensitive to the fluidity of the virus and constant governmental changes. This content is also more appropriate for North American travelers.

1.International travel has been impacted significantly with COVID realities. Many countries have locked their borders and restricted travel to entering foreigners. Due to the prevalence and high numbers of Americans who have contracted the virus, some countries will not allow entry to those with a US passport.

2.In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sets regulations and offers guidelines for people to wear a mask, stay six feet apart and avoid crowds. The latest CDC order (dated January 12, 2021) for all passengers arriving in the US and the necessity of negative test result goes into effect on January 26, 2021. Travelers also need to be aware of travel restrictions, even from state to state. When traveling, the mask suggestion is relatively easy to follow. However, it can be difficult for travelers to stay six feet apart and avoid crowds, particularly at an airport or airplane.

3.In many cases, with domestic and international travel, proof of a negative COVID test is required. Many places require proof of a negative COVID test before arrival. Travelers need to be aware of these requirements as often the request is for testing “no more” than seventy-two hours before arrival. Therefore, even if you may have taken and received a negative response from your test, if not within the timeline specified, it may not meet the requirements. These regulations are often passed on to the airlines to ensure their passengers are compliant, so please check with your particular airline before travel.

4.There are different types of COVID testing available. Each traveler should do their research on testing requirements. In general, there are two types of testing, a Rapid test and a Viral test, also known as an RT-PCR test. As stated in the name, a rapid test gives results quickly, while a viral test may take twenty-four to forty-eight hours for results. An appointment for testing is often required, along with proof of identity and insurance if applicable. To be sure you meet the travel specific COVID testing requirements, travelers need to plan accordingly.

5.When requested from officials, travelers must demonstrate proof of a negative test result or face consequences that may include a mandatory quarantine at their own expense. Travelers may also face significant personal fines.

The realities of COVID and its impact on traveling has been significant. However, for many, traveling is a part of life and may be necessary. As with all travel, travelers should stay informed and plan accordingly. Have you had any experiences traveling since COVID? I’d like to hear.

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