The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our worlds, and not just in the short-term. Our realities shifted slowly at first, and before we knew it, the pandemic has questioned all senses of normalcy.
As countries closed borders and everyone trickled back home for months of self-quarantined, the travel industry began to nosedive. However, today, as pockets of the globe open up and those who have been locked up and are looking to stretch their legs - the travel industry is slowly and steadily getting back on its feet.
That said, questions like when we can travel again, when will international travel begin, can we go for vacation this summer; flood our minds frequently. Here's our complete guide to everything you need to know about how to travel in 2021 and planning your first post-COVID vacation.
A Complete Guide on How to Travel in 2021
Before you zip your bags and set off for your next vacation, read about all that's changed in the travel industry after the coronavirus pandemic. From flights to insurance to the emerging trend of workationing, here are some essential reads to bring you up to speed on how to travel in 2021.
Which Tourist Attractions Can I Visit in 2021?
Check Live Updates on Global Attractions Reopening Tracker
This tracker collects real time data of global attractions, monuments, landmarks and cultural hot-spots of the world and their reopening status. It also provides information about new ticketing and safety guidelines, revised opening hours and everything that has changed in the post COVID-era. Filter it down to the city you're interested in visiting and learn what's changed!
Will there be Restrictions on International Travel in 2021?
Know the travel rules and entry requirements of your destinations
It is yet to be seen if the world can go back to ‘normal’ anytime soon. Several countries have started to open up and ease their lockdown rules and travel restrictions. There are now many travel bubbles in place, allowing residents of the involved countries to travel freely by rail, air, and sea without (or with minimal) quarantine measures.
Stay up to date with updated country-wise policies, lockdown status, international travel restrictions, visa rules as well as the current number of active COVID-19 cases. Simply click on a country flag and read our detailed post-COVID country guide.
Which Countries Will be Open for Travel in 2021?
When planning your next vacation, it is important to know which destinations are welcoming tourists from which countries, which nations are allowing only domestic travel, and which ones remain shut. When you’re thinking of how to travel in 2021, refer to this tracker, which has real-time information about the travel status of different countries.
What are the Quarantine Rules for International Travelers?
Want to know the quarantine rules for the country you want to travel to in 2021? Simply search on our live table (updated daily). Read more about countries without quarantine upon arrival.
Travel After Coronavirus : 7 Ways it Will Change Forever
With all that's changing, the way we travel after this COVID-19 pandemic is going to be different. Here are 7 changes you need to brace yourselves for.
While the empty middle seat is a short term change (flights can't afford it, neither can we), there are many other changes in the aviation industry that will change the way we travel forever. Masks, PPE suits and gloves are going to be the #airportlook for a while, you can bid goodbye to in-flight magazines and say hello to walking under thermal scanners and disinfection tunnels possibly at exit and entry points, and not to forget exorbitantly expensive flying fares. Here's our complete guide to flying in the post COVID world.
Street food culture around the world is likely to take a hit. No one's going to be comfortable eating from a street side vendor, for obvious reasons. And that is monumentally sad. All the pintxos bars and tapas bars are also likely to run out of business simply because cramming and grabbing a bite will no longer be considered safe and hygienic. High-end restaurants will need to prove their hygiene protocols to attract customers and takeaway restaurants will have to come up with ingenious safe packaging. All in all, dining out can become a tad bit more expensive (if you haven't heard of hygiene fee, you will soon) and many food joints that can't keep up with the safety standards may soon go out of business.
3. TRAVEL INSURANCE
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world witnessed large scale cancellations of flights, cruises, tours, hotels and what not - which made one realise why travel insurance is more important than ever. But there's a catch. Most travel insurance policies exclude pandemics or fear of travel, which makes one wonder what the point of a travel insurance coverage is! When making holiday plans for 2021, ensure your travel insurance is the right fit for you and covers epidemics. There are also certain hacks to secure your trips around pandemics. Read on to know more about what types of Travel Insurance covers Pandemics like COVID-19.
While the novel coronavirus has had a detrimental effect on not just the world economy, but on us as humans. We now need to follow hygiene protocols and standards we've probably never dreamt of to keep ourselves safe. Keeping this in mind, we've created a checklist of items that you need to carry to tackle the pandemic while you're on vacation. Check out our downloadable post COVID packing list.
A workation is a temporary trip that combines work and vacation. With more than half the world now working-from-homes and/or the rise of digital nomads and freelancers who prefer to work remotely, workations are on the rise. If you're planning a workation for a change of scene, here's everything you must know about taking a workation, before you pack your bags and set off.
Online tickets are becoming mandatory - be it a museum, monument, gallery, church or mausoleum. Anything that requires a ticket will now require an online ticket bought in advance and downloaded on your phone for no-contact experience on-site. Booking tickets online can also help you avail various discounts and offers, compare ticket prices, and check reviews of attractions, destinations. and hotels, helping you make an informed decision. Buying tickets in advance also ensures crowd control which is paramount at this point. The spontaneity of travel is likely to have taken a back seat and planning to the T seems to be the way forward.
Chances are high that as soon as countries start to open up, people will head to the most popular attractions in the world such as Eiffel Tower, London Eye, and Colosseum to fulfil their bucket lists. Try to plan a visit to an off-beat location — one that not many people visit, such as Georgia, Chile, or Bolivia. New sanitisation rules have been adopted across most attractions and tourist hotspots - compulsory temperature checks, frequent sanitisation, social distancing and many more. Read more about all the emerging trends in the travel experiences world.
Read our complete list of the emerging travel trends due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling after COVID
We've scoured the internet for the most common questions asked about traveling the world post the pandemic, and we have answers for a few. If you have the same questions, we hope this comes handy.
When you do travel, some best practices to stay safe include:
- Washing and sanitizing your hands frequently. Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth (or your food!) without washing your hands.
- Wipe down tray tables, armrests, headrests, handles, switchboards and other frequently touched items on planes, hotels and public transport to help prevent germs from spreading.
- Giving your body plenty of healthy foods and getting enough sleep at night helps your immune system stay on the top of its game. Vitamin C supplements are highly recommended in case you can't get your regular dose of vitamins and minerals while traveling.
- Avoid traveling to areas with known outbreaks. Don’t put yourself, or others, in harm’s way by exposing yourself needlessly to areas that have severe outbreaks. Stick to essential travel only.
- If you're booking tours, make sure to purchase your tickets online in order to have a contact-free experience on-site. Follow hygiene protocols at all times and maintain social distancing norms in outdoor spaces.
For the latest travel news related to COVID-19, check our Global Travel Reopening Dashboard. From news articles about the reopening of attractions around the world to country travel advisories, you'll find everything here.
With travel coming to a standstill, virtual tours are the new mode of transporting yourself to dreamy locations. From museums to national parks, there are scores of virtual tours you can access on the internet. Here are our top 20 picks for the best virtual tours on the internet.
With domestic trips on the rise, road travel is becoming more popular than ever and naturally the need for rental cars are rising. When it comes to the car, the risk is reasonably low. The risk remains with being in a closed space with someone who is infected, so if you're traveling with family that you know has not been exposed, you're good to go. It doesn't hurt to sanitize the car thoroughly once you get it. To know more about rental car safety in the post-COVID world, head here.
Digital travel experiences take virtual tours a notch higher - a chance to book online experiences led by a tour guide taking you through a live session in a whole other part of the world. You can travel the world from the comfort of your couch - learn new skills, make new friends, try new food and see the world in a different way. The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved the world of digital experiences and has made it immensely popular. Here are some of the best digital experiences on the internet.
While booking an entire house seems like a great option, as opposed to a room in a hotel, the cleaning practise can vary per property and you can't be really sure about the hygiene conditions. However, Airbnb has introduced rigorous new procedures and cleaning program called Cleaning Protocol which involves standards on disinfection practises. Additionally, there's an additional time involved, called the Booking Buffer between check-ins to ensure the cleaning practise.
Amtrak for example has rolled out a set of sanitary measures, like limited ticket sales, empty seat guarantee, mandating masks, frequently sanitizing surfaces and many more. Similarly, other railways around the world have also implemented compulsory sanitization protocols. Depending on the train and country you're taking the train at, make sure to follow personal hygiene and practise social distancing strictly.
Cruises are expected to come back with smaller fleets, limited staff and guests, compulsory immunity passport, onboard testing and modified itineraries. Head here for a full list of changes in the cruising industry post COVID-19.
smaller fleets with fewer staff; limited guest capacity; immunity passports and testing; and more.
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Travel Reopening News and Updates
To know more about what has changed in different attractions around the world in the post COVID era, read our detailed articles on each of the top landmarks around the world.