It can rightly be said that 2020 has been a tough and tragic year for many. COVID-19 has been reported since the first case of coronavirus disease. Everywhere you turn, someone talks about it, reads about it or stores disinfectants for it.
We know that these uncertain times can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, especially when it comes to travel. Ensuring that our travelers stay safe, healthy and informed is high on our agenda. For this reason, we have put together all the important information you need to know about traveling before, during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19).
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Let us become real. It is not nice, but it is important to know exactly what we are dealing with. COVID-19 is a new type of infectious corona virus that spreads through small droplets from the nose or mouth when someone coughs or sneezes with the virus.
It causes breathing problems, which means that the most common symptoms are often the same as the common cold or flu – fever, fatigue, and dry cough.
That means we are travelers, not virologists. Please seek professional medical help if you are worried or show symptoms.
Should I still travel while the coronavirus broke out?
Many areas of the world remain safe and free from travel restrictions, but ultimately it depends on your personal preferences and whether you feel comfortable boarding this plane, boat, or train.
The risk of getting COVID-19 is said to be low for most people. It all depends on where in the world you are. Be sure to check the World Health Organization (Coronavirus) situation reports and your government's website for daily updates and plan your trip accordingly.
Interestingly, the WHO says: "Travel bans to affected areas or the refusal of passengers from affected areas to enter normally do not effectively prevent the import of cases, but can have significant economic and social impacts."
As travelers, we feel more than ever that we must pull ourselves together, stay connected to the world and support all local communities that rely on tourism. Also the people at home who unfortunately suffer from xenophobia and racism as a result of the outbreak.
Although this means changing your visit, postponing your trip, or booking a reimbursable trip for later in the year, we believe that choosing a trip plays a stronger and more positive role in the world through Instagram goes out and gets a tan. (Both things ok too, obvs).
If I decide to travel, what should I book?
As with any trip, there are always risks involved. This two-week trip to Thailand or a one-month road trip through New Zealand might as well be affected by natural disasters, political unrest, or another less than pleasant incident.
For us, travel was always about freedom and discovery, which is why flexibility is built into much of what we sell. For example, all of our students and under 31 BlueTickets (plus many of our adult tickets) can be changed and refunded for a local administration fee. We also offer a free date change for all new BlueTicket bookings. You can also book now and pay later for many of our plane tickets. This means you can bargain now, but have to pay the balance before the flight. Or cancel if you choose to do so.
Our preferred tour partners like Contiki and G Adventures also offer lifetime deposits if you need to cancel or rebook your trip. Canceling your travel plans always involves costs, but booking our flexible travel area should help to minimize them. Let our travel experts know what your priorities are and they'll do the rest.
As always, we call around the clock for support and sales. We are so hardcore.
How can I stay safe and healthy while traveling?
Hands up if you've ever gotten sick from traveling? Then everyone.
As travelers, we are already experts in the field of wet wipes, hand disinfectants and rehydration salts. It is more important than ever to use all hygiene measures and common sense to be safe at home and on the go.
Following these basic public health guidelines is the best way to reduce the risk of infection or spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (this is the same time it takes to sing Britany Spears' chorus "Ups! … I Did It Again"), Just for your information). Or use alcohol-based hand disinfectants if your hands are not visibly soiled.
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a bent elbow or a tissue. Seriously, nobody wants to be covered with your body fluids.
- Try not to touch your mouth and nose.
- Follow proper food hygiene practices, especially in dorm kitchens.
Bonus: Don't go around licking people. It is never a good idea!
If you have any further questions or concerns about your upcoming or future trips, please contact us. We are still the best buddy who is here to help whenever you need it. Unless it's 3am after a full moon party on Koh Phangan. Then we need sleep.
Find and secure your flight now with our Book Now Pay Later Program. Happy (and healthy) trips!