Traveling and booking for hotel accommodation these days are different from what we are used to. With COVID-19 around, moving from one location to another has become a huge challenge. It has also majorly impacted the tourism and accommodation industry. Given the restrictions in place, it is important to make a checklist before you make your travel plans. Below are some of the things you should look out for.
Take time to research the travel restrictions implemented in the area you are from and the location you are planning to go to. There are countries right now which do not accept international visitors from certain countries due to a surge of cases. Check what restrictions are being implemented in your area. Do they allow people without vaccination to board the plane? If not, you might have to get those vaccine shots first before packing up your things. You also need to know if being quarantined upon arrival is mandatory. If you are planning to travel for 5 days only but the quarantine period is up to 14 days, you would be wasting your time and resources. You also need to check how early you should be arriving at the airport. Before it was recommended to be at the airport at least 90 minutes before your flight. But given the inspections and protocols in place, you might have to be at the airport or the train station earlier.
Plan how you are going to get to your hotel. If you are traveling to a country with cities on lockdown, it might be difficult for you to grab a cab. Check the airport if they have airport car rentals which service you could avail upon arrival.
Passports, travel money, gadgets, hygiene, and first-aid kits, and some clothes are the basic traveling essentials for backpackers. But these days, you should not be traveling without your mask, vaccination card, alcohol or sanitizers, vitamins, tissue, gloves, medicines, personal protective suit, and other essentials to keep you protected from COVID-19. The masks have become equally important as the passport. The alcohol and sanitizers are also important since you will be using public transportation. You would need to disinfect the chair you will be seating on and other things you will be using. It might also help you ease your mind from thinking about doing some research on how the airlines are conducting their disinfection after every flight.
Since tourism was badly affected by this pandemic, hotels are putting up different marketing campaigns to encourage more bookings. Look out for early bird discounts, loyalty promos, travel miles discounts, and special features. Some hotels require you to undergo a swab test first before they could accommodate you. Be prepared if you will have to pay an extra fee for this service. Do some online research with regards to hotel sanitation and disinfection processes to make sure that your safety is given priority.
Here is a quick guide when booking a hotel. First, it is important to know and note the exact location of the hotel you will be staying in. You can download apps such as Google Maps or Waze to help you travel around. Getting lost before was part of the adventure but these days it is better to stick to your plans. Talking to strangers and asking for directions could be risky for your health. Knowing the location of your hotel saves you some transportation costs and your time. You will also have an idea if the place is difficult to reach by car or you will end up walking in a narrow path. Ask if they have complimentary breakfast, this is ideal if you prefer to come out for lunch or in the afternoon. Avail of the free breakfast and enjoy your morning inside the hotel. Third, ask if the internet connection is stable and reliable. An internet connection is important in keeping up with what is happening around you. There are a lot of things changing around especially when it comes to health protocols. It is better that you are not kept in the dark while you are traveling. Fourth, check for hotel facilities and toiletries available. This will keep you from packing things which are not necessary for travel. Knowing the facilities will give you an idea if the hotel could also accommodate your special needs. Next, think about what type of room you are after and how big it is. Do you want something with a king-size bed with a seaside view? And lastly, consider how much money from your budget you are willing to spare for your room.
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, renting a car could be helpful. Car rentals are available from hotels or the airport. If you don’t have an idea on which car company to get, better do some research online first. Go through the reviews of car rental, visit their websites, check their rates and features before deciding which one to get. Some of the big names in the industry are Hertz, National, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise. The other thing you can do is simply to ask a person you trust what his/her recommendation is and decide whether you’ll take that advice. If you are to take a rented car, do not forget to bring your driver’s license and a credit card. You may also opt to get car insurance for your travel. For some car rental companies, this is already included in their rate but for others, insurance is considered as a top-up.
Once you have your car with you the first thing to do is to inspect the car. You don’t want to be driving a vehicle low on gas and with worn-out tires. To protect yourself from making additional and unwanted payments, take a photo of the car. Note all the dents, paint scratches, and dirt before taking over it.
Despite the risk, many of us would still want to travel and visit places. We all just have to be extra careful these days. Hopefully, things will get back to normal and the tourist spots will start beaming with life again and cities and towns vibrant as ever.
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