Britain is relaxing travel restrictions in December because no politician wants to be seen as The Grinch That Stole Christmas.
Whether you should travel is another question. Holiday travel is chaotic at the best of times but will be especially so in 2020. Here, we want to discuss three tips to make your holiday travel safe in the age of Covid-19. Obviously the safest option is to not travel but many people will undoubtedly take a chance to either visit family or get a bit of winter sun. Three things you need to keep in mind for a Christmas break 2020 if you decide to travel include preparing for flight issues, having travel insurance and taking extra supplies.
Britain’s Travel Corridor
Anyone who has been following Britain’s travel corridor list for the last few months has seen countries go on and off the list. Be prepared for the fact that wherever you are travelling may fall of the list and you will need to quarantine on your return. Many people will remember the fiasco over the summer when Britons had to rush home from France when France got taken off the safe travel corridor list.
Make sure you have enough work days/school days to quarantine effectively. As of mid-December, the quarantine time is being reduced from 14 days to 5 days. If your office or school returns before or on January 4, you do NOT have enough quarantine time to spend New Year’s Eve out of the country.
Britain is allowing (but not encouraging) travel during Christmas. Despite the government’s pleas, people will travel to see family but also for pleasure. The lure for winter sun is a big attraction for many Britains enduring the endless grey skies and rain and short daylight hours that is the hallmark of a British winter.
Bearing in mind that travel will happen irrespective of government and health guidelines, here are three things to keep in mind if you take a Christmas Break 2020 that will make your life easier.
You may end up with flight delays and other unexpected issues. Airlines aren’t running all the routes they used to do before the pandemic struck. Sure, you may be entitled to flight delay compensation but you will still need to get through the trip with your sanity intact.
Here are some tips to minimise your travel stress on the plane and at the airport:
- Don’t go somewhere that needs connecting flights. If your family is somewhere that requires a flight connection, maybe for this year you could meet at someone’s place that is more central.
- Send all your gifts ahead of time so you can travel with carry on only. Make sure you tell your family that you will not have the space to bring gifts back to your home. Hopefully they take the hint and give you gift cards and/or cash.
- If you need to travel with luggage, make sure you take a change of clothes in your carry on in case your luggage is delayed.
- Make sure you have enough chargers etc for all the kids as I have suggested previously for making Christmas travel easier.
We hope these packing tips help you as you prepare for your Christmas Break 2020.
Make sure you have adequate travel insurance wherever you are going. Don’t assume that you have adequate travel insurance – check specifically for any exclusions for Covid-19 and related issues.
Some of the countries that are on the British travel corridor for which you will not need to quarantine on your return are perfect for a winter sun getaway. For example, some of the islands in the Caribbean and Sri Lanka are now on the travel corridor list. Before you travel to far flung countries like Sri Lanka for a holiday, you need to ensure you have adequate Sri Lanka travel insurance if the worst were to happen.
Take Extra Supplies
There are some precautions you should take during this uncertain time of travel.
Make sure you have enough masks and hand sanitises to cover your trip. It may not be a good idea to buy masks or sanitiser at your location since you don’t know their quality. For example, we prefer our own brand of hand sanitiser to the slippery cheap hand sanitizer that leaves your hand feeling wet. My kids will try to rub the wet stuff off which makes it fairly useless.
Make sure you have enough medicine that you normally take in case you get stuck somewhere for a prolonged period of time. Take your medical history (and the medical history any family members travelling with you) in case you were to be hospitalised.
Moreover, make sure you know what medicine you (and any family members travelling with you) are not allowed to take. Don’t rely on doctors in other areas or other countries to be familiar with (or even know the brand name of) your medication and/or dosages. As we’ve mentioned before, something as workaday for pain relief as Paracetemol in the UK isn’t given in the USA.
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