Tramp’s Tips for travelling in “New Normal”

Right after checking into the Hotel I wanted to have a coffee. It has been almost half a year since I last travelled. But instead of ordering coffee, a sudden thought struck in my mind, “whether the hotel room is sanitised, and if so, is it better to sanitise on my own?” 

It was my first trip after the lockdown for Covid-19 pandemic. Some of my friends have already started travelling. In fact the travel industry started getting revenue. But how to enjoy a trip by keeping ourselves safe from Novel CoronaVirus. This is probably the biggest question in the world of Wanderlust.

Secondly, in this new normal world, airlines have introduced various restrictions. Most of the states in India have applied a list of dos and don’ts. Is there any reckoner to get them? This is probably the second question for the travel freak people.

After my trip, I had a discussion with my two wanderlust friends Mr. Anirban Banerjee and Ms. Tamisra Mirani where we all shared our experiences of travel in new normal days and also we prepared a checklist of the dos and don’ts.

[A] Safety Gears:

How to protect ourselves from Covid-19? Actually it is very easy to say but tough to maintain. We need to follow two rules viz. Cover and Sanitise.

1. Mask, Surgical Caps:

These three items are at the top in any list of travel essentials.

By this time, everybody in this world is aware of masks. In fact some gourmet companies have started preparing fashionable masks. But unfortunately they are not protective enough. I suggest using an N95 mask. Always keep three spare masks because during any travel, to be on the safer side.

If you are fine to wash your head regularly (even in the evening or late night) then you might not need a surgical cap. But if you are prone to cold like me or to avoid late evening baths in a new weather, then it is always advised to use a surgical cap. Please remember, surgical caps are not reusable. So please have sufficient caps with you. I keep provision to change surgical caps twice.

2. Face Shield

Double protection is always better. Face shield is probably the best way to defend your face from the attack of virus. Though the airlines provide a face shield just before boarding, it is always better to wear it when you are leaving from home.

3. PPE Kit (If you can afford):

If you are lucky enough to get your seat in the middle position of aircraft, you will be provided a PPE kit. But it is always better to wear it from home. To keep yourself safe.

[B] Different Sanitizers:

  1. Hand Sanitizers:

Sanitising hand in a regular interval can keep you protected. Carry a hand sanitizer on your person at all times. Sanitise immediately after touching objects like elevator buttons, doorknobs, etc. When transacting in cash, sanitize your hands immediately after putting the change away.

2. Floor Sanitizer, Surface and Air Disinfectant:

Floor Sanitizer/ Air Disinfectants will help to sanitize the floor, bed, pillows, blankets and other furniture of the hotel room. Also spray the air sanitizer before using the public toilet.

3. Cloth Sanitizer:

Since it is not always possible to wash cloths everyday, it is suggested to carry one/ two bottles of cloth sanitizers after reaching hotel. If you go for shopping, then sanitize the chosen garments before trial.

4. Food Sanitizer:

If you purchase any packed food or packed snacks, do not forget to apply food sanitizer to the packets before you open it.

5. Disinfectant wipes:

If you are travelling in public transport, please carry disinfectant wipes. Before sitting, wipe your seats, armrests, train berths. Please have a plastic bag with you to throw them.

[C] Before you fly:

Web check-in is mandatory before you go to airport. Please have a close watch on the website of the corresponding airlines. Some airlines (like Air India) is rescheduling their flights very often. Do the web check in and choose a seat. Getting a middle seat is always advised as you will get a PPE Kit.

[D] Travel in Trains:

Few weeks ago, my friend Anirban purchased a tatkal ticket. From him, I came to know that Tatkal tickets are getting issued only from the counter. So it is always advised to get knowledge of the ticket and time of opening the window from the nearest reservation counter before you go to book.

[E] Choosing the apparently safe destination:

Before planning for your vacation, check the current status of Covid-19 cases of the chosen place. If it is outside of your state, do have the state helpline number of the destination handy. Also check for the hospitals that is covered under your mediclaim policy.

If you have not travelled since lockdown, it is better for you to start with road trips. One or two road trips will give you confidence for long trip.

Also, it is good for now to avoid popular destinations. My friend Tamisra chose Ghatshila for her Christmas holiday instead of some happening places. This is just to avoid crowd. Please do not go to late night pubs, night clubs.

[F] Choosing right hotel:

Before choosing the hotel, please be ensured whether they are compliant with government guidelines for Covid-19. Please check whether they have class shield in the reception, whether their staffs are using gloves, whether they have hand sanitizers in the reception or not.

Travel can not be stopped in the new normal world. Please opt for safe travel.

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