What to consider when planning a holiday under the new normal

Monday, 23 November 2020 12:37 PM

The holidays are fast approaching, and for many of us, the recent lockdowns may have turned holiday plans upside down - changing vacations into staycations and FOMOs (fear of missing out) into FOGOs (fear of going out). All is not lost, as travel restrictions begin to ease under alert level 1. Which means, you can still enjoy some of your favourite holiday traditions while taking the necessary precautions. So, if you’re feeling zoomed out, suffering from a bit of cabin-fever, missing contact with loved ones and you’re thinking of travelling over the holiday period, here are things to consider when planning a holiday under the “new normal”.

Explore domestic holiday options

Can’t travel to your favourite offshore destination just yet? As the world scrambles to find treatment and a cure for COVID-19, travellers can expect some international restrictions to remain for the foreseeable future.

Luckily, there’s a solution for that in domestic travel. Go on a local holiday without the extra hassle. Wander across all corners of Mzansi for a holiday experience of your choice. Think beach holidays, safari getaways, off-the-beaten-track adventures - the list is endless! And although you won’t be able to avoid the new safety protocols at airports and planes, two hours (at most) on a green machine will get you to a local destination, giving you more time to make the most of your holiday. Better yet, with local, you’ll get more than what you bargained for on a tight budget and contribute towards the local economy - which could do with a much-needed boost.

Be flexibility during uncertain times

We’re forced to adapt to a world of uncertainty in the new normal, unsure of what the future may hold. If you’re still feeling a little anxious to make any travel commitments, booking your trips further in advance may give you the flexibility and confidence you need to change your holiday plans, as and when required. Get your holiday planning started, by finding out about the flexible booking options available when choosing accommodation and transport to get to your destination.

If you’re erring on the side of caution when planning a holiday, there are other flexible travel options available for extra peace of mind. Opt for multiple short getaways to gauge whether you’re ready for travel. They’re not only a time-and-cost-effective way to test the travel waters, but you get to experience different local destinations throughout the year. If you’re wanting to escape large crowds, opt for off-the-beaten-track experiences, where you can explore smaller towns, secluded beaches and choose from a variety of holiday accommodation ranging from hotels to vacation rentals and game lodges.

Consider travel restrictions and safety protocols when holiday planning

From travel and accommodation costs, itinerary ideas, to weather and seasonality, there is plenty to consider when planning for your perfect holiday. But, the severe impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives will inevitably affect travel itineraries and choice of destination, transport and accommodation.

When choosing a holiday destination, find out which areas are high-risk and what restrictions have been put in place to manage outbreaks. That way, you’ll be able to adapt your travel itinerary or avoid outbreak “danger zones” to mitigate health risks. When choosing accommodation, find out which health and safety measures are applied to keep guests safe. If you plan to stay with family or friends, consider the potential risk of severe illness to the elderly or the health-compromised and take the necessary precautions. When choosing modes of transport to get to your destination, familiarise yourself with the health and safety protocols used to protect travellers.

At kulula, safe travel is our top priority and we’ve adapted our flight experience to create safe spaces for our fans. Find out what additional health and safety measures we've put in place.

Get your health in check before travelling

Shared environments put one at a greater risk of contracting and spreading contagious illnesses. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, mandatory screening protocols at airports are among the few things that get you on a plane to your favourite destination these days.

The two weeks leading up to your trip are crucial in determining your fitness to travel onboard a plane. Take the necessary preventative measures by avoiding large social gatherings and exposure to high-risk environments before your trip. If you’re unwell, experiencing a fever, cough, or a mild to severe respiratory illness, then postponing your trip is the best option at ensuring that you and the public around you are kept safe. If you are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, consult with a health practitioner on whether it is safe to travel.

Prepare for a different holiday experience

Social distancing, wave greetings, mask and shield-wearing, are just some of the habits and practices that we’ve quickly adopted under the new normal. So, when packing for a holiday, add masks, bacterial wipes, sanitizers, a first-aid kit and a thermometer to your travel checklist. That way, you can manage your health throughout the holiday while protecting yourself and those around you.

Expect smaller social gatherings to be the norm at private and public events. Prep for more outdoor activities to lower the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. To minimize your exposure to crowded places while at your destination, consider hiring a car when getting around. And with a renewed focus on hygiene, don’t be surprised if asked to pay for items with a bank card rather than cash. What remains unchanged, are the beautiful memories you can create with travel that will last you a lifetime.

Stay in the know for the latest travel restriction updates by visiting www.sacoronavirus.co.za and National Institute of Communicable Diseases.

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