safe covid-19 Travel: when and how to prepare?

safe covid-19 travel

UPDATED 2022: We were finally able to get out and take our first safe COVID-19 travel trip of the year! As the travel industry begins to open again, we took the opportunity to take a trip inside of Israel. And although it was so great to get out again, there are many changes to traveling, post COVID-19.

How to Prepare for Safe COVID-19 Travel

In order to prepare for our trip to Eilat, we had to put a little more effort into our pre-trip planning, which we usually do at the last minute. No flights meant we had to drive, which was fine with us. But because we knew that many restrictions were still in place where we were going, we had to add a few extras into our bags: 

  • Wipes. Traveling with a 3-year old means always having wipes with us, but this time we had to bring enough for the entire family. 
  • Sanitizer. Planes are now allowing sanitizer to be brought onboard, and I suggest always carrying a small bottle with you wherever you go. 
  • Masks. Our country still has a mandatory mask regulation in place, so we need to bring them everywhere we go. But even if your country doesn’t, I suggest having one for those ‘just in case’ moments. 
  • Gloves. Gloves aren’t always necessary, but when you’re traveling, you don’t know what you’ll come across. Just be prepared. 
  • Bagged Snacks & Water. If you’re like us, you probably go overboard with the snacks and water on your trips, but that’s a good thing now! The better prepared you are for any situation while traveling, the more likely you are to remain safe. 

The New Safe COVID-19 Travel Norm

There is definitely a new travel norm following the COVID-19 pandemic, and depending on where you are located, restrictions will vary. But there are measures in place that you should be prepared to deal with.

  • Longer Wait Times. Traveling on planes, trains and public transport will experience longer waiting times, so plan on arriving earlier than previously needed. 
  • Immigration Regulations. If you’re traveling international, be prepared for some major changes. Many countries still have quarantine measures in place, sometime up to 2 weeks if you’re a tourist. 
  • Wearing Masks. Many places are still requiring masks (and sometimes gloves). You should always carry an extra pair wherever you’re traveling. 
  • Negative Covid Test: Pretty much ever country and airline requires you to show your negative covid test. Rules are always changing, so make sure you are aware of the current airline and country requirements before traveling.
  • Temperature Checks. We’ve experienced many stores and restaurants requiring temperature checks before entering.
  • Certificate of Immunity/Vaccination. Countries who have been hit hard or are still experiencing hot spots are requiring a certificate of immunity/vaccination along with your passport when entering. Make sure you have this readily available when traveling.

TIP: If you’re traveling inside or leaving the US, both Walgreens and CVS have FREE PCR testing for flying. We always do both tests to assure at least one of them comes in on time.

An Increase in Local Travel 

While many countries still have international travel restrictions in place, local travel will continue to take over in 2022. Which is a good thing. Local tourism took a huge hit all over the world, and traveling local is a way to help get our countries back on their feet again. So even if you can’t travel internationally, yet, start small by traveling local. Support your local tourism, especially if it’s just for a weekend getaway. 

Family Photo, Eilat

Royal Shangri-la, Eilat

For our local safe COVID-19 travel getaway, we chose to drive to Eilat and stay at the Royal Shangri-la resort. It’s around a 3 ½ hour drive from Tel Aviv, with scenic views of the Dead Sea, Mitspe Ramon and the desert along the way. I strongly recommend making sure the place you’re staying at has COVID-19 safety and health measures in place, BEFORE choosing them.

Royal Shangri-la, Eilat

Social Distancing Measures 

The Royal Shangri-la was the best choice for travel post COVID-19 with its luxurious villas located on top of the mountain – perfect for maintaining social distancing. Each staff member wore masks and gloves – from the main desk to the chefs – and everything was kept meticulously sterilized. 

Hygiene Kits 

They were completely prepared for the new travel requirements with hand sanitizing stations located around the property and a welcoming hygine kit, including masks, gloves, sanitizer and wipes. 

safe covid-19 travel hygine kit

Tips for Safe COVID-19 Travel

After our first family getaway of 2020, I definitely learned a couple of tips to apply during COVID-19 travel.  

Do Your Research

Each location is different and has varied travel restrictions in place, so make sure to do your research before you go. Check out the local vibe. Do you have to wear masks? Can you eat in restaurants or just get take-away? What local activities are open for tourists and what measures are in place to reserve places? You might already research a location before you visit, but with COVID-19 precautions, you’ll need to step up your research a tad. 

There are many real-time tools available online to check the status of your travel location, such as the Re-open EU free web platform that provides up-to-date information on borders, transportation, safety measures and restrictions for countries in Europe.

More Outdoor Experiences

Nature is definitely soaking up lots of love with the onset of COVID-19, which is great! More and more families are taking this time to get out and have family nature experiences such as hiking, camping, trekking or just a walk through the park. Sites like Yonder are helping people escape to nature with their Airbnb-like tools for getting outside. They have cool experiences from Reindeer Walks to Treehouse stays.

Fly or Drive

With flights starting to reopen, you might have the urge to jump on a plane and get to your destination quicker than driving (if possible). But many are questioning if flying is safe. There are medical professionals who say yes, and there are those who say no. Flying is definitely a risk, depending on the flight, the number of passengers, the length of time in flight and the space between seating. Some flights are blocking off rows and others aren’t. Keep all this in mind as you’re preparing to buy your ticket. Driving is probably the safer route.

Be Flexible

Flexibility is so important while traveling, and even more so now. Be ready for longer wait lines, more procedures in place, closed or reduced activities and unexpected turn of events. On our Eilat trip, we were planning on visiting the Underwater Observatory Marine Park, only to discover that it was opening up 2 days after we were leaving. We were so bummed, but it was all part of the travel post COVID-19 experience. 

Safety First

Always put your family’s healthy and safety first! Our last night in Eilat we planned on dressing up and eating out at a restaurant on the beach. When we got there, my husband noticed that the restaurant wasn’t exactly the most sanitary (to put it gently). We were quite disappointed, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice the health of our family during these times. Instead, we ended up getting take-away from one of our favorite Asian restaurants, Giraffe, and took it back to our villa. We ended up having a really nice family dinner at the comfort of our place. 

Don’t Forget to Have Fun in Your Travels

In the end, you want to remember that you’re taking a trip to get away and have a good time. Yes, it’s important to remain safe and be careful, but don’t forget that you’re on a vacation! 

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safe covid-19 travel

3 Comments on “safe covid-19 Travel: when and how to prepare?

  1. Thank you Maureen We love seeing your trips and photos😘

  2. Pingback: The Ultimate Eilat Travel Guide for Families - Mommy Mo Adventures

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