The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we travel. Nicholas Liou is a student and avid traveler. He recently discussed how individuals can travel respectfully now that many COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.
“It’s more important now than ever before to travel respectfully,” Nicholas Liou said. “The act of traveling will not return to the way it was before the pandemic for years or even decades, so we must learn to adapt while trying our best to keep each other safe.”
Liou explained that traveling safely and responsibly is essential to remaining in good health and preventing others from falling ill. First, he stated that following general COVID-19 protocols is essential. This means not traveling if you’re feeling sick in any way, washing your hands often, and practicing social distancing. He also expressed the importance of using a mask when in public until mask mandates are lifted.
“You must be respectful of the country or city you’re visiting,” Nicholas Liou said. “Research their COVID-19 guidelines and respect them. Some businesses may require more strict procedures, while others will remain more relaxed. It’s important to respect the wishes of business owners, and simply do not enter if you disagree.”
Similarly, Liou expressed the importance of researching COVID-19 in the city or country you plan to visit. Do not travel to an area that is currently undergoing a severe outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers travel notices ranking countries by the risk assessment level for COVID. Visit this website if you desire to travel but are unsure about the destination.
“Travelers need to understand that travel is not like it was before. However, we are fortunate to be able to travel at all,” Nicholas Liou said. “It is best to alter your upcoming trips to be more outdoors-oriented. For instance, taking a hiking trip can be more responsible than traveling to a major concert or indoor event.”
Liou added that booking accommodations and activities ahead of time can be helpful for you as a traveler and for local businesses. Booking ahead of time will allow you to talk with the owner of the business to learn about their policies regarding COVID-19. You may learn that some activities you wanted to try are no longer available or that they’ve been altered. Booking early also allows the business to make any additional adjustments before your arrival, such as sanitizing your room or limiting available space on a tour.
“Now is the time to make your travel as low-risk as possible,” Liou concluded. “Planning wisely and being more cautious will help keep you safe and benefit the locals in the community you’re visiting.”