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Pandemic Travel – COVID-19

“The only certainty is uncertainty”

A cloud of questions & uncertainty

We all have questions about the new world of travel. Where can you travel during the pandemic? What are the safest ways to travel? What happens if there is an outbreak in the country where you live, and travel becomes restricted again? What happens if the country you are travelling to won’t accept tourists from countries you will be travelling from?

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. We’re all living amidst the same frustrating travel uncertainty and every question is valid. What’s tricky, however, is that the pandemic is constantly evolving, and the situation can, and does, change in just 24 hours.

Therefore, ensuring our travel specialists are continuously up to date is vital to Africa Tailormade. The goalposts are forever shifting due to vaccination rollouts, new waves and variants, unexpected outbreaks, reinstated lockdowns, fluctuating travel advisories and revolving border openings.

The aim of this article is to merely act as a guide so you can start to plan your long-awaited and well-deserved journey back out into the real world. Adventure awaits … and we’re here to answer any questions you may have before, during or after your luxurious return to travel.

Your greatest travel allies

Global travellers quickly accepted and adapted to the heightened security measures and increased travel uncertainty following the devastating events of 9/11 and we will emerge from this pandemic too, with strict protocols and security checks that will become the norm for years to come.

As you start planning your post-lockdown, post-vaccination, or post-pandemic adventures (depending where you sit on the travel confidence spectrum), these will be your 5 greatest travel allies:

1. Experienced Travel Specialists

With today’s fluctuating restrictions and ongoing travel uncertainty, the expert guidance of an experienced travel specialist is priceless. The memory-makers and life-changers of the travel world, a travel specialist soon becomes part of your travel tribe, offering sage advice, regular updates, seamless logistics, destination knowledge, insider tips and a sense of calm when those sporadic moments of travel anxiety crop up.

2. Reputable Tour Operator

Travelling with a well-established, respected, and responsible operator will help alleviate all of the fears and concerns you may have about travel during a pandemic. Not only will their operations be guided by strict protocols, but the same high standards will apply to the properties and service providers they choose to partner with. A reliable operator will also have flexible terms and conditions for peace of mind during uncertain times.

3. Around-the-clock service

When booking with Africa Tailormade, you will have 24/7 access to your travel specialist. Any time of the day or night, we will be available to take your call, answer any questions or concerns you may have before, during or after you travel.

4. Travel Insurance

Now, more than ever, travel insurance is a necessity given the ongoing global uncertainty travellers face. Our preferred partner is Bryte Insurance. With Bryte behind you, customers can rest assured that their claims are easily lodged no matter where they are. Their claims handling approach is speedy, professional and fair. Bryte’s claim handlers develop individual action plans for fast recovery to minimise interruptions to customer journeys.

It is also important to check your government travel advisories and airlines often, as things can, and do, change in a New York minute.

5. Your COVID Kit

Whether you’re fully vaccinated, or Covid-negative, your Covid health documentation is your golden ticket to travel. Don’t leave home without it. You’ll need to provide this proof often, so keep it handy.

Pack plenty of hand sanitiser and face masks. While vaccinated travellers may feel bulletproof, the same mask-wearing, social-distancing and hand-sanitising protocols still apply in most places. Despite being vaccinated, you can still be a carrier and put other non-vaccinated guests, staff and vulnerable community members at risk. Be respectful of the protocols in the destination to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all.

Lastly—and these are just as crucial—don’t forget to bring an extra dose of patience and a good-natured sense of humour. There will no doubt be (socially distanced) queues and embarking/disembarking the airplane will be a much slower (albeit far more organised, not to mention civilised) process. So be patient, embrace the new protocols and smile (behind that mask).

And while we’re on the topic of what to bring, there are two things you should absolutely leave at home: your anxiety (when travelling with Africa Tailormade, you are safely in our hands) and your diet (again, when travelling with us, the food is so moreish, you simply can’t be counting pesky holiday calories). Bon voyage and safe, happy, worry-free, and unforgettable travels.

10 travel tips for pandemic travel

In summary, here’s a handy checklist as you venture back out into the world:

  1. Ensure you plan ahead with the above 5 important travel allies.
  2. Coordinate your vaccination timeline to ensure the correct timing between Covid vaccinations and any other essential travel inoculations (i.e., Yellow Fever vaccination).
  3. Carry these original proofs of vaccination on you; do not laminate, rather find a protective case or lanyard, and always have them at the ready.
  4. Make multiple copies of these documents; leave one copy at home and keep a few in different places in your luggage, just in case.
  5. Avoid multiple destinations (queues, connections, requirements, etc.) for now and opt to linger longer, and luxuriously, in one destination to avoid too many COVID tests.
  6. Allow ample time between flights and transfers for additional queues, slower aircraft embarkation and disembarkation, Covid screenings and other delays (your Africa Tailormade travel specialist will do this for you).
  7. Pre-book any required arrival and/or re-entry Covid screenings (your Africa Tailormade travel specialist can do this on your behalf).
  8. Double, triple, quadruple-check all travel advisories and especially flights, as delays, restrictions and cancellations are to be expected as countries and airlines continue to navigate the pandemic.
  9. Be over prepared, be patient and have a sense of humour.
  10. Cherish your adventure and the long-awaited return to travel.