How Are We Protecting Ourselves While Travelling From COVID-19?
Journal Entry 4
We knew from the beginning that travelling would not be the same, and we believe that is for a long time to come. Travelling safely during COVID-19 has become a top priority, for both our own health and well being and those around us.
“But, aren’t you guys afraid of travelling while we’re still technically going through the COVID-19 pandemic?”
This has surely been one of the most popular questions we’ve been facing since we decided to take on this full-time travel adventure. We’re doing our utmost to be as safe as possible, however can we say that we’re completely safe? No! And in reality, pandemic or no pandemic, you’re never 100% safe while in the madness of living for a long period of time on the road. Tragedies occur when you’re least expecting them – it’s all about the mindset and the willingness the individual has.
Are we afraid? To be completely honest, we’re not afraid – but on the other hand, we’d be foolish not to be concerned!
We’re not afraid because we’ve been preparing for this for too long and we both feel that there will ALWAYS be something huge and valid enough to hold us back. It can be the pandemic, a very dear family member who’s a bit unwell, a fantastic job opportunity… and the list goes on.
We’re not afraid, but concerned – and we feel that in a good way. That’s why we’ll make sure to follow a number of steps to keep us safe, as well as those around us while on our journey.
Every Country is Different
The first step we’re taking is to individually monitor the situation in the countries and cities we intend to visit. It feels much safer to visit a country with a low rate of active infections – rather than a country which is still going through its peak. Another reason why we’ll do so is to make sure we prepare ourselves to carefully follow all the health and safety guidelines imposed by the respective governments.
Now more than ever, hygiene is vital when it comes to accommodation. But how could you know beforehand if an accommodation is up to a certain standard?
1. First and foremost, check past reviews left by people before the COVID-19 outbreak. Chances are that if the hostel kept a high hygienic standard at a time when a global pandemic was just a myth – these standards increased at such delicate times.
2. Make sure that the chosen accommodation is certified as clean and safe by the tourism industry of the specific country, like Athens Hub Hostel for example. This will basically mean that they are following all health guidelines set, which surely gives us great peace of mind.
Protecting Ourselves and Others
We’ve been doing most of the following since the beginning of the pandemic, so it’s very straightforward for us to carry on while travelling. Besides the old-school water and soap hand washing (nothing beats that!), one of such practices is definitely the regular use of alcohol-based hand rub. In most countries, this has become mandatory before entering closed buildings – therefore it is now commonly found at each entrance. To take it a step further, we decided to create our own simple yet effective DIY hand rub using the following:
1. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99% alcohol)
2. Aloe Vera Gel
3. Lemon juice / Tea tree oil / Lavender Oil
To make this effective, it is essential to mix a 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera (or just a tad more alcohol, you know – to be safe), which according to the CDC is the amount needed to kill most germs. In addition, add a few drops of lemon juice or essential oil to complete the final mixture.
Although many ongoing controversies about the use of face masks, both of us believe in their capability of reducing the spread. These have become mandatory not only during flights, but in many indoor stores and public transport systems around the world.
Contact with Other People…
What’s travelling without meeting and getting to know other people?
However, we understand that travelling won’t be the same for a long time. Therefore we feel that respecting the current situation is the best way forward. This doesn’t mean that we’ll fear all interactions with locals and other travellers, but keeping a small distance whenever possible will surely not hurt that much. This goes without saying, but avoiding big crowds is a smart decision and a vital part of travelling safely during COVID-19.