What To Keep In Mind When Joining A Group Trip During Covid
Surely one of the best hobbies out there, travel has taken a mighty blow due to the Covid pandemic. More than 8 months into the lockdown, you might be feeling like a caged bird and want nothing more than to spread your wings and fly out on a trip. Now that the government has removed most travel restrictions, you can do just that! But would we recommend it? No, because there’s still a risk factor involved until there’s an actual cure for the virus. You can travel, but you’ve to do it in a very responsible manner.
Perhaps you’re the traveler who likes to visit places in solitude. But there are some places you’re better off traveling in a group – you may need assistance (adventure trips, for instance), there’s safety in numbers, or simply because you’d like more people because it’s more fun! But considering the pandemic, here are a few things you need to keep in mind before joining a group trip during Covid.
With Whom To Go?
The first thing that you want to consider is who you’re going to travel with. There are websites and apps where you can find like-minded people who’d want to go on a trip. The one awesome thing about joining a group trip is that even though you may go alone, you’ll return from the trip with new friends and memories for life. However, with coronavirus in mind, you’ll need to take extra care.
If you’re all about joining a group trip with some new people, be in regular contact with them before the trip and ensure that they’re taking all the necessary precautions against Covid – isolation from others for at least 14 days, getting a medical checkup and the likes. This way, your group members have little risk of infection and you can set out on a relatively safe trip.
However, the best way to go on a group trip is to go with your friends or family. It’s a given that you’re much safer with a group that you know personally. Even so, following the above Covid precautions would help make it safer. Invite only your closest friends, preferably less than five of them because the more the people, the greater the risk of infection.
Where To Go And Stay?
Thanks to Covid, you’ve got to be a lot more careful while choosing a destination, even more so while traveling as a group. A good idea would be to look for places that are close to your home and within your state. You’re most likely going to face a lot of regulations for international travel, so make sure you know all the rules beforehand.
Since social distancing is your priority, look for offbeat places that are away from the tourist radar, and hence, much less crowded. Also, you don’t want to be right in the middle of a city, so activities like trekking or camping would be most ideal. There are two advantages to this: you’ll be away from crowds and an outdoor holiday means lesser risk of transmitting the virus as the droplets disperse in the air.
Choosing a place to stay is just as important. Look for places that are Covid-ready with all the necessary precautions. Since you’re going on a group trip, hiring an entire villa for yourself is better. In case you’re sharing the accommodation with other travel groups, be sure to follow social distancing rules with them. You don’t know them, so try to be as safe as possible.
How To Go?
Most interstate travel restrictions have been relaxed, so you can get around with little trouble. Unless you’re going abroad or really long distances, consider traveling in your personal vehicle. This is because whatever the precautions taken, using public transport carries a greater risk of Covid transmission.
On the other hand, you know all the sanitation measures you’ve taken in your own vehicle. You know who’s getting in your vehicle and if they’ve followed Covid safety precautions. It’s going to be much safer and better this way, particularly if you’re traveling with people you know. The one downside is that you may get fatigued after long hours of driving. If your travel buddies can drive, you can take turns driving.
If your travel group is bigger, hire a spacious vehicle like a bus so that you don’t get cramped in the long hours of travel and also get some space to follow social distancing.
While you may be able to relax on social distancing rules somewhat in your vehicle, don’t do so when you step out during a pitstop, especially in places like fuel stations and eateries. To remedy that somewhat, you can pack your own food and drink.
Having A Safe Holiday
Once you reach your destination, which we hope is quite isolated, don’t compromise on social distancing norms even then. It’s a good idea to have a trip itinerary as planning a trip is of paramount importance, but be flexible enough to make changes to it as required. As far as possible, engage in activities and arrange for meals to be held in the outdoors.
This bit of advice is always relevant, but now even more so: avoid littering and spitting, particularly in places where there hasn’t been a Covid outbreak yet. You don’t want to endanger a community with simple acts of carelessness.
Whether you’re going with the people you know or a new group of travel enthusiasts, ensure that you enjoy your trip in a safe and sanitized manner. If at all fortune decides to not favour you on your trip and you fall sick, don’t panic. Read our guide: What To Do If You Get Sick When On Your Holiday.
Things To Remember
Before joining a group trip, here are things you need to take care of and inform your group about these too!
Practise social distancing always — masks, sanitizer and 6 feet distance.
Get a medical checkup done before leaving and constantly monitor your health during the trip.
If you fall sick before the trip, cancel it. There’s no need to take any undue risk.
Look for accommodations and destinations that are isolated and Covid ready, and that they’re open to the public.
Even if no documentation is required, get a coronavirus self-declaration form and install the Aarogya Setu app on your phone to be on the safer side.
Covid restrictions on travel can change, so be up-to-date on them.
Avoid close interaction with anyone outside of your travel group.
Cashless transactions reduce risk of infection, so opt for them as far as possible.
Once you reach home after the trip, take plenty of rest, continue self monitoring and get a checkup done.
If you or your travel buddies develop symptoms during or after the trip, inform the your entire group and the accommodation staff immediately and seek help.