Joining A Group Trip During Covid

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. Now you might be feeling like a caged bird and want nothing more than to spread your wings and fly out on a trip. But would we recommend traveling just yet? No, because there’s still a risk factor involved in it. Even if places are opened for travel, you’ll have 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.

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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.

Joining A Group Trip During Covid, Joining A Group Trip During CovidIf 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 during Covid 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.

Joining A Group Trip During CovidSince 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?

Keep in mind the interstate travel restrictions 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 no matter what precautions are taken, using public transport carries a greater risk of Covid transmission.

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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.

5 Farmstays To Visit During Covid, Joining A Group Trip During CovidThis 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 favor 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?

Safety Tips When On A Group Trip During Covid

Before joining a group trip during Covid, here are things you need to take care of and inform your group about these too!

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  • Practice 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 the 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 your entire group and the accommodation staff immediately and seek help.

FAQs

What Is Group Travel?

Group travel consists of a group of people who travel together and have the same plans.

Is Travelling Alone Boring?

Traveling alone may be boring for some and exciting for others. You’ll have more freedom to explore as you wish when you’re traveling alone as you won’t need to consider anyone else’s interest but from a safety point of view, group travel may be better.

How Do I Set Up A Group Trip?

Planning a group trip may be more difficult than it sounds, but quite doable:

Have A Leader: It’s best to let someone who has a bit of travel experience take the lead in planning. Once you’ve come to a consensus on the itinerary, you can also divide the work based on the things you like to do, for instance: booking, budgeting, etc.

Budget And Reservations: Decide on a budget well beforehand. Most travel and accommodation services would give discounts for groups, but you’ll need to ensure that everyone is onboard with the expenses or look for more affordable options.

Factor In Alone Time: Group travel doesn’t mean that you must always stick together. After all, everyone has different interests. So wherever possible, let your group go where they want.

Hire A Travel Agent: A travel agent will have all the experience and inside knowledge when it comes to travel, and so it can make your group trip a lot simpler.

Is It Cheaper To Travel In Groups?

Yes. Considering all the expenses including accommodation, food, and getting around are split among your group, you end up saving quite a bit of money. Also, you can avail yourself of group discounts, leaving you with more money in your pocket!

Why Do People Take Group Tours?

Group tours are a great way to connect with like-minded travelers and possibly create a lifelong bond with them. It takes the responsibility of all the planning away from you as there’s a coordinator doing all the hard work! And apart from being more affordable, there’s also a sense of safety when traveling as a group.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Group Travel?

A Little Less Freedom: Because you’re traveling as a group, you’ll need to factor in everyone’s interest. That might mean you’ll need to stick to a schedule.

You May Not Like Your Co-Travelers: There’s a chance that you simply can’t get along with your co-traveler. So you’ll need to put up with them!

Lack Of Privacy: Sharing accommodation with other travelers means you’ll get little privacy. If this is important to you, then group travel may not be for you.

What Precautions Can I Take To Avoid Contracting Covid-19?

Four simple precautions can greatly help in reducing the risk of getting Covid-19:

Wear A Mask: Covid spreads when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, releasing the virus particles in the air. Wearing a mask, especially the N95, can help in reducing the spread of the virus.

Wash Your Hands: Your hands touch a lot of surfaces, which may have the virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can lead you to get infected. To remedy that, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Maintain Safe Distance: Keeping at least 6-feet distance from others means you’re not in close contact with someone who may be infected. Combine social distancing with a mask, and you’re even safer!

Get Vaccinated: Vaccination drives have begun. So make sure that you register yourself for the shot on the Aarogya Setu app. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated doesn’t make you immune to the virus, it only makes you more resistant to it. So the other three precautions mentioned above still apply!

Can The Coronavirus Disease Be Transmitted In Hot Or Humid Climates?

The Covid virus has shown itself capable to be transmitted in all areas, irrespective of climate. That’s why you shouldn’t relax on preventive measures.

How Long Should I Self-quarantine If I Have Been Exposed To Covid-19?

If you’ve been exposed to Covid-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days. Remember that even if you’re asymptomatic, you can still be carrying the virus.

What Precautions Should Everyone Take In A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.

Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.

Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.

Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.

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