“International SOS has warned travellers to be careful and consider the risks involved when travelling as the highly contagious Omicron variant emerges as a significant threat disrupting travel confidence in Asia.” – TravelDailyMedia
Following our blog written in June of last year, “Travelling after COVID-19, what could it look like?”, we decided to do our own research and talk about how you can traveling safely in 2022.
The first step to begin your travels starts online… After the pandemic it’s less likely you will see someone go into a travel agent, everything will now be done online from the comfort of your home. When using the internet to research or book your holiday, the world is quite literally at your fingertips, which is why you need to be aware of the potential risks lying in wait for you.
There are numerous ways you can be targeted when booking online, here’s to name a few:
- Fraudulent payments to unsecure web pages
- Flight scams
- Holiday scams
So, to avoid any of these here’s our best tips for safe booking…
- Make sure that you book with a holiday or travel company that you’ve used before or that is reputable, do your research. Ensure that they are a member of a recognised travel authority as well, which will offer financial protection and a complaints service.
- If possible, pay for your holidays with a credit card! A credit card will offer additional financial protection.
- Before entering any card details, ensure the link is secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame and the web address should begin with ‘https://’.
- Triple check all details like travel dates, itineraries, destinations, transport, and travellers before you confirm any form of payment because you could be charged for amendments at a later date.
- Always take out travel insurance! For any activities you’re planning too, because you never know what might happen.
- If you are planning to rent a private villa or apartment, make sure you call the owner/agent directly to make sure it’s legitimate. Get the full address of the property and find it on Google Maps to check the location as well as check any reviews on TripAdvisor or similar review sites.
- If you are purchasing on Facebook Marketplace for example and the company or individual asks for payment. Never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal.
- Always keep receipts for all online holiday or travel bookings and payments!
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, make sure you report it to your local fraud centre.
Once everything’s booked in all you need to think about next is the trip itself! So how can you traveling safely in 2022? Here’s our advice…
Make sure you’re fully vaccinated
With the new OMICRON variant currently spreading the globe… we don’t know how many more strands of COVID will appear. So, it’s important to make sure you keep yourself fully vaccinated. As soon as you are eligible for boosters, get it done as this will make it much easier for you when it comes to travel. The annual flu jab will help protect you from circulating influenza viruses. Don’t forget to wear your mask when required and keep up with hygiene protocol.
Maintain flexible itineraries
With the health care restrictions changing all the time, it’s good practice to keep departure and return times as flexible as possible. Contingency plans will be more important than you realise, as travel restrictions could be imposed short notice such as pre-travel self-isolation.
Stay on top of travel/country restrictions
In the wake of the OMICRON variant surge in Asia and the related changes in travel rules… It’s important to check which specific restrictions may impact you. Find out if pre or post departure COVID-19 tests are necessary, if there are any self-isolation or mask requirements or whether you have to download a digital health pass to verify your vaccination status. Work all these details out and you’ll be sure to have an easier trip.
We hope you find these tips useful and ease any worries you might have about travel in 2022!
If you love learning about culture, our blog “The symbolism of five cash notes around the globe” examines the symbolism in a few country-specific banknotes and dives into potential hidden meanings that may change the way you look at currency!