Is it safe for you to travel in 2021? This is probably one of the top prevailing questions on people’s minds, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic… In this post, I am going to share mindful travel tips to help you navigate these tricky times, if & when you go. 🙂
Mindfulness, refers to being aware and present in a wholesome way. If we apply ourselves to mindful travel, it means that we are making conscious, intentional decisions- before, during and after our trips.
So how can we travel more mindfully in 2021?
7 Ways To Practice Mindful Travel In The 2021 Covid Era!
P.S. These tips can apply to both your local and international travels in 2021…
Be Mindful Of Your Destination: Research!
As and when you make plans to travel this year, I would suggest researching your destinations in advance… Beyond places to stay and activities, do some research on the people, the culture, and the local atmosphere.
Take time to look into how their experience of Covid-19 has been. You may find that some places are completely overwhelmed by the pandemic… And in some countries or cities/towns, the locals are discouraging visitors (understandably), although their national borders remain open .
You’ll also want to check out what specific measures are in place at your destination of choice…
- Is there a curfew and at what times? Are certain parts of the country on lock-down?
- Do you need a negative Covid certificate to visit? What are the testing procedures/costs?
- Upon arrival, how long do you need to self-quarantine?
- If you test positive, what’s the directive on self-quarantining and at whose cost?
In Rwanda for instance, you have to be tested again on arrival, even with a negative Covid-19 certificate from home. This means you would need to factor in, the costs of double testing.
Wherever we go in 2021, we certainly want to respect and be mindful of the residents & the Covid protocols in place. Hence this kind of information will prove useful in making a decision, on if you should stay or go, & help you plan better.
Be Intentional: Support Local!
Whether at home or while traveling, there’s never been a better time to support local businesses than now! 🙂
Lots of businesses & individuals depend on tourism for their livelihoods. Think about the small hotel owner or the vendors who sell their wares to tourists…
Some local businesses have been closed for months, and are on the verge of shutting down, if they haven’t already.
Mindful Travel Tips>>
>Look out for places that are open & welcoming visitors, and book local stays.
>Where possible, be intentional about eating & buying local. Your money could mean the difference between these local businesses staying open or closing down.
>The next time you want to getaway, consider a staycation at a locally owned boutique hotel or Airbnb.
>Perhaps there’s a local organization in your hometown/destination you can support?
Be Mindful Of Your Privilege
In these times, mindful travel also means being aware of our various ‘forms of privilege’ and responding accordingly…
Say you are traveling from a country/home where a vaccine and Covid tests are readily or freely available. It helps to stay mindful of the fact that this is not a universal experience.
For some (if not most), getting a Covid test could mean forgoing something basic like food or meeting their rent.
So, whether you’ve tested negative or received the vaccine, follow the Covid-19 safety measures expeditiously.
Be kind in all your interactions, with the understanding that though our pandemic experiences are seemingly similar, they’ve also been quite different.
Let’s extend grace, as we live and let live. 🙂
Take Personal Responsibility: Practice Safe Travel
In 2021, people are likely to become more ‘comfortable’ with traveling, as certain aspects of our lives go back to ‘normal’. Nevertheless, the pandemic is still very much a reality.
Hence, it’s upon us, to take up personal responsibility if & when we decide to travel.
>>Wear your mask. Wash your hands regularly/ sanitize frequently. Maintain your social distance.
If & when we do, let’s make every effort to travel in a safe way that keeps us, and those around us safe.
When we each take up ownership for traveling and operating in a Covid-safe way, our collective efforts will make a difference.
Mind The Environment: Travel Sustainably
Do you remember how Mother Nature cleansed and purged herself of our effects, when the whole world was in lock-down?
Let’s be honest, we haven’t always done the best job of protecting our natural resources & environment in the past.
All is not lost though, there’s still time for change. 🙂 When planning your next trip, you may want to consider ways to contribute to protecting & nurturing the environment…
In Watamu for instance, the community is widely involved in cleaning the beaches & recycling waste.
Perhaps you can dedicate some of your time to a beach clean-up or planting trees?
Read about the amazing Watamu initiative HERE.
And as we consciously preserve nature, Mother Nature will in turn protects us. 🙂
Be Open To Change & Plan ahead for Eventualities
Things are bound to keep changing, as the Covid situation continues to unfold. Some countries or regions that are open, might shut down unexpectedly.
Thus, when making your travel bookings (flights, accommodation) find out what your service provider’s policies on cancellation/refunds, in advance.
- Does your travel/ insurance cover Covid-related illness?
- Put in place a contingency plan for eventualities… What’s your plan of action, if say if a lock-down happens at your destination before your departure or if you get sick with Covid-19 away from home?
- Save and budget extra cash for any emergencies.
Be Mindful Of Your Well-being!
When all it’s all said and done, we don’t have control of what the future holds… And though we try our best to prepare, we can’t possibly cover every scenario that may arise. So, keep an open heart and mind..
- Being flexible & going with the flow, will keep you sane in-case of emergencies.
- Take time to invest in your well-being and do more of what feeds your soul.
- Spend quality time with your loved ones, whether at home or while traveling.
I must say- on the question of ‘whether it’s safe to travel in this Covid Era’, no one can really answer the question conclusively… It’s a personal decision you’ll need to make, having considered the above-mentioned factors..
It is my hope that, armed with the right information you might feel a little bit more at ease, about traveling in 2021.
And above all, let’s continue to keep hope alive my friends, this too shall pass. :):)
Thank you for reading! 😀 Did you find this post useful? What other tips would you add to our list of Mindful Travel tips ?
I’d love to hear from you! Do leave a comment below with your feedback, inputs or questions.. .I will be sure to respond! 😀
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