Planning a Vacation in Europe?
Here's What You Need to Know First
For months the entire world was locked into a standstill as people around the world struggled to adapt to the quick spread of coronavirus. In many places, things are beginning to stabilize. A “new normal” is finding its footing. People are returning to work, children are going back to school, and some people are beginning to travel again as countries open up their borders.
Whatever your reason for traveling to Europe, you need to keep in mind several things while planning your trip to ensure that you keep yourself and others safe and healthy. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, you will quickly discover that international travel has been deeply affected by COVID, and there are many new considerations to mull over during your trip preparations.
Research Travel Advisories and Requirements
Before you begin any other stage of planning, you need to look into the current travel advisories published by your government. This information is posted online and updated regularly. You need first to figure out which countries in Europe your state allows you to travel to and from, and then you need to go to the websites of those countries and make sure that you will be allowed in.
While doing this research, you will also come across travel requirements. These look different for each country but can contain information about what methods of entry are allowed. For example, between Canada and the United States, flights are currently allowed, but driving across the border is not. Make sure you know how you will be getting into and out of the country you plan on visiting.
If you are travling Europe by train, make sure to visit the Fahrplan DB for train schedules.
You will also encounter rules and regulations involving quarantining and self-isolation. Many countries require someone who has just arrived to isolate themselves for fourteen days before going out in public. You will need to plan for this part of your trip as well. Where will you stay? How will you eat and secure things you need if you are not allowed to pop into a store for two weeks? You might even find that the same thing is required of you when you return to your home country.
Pay Attention to Currencies
Traveling is not the only thing that has been affected by a coronavirus. World economies and currencies are also feeling less secure than expected. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the exchange rates beginning as soon as possible before your trip. dollars to pounds might be a great deal one day and a terrible deal the next. If you’re paying attention, you will be able to determine when it's a good time to switch your money over and, therefore, save yourself a little (or a lot) of money.
Learn About COVID Specific Laws And Regulations
Many places in the world have undergone legal changes in order to adapt to the pandemic. Europe is no exception. Sometimes these laws are enacted for only one city or county. Make sure to look up all the legal changes and by-laws related to coronavirus in the areas you will be traveling to. There are countless cities where masks are mandatory in all public spaces. Like with travel advisories, this information is changing all the time, so you will often need to check up on these regulations.
It is possible to take a trip post-pandemic. This being said, there are many additional factors that need to be taken into consideration when you are thinking about traveling. To make planning more difficult, many of these factors are in a constant state of flux, changing rapidly as new information about COVID becomes available.
Regardless of your particular vacation, always be sure to follow appropriate safety precautions regarding the coronavirus. Your health or the health of those around you should not be jeopardized for a trip. Make sure that you are washing your hands well and regularly, especially if you have touched something like a public door handle or the support bar on a public bus. You should also be washing your hands before you touch your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
In addition to good handwashing, you should always be maintaining a safe social distance from other people. This means standing or sitting at least six feet (or two meters) away from others. When traveling, this may become especially difficult. Of course, even if masks are not mandatory where you are vacationing, consider wearing one anyway. Wearing a mask is a kind and considerate thing to do. It will ease the stress of those around you and, therefore, likely result in a trip that is more fun and engaging.
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