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Written by Akshaya Devi on April 3, 2020 Share on

A handy pre-departure checklist for travel in the COVID era

As the COVID cloud hung over us slightly hovers away, we are seeing borders reopening, flights returning to skies, and lockdown being lifted in a calibrated manner. Stranded people are returning to their homes while bored holidaymakers refresh their COVID-wreaked bucket list plans with staycations and workations. Now, should you or should you not travel is a massive question on its own and it comes down to right planning, choosing the right options and how much you want it.

However, if you’re planning to travel now or anytime soon, here’s a handy pre-departure checklist for post-COVID travel:

1. Passport

You’re thinking “obviously”, but as we know, the obvious isn’t exactly obvious anymore. Some of your passports might have expired, or perhaps your renewal process was hindered by the lockdown. Check if your passport is valid and it suits the protocols of your destination country.

2. Your PPE kit

You don’t want to be spotted without a full-on PPE kit, i.e., your mask and gloves in airports, when commuting or anywhere outside the home. Remember to pack enough PPE kits not because it’s mandatory but because your safety is of foremost importance here.

3. Sanitisation stock

You’re probably aware that it’s vital to book a stay only in hotels operating with upgraded COVID-safety measures. Though you will be provided with sanitisation kits like handwash gels and hand sanitisers in your hotels, it’s better to carry a stock of these items on your own in case you find yourself commuting by local taxi or basically anywhere that involves contact.

4. Epass if mandatory

A very, very important step. Many states across India have made obtaining an ePass obsolete, but that doesn’t apply to all. Also, in constantly changing circumstances like now, keep a constant tab on necessary documents to carry before booking, packing as well as departure.

5. Vehicle RC Copy and Personal ID

Carry a personal ID as you may need to show one at border checkpoints. If you’re planning to drive yourself, carry a valid RC copy of your vehicle along with your personal ID.

6. A light, refined luggage

Packing light is more important now than ever. Well, unless you want the burden of sanitising every bit of your luggage inside out upon returning home, pack light.

7. Medicines

Apart from the basic first-aid that you usually carry, take extra care in rechecking if you’ve packed your usual medication. Chances are that you may not find many open pharmacies like you used to before. This applies to snacks, food and water as well. If it will take more than 3 hours to reach your destination, toss in some snacks in your handbag as well.

8. Install relevant apps on your mobile

Different state governments have mandated a different set of protocols to follow if you’re travelling during COVID-19. For instance, Aarogya Setu app is made necessary to travel within India for ease of communication. Check if there is any such guideline prompted by your destination government.

9. Travel insurance

Travel insurance may not be “just a fancy addition” anymore. Any suitable travel insurance covers COVID-19 cancellations (if you had availed one before COVID-19) and covers any unexpected travel-related expenses. Again, read the offerings carefully as every policy is different in its own right.

Read more to stay up-to-date with the latest travel updates or leave a Whatsapp inquiry to explore more in travelling during COVID-19.

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