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Travelling during a pandemic comes with its own set of challenges. The old way of travel with little planning and big dreams, now has the additional baggage of face masks, sanitisers, planned itineraries and a whole lot of flexibility. While travel snafus are bound to happen, especially if you are travelling as a family, knowing what to expect can help ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, which includes anticipating potential disaster moments that can derail your plans.

We’ve compiled 5 common travel mistakes that can help you better prepare for your trip.

Travelling without a mask, sanitiser and other safety essentials

Whether you are fully vaccinated or are travelling to a country that has zero to no cases like New Zealand, it is always advisable to carry a face mask on your person. Having one on hand can prevent you from a frantic scramble of trying to track one down when you need one.

Many airlines have made it compulsory for people to wear a face mask. While they also provide a safety kit with a disposable mask, don’t forget to pack your own MEO Lite face mask along with an extra Helix Filter pack of 3 in your luggage. While you can wash the MEO Lite face masks, the Helix filters last up to 50 hours of usage, or approximately 10 days if used daily, after which they need to be replaced. Ensure you have enough stock to last you in case of any emergency.

We have pulled together a checklist for travelling in 2021 – take a look at the other essentials you need to carry with you before you get on the plane.

Not planning your airport journey

Not only do you have to stay safe when you arrive at your destination, but you also need to keep safe during your travel. In order to avoid touching foreign surfaces, or things that have been used by other people, it’s a good idea to carry your own pen to fill out any entry forms at the airports, in the hotel and elsewhere.

If possible, be prepared in advance with all your documents and forms so, you don’t have to wait in line, and avoid any unnecessary contact.

Take your own pillows and blankets with you as well, as many airlines are no longer providing these items to ensure less exposure to germs.

Not familiarising yourself with new rules and regulations

As the COVID-19 pandemic is fluid, so are international, national, and local rules, regulations, and responses. Before you travel, familiarize yourself with the new rules of locally and internationally travelling in your own country and that of your destination.

For example, in the USA carry-on liquid limit has been upped to 12 ounces exclusively for hand sanitiser and if you are travelling to Australia or the Cook Islands, travellers need to fill a travel declaration form 72 hours prior.

Not doing enough research about your destination

Gone are the days of winging it during a vacation.
In a COVID-19 world, it is better for you and the safety of those travelling with you to have a pre-prepared itinerary. This will help you understand the rules of the place you are visiting, as well as create a backup plan in case things go awry.

Not finding out more about COVID-19 precautions at your accommodation and car rental company

Now that your destination is decided, it’s time to think of the accommodation. Get in touch with the hotel prior to your arrival to understand the safety precautions taken by the management. How often do they clean the main lobby areas? What about using the hotel pool? Are the tables socially distanced in the hotel restaurant? Think of what your travel plans may look like and find out all precautions taken by the hotel and rental company to ensure your safety.

While we cannot wait to get on a plane and jet off to lands unknown, we need to be cognizant of the fact that this “new normal” is constantly evolving and we need to flexible, adaptable and prepared in our travels to have a stress-free travel experience.