The call to stay home and social distance after COVID-19 hit the world saw travel restrictions being implemented all over the world. This didn’t not only hurt the hotel and travel industries but also devastated travel plans for world trotters.
Thankfully, the world is slowly opening up for travel after what seems like a century to travel lovers. Hotels can now breathe a relief for a glimpse of light at recovering what they have lost during the pandemic.
However, one thing remains a fact- travel and hotel stays will never feel the same even post COVID-19, at least in the foreseeable future. Everyone needs to stay vigilant of the pandemic and play a part in ensuring safety for oneself and other people.
That being said, here are 6 tips to start enjoying safe travels again.
1. Carry some safety supplies
One recommendation to avoid contracting COVID-19 is to keep a safe distance of about 6 feet from other people when in the public. However, this can prove challenging on crowded flights, trains, and buses. The next logical measure in such places is to avoid human contact and to keep hands off surfaces.
It helps to bring some safety supplies as people travel. Travelers should ensure that they have a facemask on all the time when in public places. In addition, they should carry with them a hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol. This should help keep the hands clean where soap and water are out of reach during the travel. One can also do a quick clean of the surfaces around using a disinfectant and some wet wipes on the go. Some ready to eat meals (available here) are also a good choice on the road.
2. Choose a hotel that observes safety measures
Hotels are being sensitized to observe safety measures, but it would be foolish to trust that all of them are doing the same. Before embarking on a journey, it is wise for travelers to research the hotels that they intend to stay in. A quick visit to their websites can reveal how the hotels are responding to the pandemic.
Travelers should look for hints of whether the hotels are giving sick off to their employees. Another thing to look for is if they are providing the workers with PPEs. In addition, they should check on measures put in place to avoid human or surface contact. A hotel that, for instance, one can use his or her phone as a room key should be very appealing to every traveler.
3. Research on the destination
It would be such a waste of time if someone went all the way only to find that tourists’ attractions in the destination are closed, or have new rules that prohibit him or her to enter. That is why researching the destination before going is very important. Planning isn't just for work! The internet is rich with such information. Additionally, it is good to keep up with the local news of the place one wants to travel to. That way, one can be informed of any restrictions, new rules, and measures put in place. If places that you can visit are far from one another, you might consider renting a car and driving around the place. Just make sure that you get an international driving permit that allows you to drive in a foreign country and visit any place that you want. This way you will also stay safe by avoiding public transportation and mingling with other groups of people.
4. Hotels to sensitize on the need to follow guidelines
In addition to travelers taking the individual responsibility to adhere to measures put in place, hotels must also play a part to ensure that visitors are actually following the guidelines. A good place to start is to always lead by example. Hotels need to ensure that all workers are using the necessary PPEs during their work. Visitors will be compelled to, for instance, put on a mask if the person serving them is wearing one. Additionally, hotels should take the safe customer experience a notch higher and offer visitors items such as masks and hand sanitizers in their rooms.
Hygiene is also critical in assuring visitors of a safe stay. In fact, visitors will demand it and they will have many questions in a bid to feel safe. Actively nurturing listening skills for managers will be put to test post-COVID-19 than ever before. Managers need to be able to hear even what the guests are not saying if they are to satisfy them at this critical moment in travel history. They should ensure that the most frequented common areas in their hotels are disinfected several times a day, however, they will also need to be extra patient in dealing with difficult people. It is even recommended that managers start developing their soft skills by joining assertiveness training workshops that would help with this.
5. Hotels should ensure social distancing is made possible
Though guests are aware of keeping social distance, it is important for hotels to put in policies to ensure that it is happening. For starters, hotels can try keeping the guests in their rooms to avoid crowds in the hallways. They can start by serving guests food in their rooms rather than using a buffet setup.
It is also common for most guests to move out of their rooms to look for a spot with strong Wi-Fi signals. Hotels should find a way to remedy this. For instance, they can use Raspberry Pi 4 as a Wi-Fi extender to ensure that the signal inside the rooms is strong enough for the guests. For common areas such as the pool, hotels should allow a few people at a time and limit the time spent there.
6. Assure travelers of safe stays
As said earlier, the internet is the first place people are running to for information on the status of the pandemic. That being the case, hotels should use the same platform to assure old and new prospects of the safety measures that they have put in place. They can use their websites to share valuable content that can help guests prepare for safe travel post-COVID-19. They can also use images and videos on social media to highlight the precautions that they are taking at the hotel. In addition, testimonies from guests can go a long way to pass the message to millions of people out there.
At the beginning of the pandemic, travel restrictions dimmed the hope of ever traveling again. This hope is slowly coming back, and world travelers will appreciate the chance to tour the world again now more than ever. However, people shouldn’t be quick to throw caution to the wind and relax in observing safety measures. Staying safe should be the rule of the thumb when traveling post-COVID-19.