I just had to cancel a trip to Tajikistan, which would had started tomorrow. It was a quite hard decision, why I want to share the process. So if you have travel plans and are unsure what to do right now, here’s my piece of cake to it:
Find out if you are affected by travel restrictions
- Check IATA Travel Centre if there are restrictions in a) your destination country and b) your transit countries. Please note, that this site is not very up to date, although it says so – however it is a good first start!
- Google for the latest news about the situation in the country.
- Check the local press websites of the country.
- Check the facebook from guides, tour companies and groups that are operating in the country. Do they cancel tours?
- Check travel advices from the government in your own country.
- Also check the local press in your own country about this destination.
- Contact the embassy in your country and ask about the current situation. Maybe consider contacting a second embassy in another country to ensure what the say! Most likely they know more than the authorities in the destination country itself.
- Contact guides or travel companies directly, they often have WA / Telegram chats where information spreads quicker than through official channels. However, guides often are very dependant on tourism so they might try to convince you to come and everything is alright (which of course, could still be the case, but it depends…). So…
Yes? No? Maybe? Plan B?
- If you are affected by such restrictions, fortunately the decision is made for you!
- But what about Plan B? There might be a neighbouring country without restrictions yet. If you have a direct flight, it might be still possible to go now – but, things can change at any time for every country the next minute. Be prepared to get quarantined and not be able to move anywhere for 14 days minimum, at arrival or departure or even during the stay. Many countries are late in developing and communicating such plans.
- If you have a bad feeling or even feel slightly sick, don’t go anywhere.
- 99% of your travels can be postponed, so ask yourself if it really means everything for you to go.
- Also think about your parents, grandparents or other close family members who you might want to help in case of emergency.
- Inform yourself about the virus and viruses in general, avoid all the fake news and conspiracy theories. How do you get infected exactly? What is YOUR risk? What can you do if you get seriously sick in your travel countries? I recommend listening to this Podcast (German), there are quite some good interviews with virologists out there. BTW even the DPRK have a pretty good short video about the Corona Virus:
- Traveling helps spreading the virus and it should be limited right now as much as possible. The main problem are the travels, not you being in another country.
- However if you were in the country and get sick, you could steal someone’s bed who is no able to travel like you. This leads to many ethical questions, which you have to answer by yourself!
- Enjoy home, family and nature at your own country.
- Put away your mobile and computer for a good amount of time! Do not follow the news every minute. This just leads to stress and panic (which will make you more vulnerable to the virus btw, just saying… 🙂
- Work at home and / or avoid physical contact as much as possible.
- Shop normal, buy the things you normally would, not more.
- Strictly follow the recommended rules from WHO.
- Keep yourself updated about the situation in your country and globally.
- Make some plans for future trips – someday, we will travel again freely!
- Try out things and projects at home, there is in fact a lot of potential!
- Enjoy a good Corona beer!