How to travel with peace of mind
Should I still be travelling amidst the coronavirus outbreak? I still want to travel this year – what should I do? Will insurance cover my costs if I cancel or change my trip dates?
These are commonly asked questions by travellers the world over at the moment.
With coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading around the globe, and cases confirmed in South Africa, it's understandable that travellers are asking questions. Also, the exchange rate can make rand-carrying South Africans a little nervous.
As travel experts, our responsibility is always to help you travel with peace of mind. Our role is to equip you with accurate information. You can then make the right travel decisions at all times, regardless of what is happening in the world.
Here are five travel tips for travelling with peace of mind:
Consult the experts
When you are unwell, you visit a doctor. When you need a lawyer, you consult one. And in the same manner, when you need to travel consult a travel specialist.
Consulting a travel expert ensures you're getting specialist travel advice and first-hand knowledge from experts.
For example, travel experts can advise you on the best options for your travels with regards to coronavirus. If you're set to travel to an affected region and are unsure what your options are regarding changing your trip dates or cancelling, travel experts will assist you with all necessary travel arrangements. If you book travels on your own, you're on your own when something unforeseen happens too.
Take out travel insurance
It's never been more vital to travel with travel insurance. Regardless of where and when you are travelling, coronavirus or otherwise, travel insurance is a must.
Travellers often buy travel insurance begrudgingly. But trust us. You don't want to take the risk of travelling without it.
Whether it's delayed or (perish the thought) lost luggage or a twisted ankle, insurance is there to cover the unexpected. Ensure you know exactly what is included in your insurance terms and conditions.
Flight Centre advises travellers to book comprehensive TIC travel insurance. You will be covered in the event that you contract the coronavirus on your journey or that your flights are cancelled.
Here's more on the importance of travel insurance.
Be safe and smart
No matter what is happening in the world, a good dose of street smarts comes in handy, whether you're at home or abroad.
Being safe encompasses everything from locking your valuables in the hotel safe to abiding by local laws to keeping healthy.
Practising good hygiene habits should be basic – whether you're travelling or not.
For the coronavirus, handwashing is the single most crucial step you can take to protect yourself. Follow the World Health Organisation's basic protective measures.
Postpone rather than cancel
The majority of destinations around the world desperately need the positive economic impact that tourism provides.
The World Health Organisation recommends that "it is prudent for travellers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travellers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions."
In short, if you don't fall into the above categories, and are due to travel to non-affected regions of the country, there's no need to cancel your trip automatically.
Get advice from your doctor and travel expert and make an informed decision. At the end of the day, it's a personal decision.
If you do need to delay travel, rather postpone than cancel your trip. That way, you can still support the destination later on, when they need it most. And you have your holiday to anticipate!
Only consult reputable sources
More than ever, we should remain calm. Please equip yourself with accurate information and do not spread fake news, unverified information or social media stories that may lead to unnecessary panic.
We adhere to the recommendations of official sources only.
Reputable sources include: