After months of being cooped up indoors, pandemic travel is truly in vogue right now. But, that doesn’t mean people aren’t anxious about the ordeal. Though life is slowly returning to the way it was pre-pandemic, new more transmissible variants of the vaccine are still cause for worry – and you’re not wrong to wonder whether it’s even safe to travel now.
To help put your mind at ease, here’s what an infectious disease specialist and mental health expert have to say about how to manage travel-related anxiety and travel safely during these unprecedented times.
1. Be Mindful of Spreading and Contracting the Virus
NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s clinical associate professor Dr. Scott Weisenberg says that the best measure you can take to ensure your safety right now is getting vaccinated.
While this might not protect you from contracting the virus, you will be saved from becoming severely ill. Travel significantly affects public health and if you’re not vaccinated, you need to think strongly about contracting it, bringing it to your destination, or taking it back to your home country.
2. Research Case Numbers and Safety Rules
Dr. Weisenberg states that it’s best to travel in vicinities where virus activity is less. Knowing the rates of vaccination and rates of transmission will also help you set the safety boundaries necessary when visiting your destination. It is also suggested that you steer clear of countries that the CDC lists as high risk for the virus.
Also consider the fact that if you’re visiting a hot tourism spot, you will likely come into contact with tourists from all over the world. In such a case, it is best that you adopt all the same safety protocols made necessary when the pandemic blew up such as masking, social distancing, and keeping your sanitizer handy.
3. Focus on Things That You Can Control
Anxiety is all about being in the unknown, according to Harvard Medical School assistant professor of psychology Dr. Soo Jeong Youn. When you don’t know what’s to come, the mind wanders to worst-case scenarios.
Since you can’t predict or plan everything to the t during your trip, feelings of anxiousness rise easily. One way around this is avoiding planning your flight on busy days, pack enough masks, antimicrobial wipes, and hand sanitizers to keep yourself as virus-free as possible. Also, try to avoid dining in or other indoor activities on your vacation.
Wrapping It Up
It’s true that we’re hardly in the clear from the virus. But with the way things are going, who knows how long we’ll keep having to deal with new variants. Shutting life down completely is no solution. So, if you want to travel, go ahead and travel. Just remember to be safe about it.