By Samuetta Hill Drew
During the COVID-19 pandemic, vacation destination plans had to be placed on hold. Now, thanks to the vaccines and additional knowledge about the coronavirus, popular destination sites bookings are steadily increasing. More and more people are venturing out on road trips, as well as on planes, cruise ships and trains taking those deferred vacations, especially with summer season on the horizon.
Schools are recessing for the summer, school graduations are being held, the weather is warmer, days are longer, it’s the onset of three major U.S. holidays and workers are scheduling their summer vacations. Therefore, this week’s safety article will launch the first in a series about travel safety. It is essential for everyone to understand how to travel safely to ensure those travel plans are not turned “topsy-turvy” because of illness, injuries, lost or stolen property or other unfortunate circumstances.
Planning for your vacation should begin with the bare basics:
• Researching your destination
• Creating a budget
• Selecting travel dates
• Choosing the right form of transportation
It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently advises delaying travel until you and/or your family are fully vaccinated, especially when traveling out of the country. If you are staying home and doing domestic traveling, the CDC recommends going to their website for more safety tips to help keep you and those you visit safe and healthy.
It is important to note that travel safety begins before you take one step out of your door to your vacation site. Travel planning should start at least six months before the trip. This time period is a good one to aim towards. The earlier the better does apply to vacation planning and travel because it allows you adequate time to research your proposed destination sites, especially if you are doing international traveling. This time period also provides you with time to identify specific sites you wish to see, whether domestic or international.
There are a few websites you may want to review while researching your travel destination, especially if traveling abroad. They provide you with very valuable safety information. These sites are:
• The Global Peace Index published annually by Vision of Humanity
• The State Department’s numerical safety rating
• The Global Finance Index of destination safety
If your travel plans are domestic ones, there are plenty of safety resources such as websites of the state or local government and tourism boards. You can also conduct some smart web safety research.
Next week’s travel safety article will focus on those safety tips to put in place before you leave home so you can Keep an Eye on Safety when you are away.