By Conal Morrison

I’m sure I am not the only one chomping at the bit to travel the world again. Thanks to COVID, many of us had to put a hold on plans for adventure and journeys to faraway lands. Thankfully, more and more countries are starting to open up and welcome tourists again. This means our dreams of travel may soon become a reality. Yay!

Travelling in this pandemic world has brought about new trials and tribulations. There are more hurdles to navigate than ever before as we try to keep everyone safe. These new restrictions and rules are easy to get stressed out about, taking some of the pleasure away from travel. 

I live in New Zealand, where for the most part, we have been relatively unscathed by the virus, which is fantastic. However, it does make me somewhat fearful of the situations I may find myself in overseas. To help me, and you, dear reader, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks on how we can travel without any of that pain and as little of that anxiety as possible.

Keep Yourself Protected

It goes without saying, but one of the easiest ways to stay safe while travelling around is to make sure you’re vaccinated. It’s no different to getting a malaria shot or typhus shot before visiting areas where it would be silly to go without this protection. Hitting the road without a COVID vaccine is fast becoming impossible as more and more countries make being fully vaxxed a part of the entry requirements. Staying up to date with your shots and keeping yourself and others safe is one of the easiest ways to make your travel experience smoother from the get-go.

Although they may feel hot and stuffy, wear a mask, particularly on long flights, as it definitely helps give you some peace of mind. If it does get a bit much, the airplane’s air conditioning can make a huge difference. I discovered this on a few of my commuter flights around the country—it was the only thing that kept me sane!

Don’t skip the salads!

I know, I know, one of the first things you want to do is try all the local delicacies available and spoil yourself a little, which is absolutely fine! Just make sure you don’t skip over the healthy options too, and I promise your body will thank you!

The last thing you want on your trip is to feel bloated, lethargic or to have your skin breakout as soon as you get home. Maintaining a balanced diet is important for your overall health and will help you enjoy the trip more!

It’s been said a thousand times over, I’m sure, but breakfast absolutely is the most important meal of the day. Eating good food in the morning can help set the tone for your day’s activities. Fortunately, in many cases, the local delights and cuisines are some of the healthier foods available to you (except maybe in America! Ummm, pancakes, syrup…). So try those local dishes, get stuck in but make sure to drink plenty of water!

Travel In The Offseason

Travelling in the offseason can be a bit hit or miss. For example, if you aim to visit somewhere tropical for the summer to soak up some rays, going in winter will definitely be a miss for you. But if you’re backpacking around Europe or journeying somewhere more for the culture than the weather, then going in the offseason may be perfect for you. 

There are some benefits to this, mainly the distinct lack of people. Especially in popular tourist destinations, going in the offseason can be like the difference between night and day. Which for a people-phobe like me is exactly what I want! 

It is often much cheaper then too. 

Having said that, the possibility of there being an offseason anytime soon with all us restless travellers wanting to trek across the globe again may be slim.

Leave Yourself A Buffer

Returning home can be as much of a jolt to your system as when you first arrive at your destination. So give yourself time to get back into your rhythm if you can. If you know you have to go back to work Monday, return home Friday night or sometime on Saturday. This means you have at least one full day to just unwind and decompress before heading back to work. It might not sound like much, but I’m sure we can all agree that nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.

So there you have it, a few handy tips that will hopefully make your journeys that little bit easier. I know I personally will be using as many of these as I can on my upcoming trip to the United States. May 2022 see you all having safe and enjoyable travels!