Top Tips For Travellers

Top Tips For Travellers

With countries around the world relaxing or removing their travel restrictions, the world of travel is re-opening, however, the landscape is a lot different to how it used to be.

For those travelling, there is a lot more to be aware of and our number one piece of advice is to always follow official government travel advice in your country of origin and destination country.  Our second piece of advice is to keep checking this information regularly until the day you travel and during your trip.

We also have other advice and useful tips we’d like to share, so we’ve created a handy guide below, as well as a Safe Business Travel Checklist

Plan ahead

  • Once you have checked the official guidance, decide if your trip is absolutely necessary. Always check your employer’s travel policy, approval processes and definitions of ‘essential travel’, as these may have been updated.
  • Always book with your organisation’s approved Travel Management Company (TMC), in an emergency it allows your organisation to easily locate all travellers. And as the current situation continues to change, we recommend choosing flexible, fully refundable fares. Key Travel offers these via our specialist humanitarian and academic rates (which also bring other benefits such as additional luggage).
  • Prioritise your own well-being and what you need to feel safe. If you have a travel manager, ask what airlines and hotels are doing to protect travellers (Hygiene & Cleanliness), and clarify how you’ll communicate while you’re on the road and what to do in an emergency.
  • Make sure your travel insurance is valid, including for medical evacuation and repatriation, and that you are covered if official travel advice changes while you are abroad. For those in the UK, the Association of British Insurers has produced a useful coronavirus information hub.
  • Check official travel information – useful links below
  • Consider how tolerant you are of risk and inconvenience. Some countries have closed their borders, severely restricted access for visitors or introduced enhanced screening measures.  To mitigate some levels of risk consider:
    • avoiding crowds at the airport, by booking lounge access.
    • reduce possible queueing at the airport, book fast-track and concierge services, check-in online (inc baggage where possible).
    • using public transport, consider using a taxi.
  • Research exactly what your destination’s quarantine involves. It can range from light self-regulated programmes to staying in a government facility.  The links below can help you.

Before leaving home

  • Download helpful travel apps such as the Key Travel app which is a simple and convenient way to stay on top of your trips while on the move. The app will also alert you in real-time to any alterations or delays that may impact your journey, enabling you to avoid last-minute surprises and make the most of your time.
  • Download any necessary Apps required to show proof of vaccination status in your destination.
  • Check-in online and use a mobile boarding pass to make your journey as touchless as possible.  Complete all required pre-travel forms such as Passenger Locator Forms.
  • Select a seat that minimises physical interaction. Aisle seats mean you’re more likely to come into contact with other passengers.
  • Stock up on practical products that’ll make your trip infinitely easier and hiccup-free—things like hand sanitisers, extra masks and filters, wipes. Research your journeys to and from the airport at each end, including current public transport options. We can also help you organise private transfers at each end of your journey.
  • Contact your TMC, airline or other transport and accommodation providers for up-to-date information on your itinerary and travel plans. You’ll find useful information on our airline policies and international travel rules pages.
  • Leave enough time for potential airport delays due to new procedures and physical distancing measures.
  • Eat before you go and pack plenty of snacks in case the airport or airline are not yet back to offering full services.  If your flight is relatively short, say less than six hours, try to eat before you board. Taking off your mask and shield is a risk—so try to hang in there and eat when you’ve landed.
  • Check what facilities are open at your destination hotel so you can plan ahead for meals.  Some hotels are only offering in-room breakfast services.
  • Bring your own refillable water bottle – it’s better for the environment too.
  • Many airlines are introducing temperature checks. Avoid travel if you feel at all unwell (a high temperature could mean you may not be allowed to board).

During your journey

  • Follow all travel advice such as keeping a safe distance or wearing masks throughout your journey and within airports.
  • Follow official health advice, including regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds, using a hand rub containing at least 60% alcohol and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid airport shops – bring your own supplies instead.
  • Use the bathroom before you board. You’re more likely to touch things in a tiny airline bathroom, plus you’ll have to walk past other passengers in a confined space.
  • Try to touch as few surfaces as possible and feel free to wipe them down, especially around your own seat on the plane including seat adjusters and seatbelt buckles.
  • Keep up the handwashing and stay in your seat as much as possible.
  • Follow the crew’s instructions, including wearing face masks – these are now compulsory on most airlines.

On the road

  • If you are renting a car, ask the rental company for their cleanliness policy before booking. Feel free to ask if your car has been properly disinfected when you pick it up.
  • Check procedures at your accommodation before you arrive. Some hotels have introduced temperature checks for guests, as well as registration before you arrive to minimise contact.
  • If you’re only staying a few days think about whether you need daily housekeeping—to reduce interactions.
  • The situation in your destination country could change quickly, so check local news sources regularly and follow local public health advice.
  • If you become unwell during your trip, get medical advice quickly, and contact your travel or risk manager or your travel health insurer. Stay inside, avoid contact with other people, follow official hygiene advice and postpone further travel until you have recovered.

Returning home

  • Complete all required forms before your flight home (such as the passenger locator form)
  • Make a note of any issues or concerns during your journey, and make sure to feed those back to your employer or travel manager. That way, improvements can be made for the benefit of future travellers – including you.
  • Take any required tests upon your return home
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have had contact with a person showing symptoms, always follow official health advice.

Useful links include:

A well-planned trip will help protect both you and those around you. We wish you a safe and comfortable journey!