As travel restrictions ease, who else could guess that Coronavirus will come out swinging with Omicron? Well, it’s another barrier to our freedom of travel. This new variant couldn’t have come at a less ideal time because it’s the holiday season! For Christmas (and possibly even New Year’s), Filipinos across the country, and indeed, across the globe, may want to return home to see their loved ones.
So for those who want to get through the holiday travelling rush without a meltdown or two, here are some tips for Stress-Free, Safe Travel!
Tips For Stress-Free Safe Travel!
General traveling tips:
Use a small bag or backpack when traveling.
This will prevent you from bringing more than you can carry. Don’t go as small as a fanny pack, though! They’ll single you out as a tourist ripe for the pickpocketing. The important thing when travelling is to bring only what you need!
Make yourself less of a target by bringing a limited amount of money.
It’s best to limit your money to one card and a cash amount that won’t cause your trip to grind to a screeching halt. (Of course, you’ll need to keep extra emergency money on you, just in case. Hide it somewhere people won’t think to steal from!)
Bring a water bottle!
Don’t sacrifice comfort and hydration, and bring along a reusable water bottle. However, be warned that airports won’t let you bring in liquids in containers that go over a certain amount. So to get around this, after the airport staff has checked your luggage, you can fill the bottle.
Wear and/or bring along comfortable shoes.
You’ll need to be on your feet most of the time when travelling. Waiting in lines, waiting for your ride—you never know when you can have a place to rest your weary feet! So put on shoes that are made for walking when you’re travelling.
Follow the few.
Speaking of waiting in lines, avoid waiting behind families. This goes for large families too! A large party needs to process a lot of stuff. So to speed things up, you should line up behind business travellers or people in a party of one or two.
The local tourism office is your friend.
Tourism offices can direct travellers to the very best dining spots and events of the area! You can also pop down to a hostel. Whether you’re staying at their establishment or not, hostels know the best places to go when you’re on a budget!
Whenever applicable, bring along some maps.
Use a paper map wherever you can, and if you can’t, Google Maps has you covered. But, don’t be afraid to check out the road less travelled now and then!
Now here are tips for a Stress-free and Safe trip while dodging Miss Rona:
Bring copies of identification documents!
Bring copies of essential travel and identification documents such as passports. Also, email yourself some soft copies if you lose or run out of the physical ones. Your vaccination cards, QR codes, and the like are crucial to staying on the move! To keep your precious documents from getting worn down or destroyed, we recommend laminating your documents!
Don’t skip out on your chargers!
Electronics only have so much battery before they run out. Avoid getting stranded (and bored) without the help of your phone or camera! So, make sure your chargers are working correctly at all times. Also, you’ll want to have your phone as close to a 100% charge as possible.
Prepare your toiletries.
When travelling, one might not be able to find your usual toiletries that go with your needs, like sunscreen! Sunscreen is always crucial to trekking around. So it’s good to have some of the products you rely on at hand. But, if you’re staying at a hotel, don’t feel shy about collecting the provided toiletries! (Also, bring along as much alcohol and wet wipes as you need.)
Learn everything you can about the travel restrictions of the area you’re headed to.
The most important tip of all is to learn about travel restrictions. Take special care to study the travel restrictions of the area you’re planning to visit inside and out! The Philippines is under Alert Level 2, except for Apayao, which is under Alert Level 3. These statuses will remain in effect until December 15th of this year.
Philippine Airlines has a helpful page that leads you to the appropriate guides, depending on whether you’re departing from, arriving in, or travelling within the Philippines.
We also have a Guide for Inbound Passengers. The requirements and processes detailed within could still help you get a feel for travel requirements, so it might do you some good to check it out!
Also, RT-PCR tests are free for qualified domestic tourists. Additionally, tourists who want to avail themselves of the tests at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center have to register five days before the day of their travel here.
Also, according to Philippines.travel, applicants need to submit a copy of each of the following:
- A valid government-issued ID;
- Confirmed booking with an accommodation that the Department of Tourism accredited;
- Roundtrip transportation tickets (if applicable) for air transport, ferry, bus, etc. If using private transport, an Official Receipt or Certificate of Registration plus a photo of the vehicle and plate number will do.
Upon submission, the Tourism Promotions Board or TPB will deliberate on the status of their application. Then, applicants should check in with their destination’s local government to learn more about additional restrictions and protocols.
Take care when heading out!
Our enemy is invisible. So, we can’t let our guard down! Responsible citizens will stay at home and get their shots to fight against Coronavirus. However, there are times when we need to venture from the safety of our homes and visit faraway places. It’s important to stay vigilant of outside threats and aware of travel restrictions. Read through and internalize these travelling tips, and have a Stress-free, Safe trip for this holiday season!