Author: Ipsita Barua, Travel Editor
The snow has melted. Baby leaves are sprouting. Wildflowers, daffodils and tulips are vying for attention. The days are longer and warmer. Spring has officially arrived. With the long Easter holidays and school break, this time of the year is everyone’s favourite to pack bags without weighty woollens and set out on a vacation after a long winter hiatus. Since last year, this change of seasons hasn’t been as flowery and exciting in terms of travel. The goddam pandemic has trampled upon all plans and dumped a baggage of chaos, closures, cancellations and restrictions.
Travel isn’t quite on track yet and is best avoided, but with some caution, safety measures and hacks you can pack your bags and enjoy a frühling getaway with your family.
Take to the road
Staying away from public transport is a wise thing to do. If you don’t own a car, team up to travel with friends who do or simply rent one. Road trips are fun and allow you the flexibility to take short breaks and along the way. Lunch and snack times can be made into picnic stops near lakes, in forests or the mountains. Map out where small towns and grocery stores are and stock up on snacks and ready meals to avoid long queues at city supermarkets.
Here are some fun games to keep everyone engaged and wide awake during long drives.
Fuel up, load that playlist and hit the highway.
Pack like a Pro
Yes, the heavy pullovers and fat jackets would be most likely off the list for your spring travel, but don’t get too carried away and stuff your bags with everything that winter left you yearning for. Leave room for essentials like sanitizers, masks, food essentials and even bed linen (a new entrant during pandemic travels).
Follow these super packing tips put together by our Home & Lifestyle Editor, Helena and transform your travels this season.
Book home stays
It’s more personal and allows you to take control of sanitizing and disinfecting to your satisfaction throughout your stay without relying on housekeeping staff in hotels. The idea of ordering room service, having a meal in the fancy hotel restaurant or taking a dip in the pool might be all too tempting, but not when you risk exposing yourself to hundred other holidaymakers with similar ambitions. Home stays might involve some bit of work in cooking, cleaning and making your own bed but are definitely a smarter choice while travelling during these times. AirBnB and booking.com feature some gorgeous homestays in all countries with very generous and accommodating hosts who are all too happy to personalize your stay.
Call the hosts before booking to ensure the space meets all health and hygiene standards as mandated or to request more information on the area specifics and regulations.
Check border restrictions
Cross-border travel is still tricky. The list of countries that are open changes every week. Some are opening for all international visitors, while others are opening only for neighboring countries. Some require negative test reports while some require a few days of quarantine. In short, there’s a lot of rules to sort through and you don’t want to be sent back from the border or barred from boarding that flight only because you trusted a travel advisory report from three months ago.
Make sure to be updated on the requirements before you cross territory borders, as restrictions may change with little notice.
Keep your options open
You may have already marked the calendar for the vacation dates and destination, but being flexible can help you score last-minute deals while booking transport, accommodation or rentals. It’s not always feasible but with fewer International travellers, ever-changing restrictions and booking cancellations, you stand a good chance at snapping up that lake-front villa at a fraction of its advertised rate.
Keep refreshing the pages to avoid missing out on spot-deals.
Switch to incognito or private browsing mode while searching for flights to see the lowest prices.
While looking for accommodation, put the name of the country or continent (instead of the city/town) in the Location field . This will help you pick your destination according to the best available deals.
Where are you travelling to this spring? What’s the one thing you’ve learnt to incorporate into your travels post COVID? Share your tips, join our travel tribe and continue to inspire us.
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more of our March posts, focussing on body positivity, turning 50, expat resources, and travel diaries.
To read posts from February, click here