Pandemic Travel

Table of Contents

Lisbon-Paris-Lisbon

Pandemic Traveling: UGH!

I know, I know. I should start with an optimistic sentence and tell you all how wonderful it is to travel again. And it is. I love to travel. I love flying, and I love the idea of going to different countries and taking in everything that it has to offer. But, traveling has become so complex, and I have to say that this is the first time I found the experience horrible. The preparations, the airport, the lines, and everything connected to transportation were horrible. I was relieved to get to Paris.

Pre-Travel plans

Research! Research! Research! Find out what is required to leave the country you’re in and what’s necessary to enter the country you’re going to. These are the precautions I took while planning my trip:

  • Leaving Lisbon I needed to have official proof of both vaccinations.

  • Arriving in Paris it was required to have a sworn health declaration, proof of immunization (and specific stipulations about the vaccination dates).

  • I downloaded the app #TousAntiCovid with proof of vaccination.

  • I had a paper copy of vaccination proof (in case my phone didn’t work)

  • It was not required to have a PCR or other Covid test.

Be proactive

Travel requirements and rules change all the time as countries navigate the pandemic. I read about people rushing back to their home country due to lockdowns or not being allowed to board their flights due to not having a COVID test and other horror stories, so it’s important to stay up to date on restrictions leading up to and during your trip.

I decided to get a PCR COVID test before leaving Lisbon even though it was not required, because I felt more comfortable having additional proof at the ready. I also made an appointment to have a COVID test before leaving Paris, just in case, but it turned out to be unnecessary, so I didn’t do it.

Dreadful airports, lines, and chaos

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Photo by Photo by Yolanda Sun on Unsplash

Sadly, it seems that nothing has changed over the course of the pandemic. At the airport, distancing was not respected. The departure security areas in both Lisbon and Paris were messy: the boarding lines were nonexistent. People were bunching up near the exit doors, and the staff did not help organize the crowd.

People were nervous and rude, cut in line, got too close, and to sum it up, both airports were too uncomfortable for words. The airline buses to and from the plane had an excessive amount of people, and the windows were closed.

I kept my medical mask on and only removed it outside the airport. I did not drink any water or coffee, nor eat anything while traveling. That means that I didn’t drink or eat anything for 6 hours—my choice. I did see people removing their masks to drink or to eat, but I decided to avoid touching my mask as much as possible. This all comes down to your personal level of comfort, so it’s best to consider the worst case scenarios before you plan your trip.

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Photo by Photo by Man Wong on Unsplash

My travel tips:

  1. Arrive early.

  2. Stay calm.

  3. Don’t let other people’s neurosis get to you.

  4. Keep your earphones in, listen to a book or music to distract you from your surroundings (while remaining respectful of others).

  5. Don’t remove your mask (unless you choose to eat or drink).

  6. Remember why you are traveling.

I believe that if we can travel, then we must! There are always going to be many hidden risks, so take a calculating one and enjoy.

Marguerite

A trip to Paris Photo

A Guide for Solo Travel for the Over 50

Main Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Marguerite Beaty, Blogger, Photographer & Artist

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