More and more people are choosing to go abroad now for that holiday they missed out on, but a lot of people are still very anxious about flying during the current climate. Whether this is for health reasons or due to the uncertainty of whether restrictions might change at the last minute and they’re faced with a rush to get home, or a 14-day self-isolation on return.
We visited Venice at the end of July and a lot of people were surprised that we were actually wanting to travel abroad. It’s no secret that we love to travel, so at the first chance we were able to, we made sure to book something! This wasn’t done spontaneously though – we made sure where we were going was on the list of UK travel corridors and had a look at the numbers/rates to check there hadn’t been any sudden increases. We flew back from Bali just as the UK went into lockdown, so we’d already flown with all the current restrictions in place. I think a fear of what to expect has put a lot of people off flying, but the way we saw it, we were safer to go to a quiet airport and sit with a mask on on a fairly empty plane, than we are just going to our local supermarket (we live just outside of Newquay in Cornwall, and it has been the busiest year I’ve ever seen!).
I thought I’d make a list of things that we learnt from flying at the moment that may put your mind at ease if you’re hoping to go away! Please note, this is all just from my own personal experience and I can’t speak for how your experience may be 🙂
1. Make sure you have your mask (probably a few spares, too)!
Obviously this is a super important one – masks must be worn in all areas at the airport other than restaurants, whilst on the plane and depending on where you’re going, on all public transport, in all shops and a lot of attractions. I think I underestimated how HOT wearing a mask would be in Venice, so also bear this in mind and make sure to have some water with you to cool yourself down and avoid overheating. I also had my hair tied up the majority of the time we were away!
2. You have to wear your mask everywhere in the airport EXCEPT the restaurants.
If you are happy to sit by the gate and wear your mask then amazing – but unfortunately I find they make me feel quite claustrophobic and panicky after a while. If you’re anything like me, knowing where you don’t need to wear them is good to know. Restaurants are the only places you don’t need to keep one on, so if you have a 2 hour wait for your flight and you’re finding you want to take it off, head to a restaurant! Where we were all the tables were distanced from each other so we had a lot of space.
3. You may get your temperature checked.
At Bristol airport is a big tunnel you walk through as you enter the airport which has thermal cameras and checks everyone’s temperature. We didn’t have this at other airports, but it made us feel a bit safer to know that was there!
4. Don’t rely on buying any last-minute bits from duty-free!
Duty-free in Bristol, along with a few other shops and restaurants, was closed. I quite often think ‘oh I’ll just grab it from duty-free’ if I’ve not got anything, so here’s a heads up that it may be best not to rely on these shops being open!
5. The airports will be much quieter.
I mean two things with this post – first that the amount of people in the airport, the amount of flights leaving the airports etc is considerably less. I also mean that there are fewer announcements – with some airports having signs about being completely silent airports with no announcements being made.
We got there early as we knew things may take longer and didn’t want to be rushing – we ended up actually missing out flight as we were relying on a board that never updated! By the time I realised the board was wrong and we’d got to the gate it was closed, it may have still been open if it was a full flight taking longer to board, and we definitely never heard any final calls or anything like that over the announcements. I guess we hadn’t flown in a while and should’ve realised sooner that the gate wouldn’t still be open! You also really don’t want to be missing flights where there are only a handful going!
6. You can’t always social distance.
We did our best to keep 2 meters away, but the hardest part we found was the bus from our gate to the plane. We were packed on like we would be any other time, only this time wearing masks. I understand there are some things where it is just impossible to try and keep people so far apart, but I know this is something that may make people feel uncomfortable. As for on the plane, it was quite quiet so we didn’t sit next to anyone on the way out but did on the way back. We didn’t expect there to be empty/rows or seats on purpose like there have been on buses etc – so if you are flying, be aware that this is the case!
7. Make sure to still carry some foreign currency in cash.
Not exactly flying related, but a little tip for when abroad! In the UK I think most of us have got used to using contactless everywhere we can, and have rarely been carrying cash (with many places not even taking it!). So because of this, we just forgot to change any of our own cash to euros. This wasn’t the case in Venice, where most of the little restaurants still didn’t accept card. So just to save some hassle/time looking for an ATM, make sure to remember some cash.
8. Last but not least… Remember – things can change!
Of course, no matter how prepared you are, you just never know if things may change. So make sure that you are prepared for the possibility that you do get stuck somewhere a few days longer, or have to isolate for 14 days. Be safe and be careful, take all necessary precautions and enjoy your holiday!
Have you been away recently? Let me know how it was & if you think there’s anything that can be added to this post!
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