Is it wise to travel now?

We may get excited with the news of the upcoming travel bubble but undeniably taking a flight isn’t what it used to be nor will it be the same. I believe even if the days of the Covid-19 ever goes away, the effects will be more prominent in general in terms of the minor changes to the procedures or policies. Hence with Singapore slowly opening up and initiating travel bubbles with Australia etc, potential travelers remain uncertain, fearful or anxious.  

 Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact globally and despite ensuring vaccinations are available to the citizens, there are vaccination schedules according to the age group. With the government’s efforts to encourage safe air travel, the number of people actually making travel plans is almost non-existent. We are still very wary and conscious despite news saying that many travelers are starting to feel comfortable making spring and summer plans.

Being comfortable and actually purchasing a ticket out of the country is drastically different.  Similarly to many, travel these days is caught up with second-guessing, extra research and plenty of confusion by changes to way of logistics, travel restrictions and safety . To top it off, there’s a segment of what  everyone else has to say about your decisions. There are lots of concerns that are in my mind that I have to brush aside in order to get my needed escapades. 

How safe is the destination now? What has changed?

This is essential as the pandemic affects every country differently and their way of life might have drastically altered. Thus, the perks you have been attracted to may not necessarily be accessible now? If you want to go to the Colosseum, you have to find out how Rome managed social distancing amongst the visitors and what is the public’s opinion on wearing masks. 

We are blessed that as a whole, we Singaporeans tend to be very kiasu (afraid to be left out) and very well aware that we need tourism to actually survive as a travel hub. We too are very docile (afraid of the law) and do what is expected to avoid fines and the government also, is active in imposing the necessary measures to ensure safety for everyone. Most are still wary in the case we will be victims of robbery, mugging and scams the moment we stepped into a foreign land right after border reopens. 

What is the employer’s take on staff applying AL for vacation?

Prior to Covid-19 pandemic, most companies wouldn’t probe on why you are taking your intended leave. Unfortunately this privacy will not be extended especially with the possibility of  stay home notice or quarantine. They might not be able to hinder or stop you from travelling but they will sure question you unnecessarily to the point where you will doubt your intentions and portray yourself as selfish, unless you have a caring boss. So this would definitely be otherwise.They might even provide you a laptop to bring along through your holidays just in case it will be extended and you are needed to work from home/hotel. 

Travel Shaming 

It’s easy for one to label a traveler as irresponsible, to selfishly travel for leisure. With judgements coming from a deeper fear of lockdown and the morally driven aspect, they can be quite convinced that travelling is something very wrong and casting doubts to the travelers. The countries manage the spread of the Covid-19 differently so there are locations where masks are mandatory as the cases remain high and there are some countries that are fully back to norm like New Zealand where you would think they were not even affected at all.  In the case where you are travelling to a country who better manage the situation and portray that on social media, it gets misconstrued as it gets misunderstood that it is okay to not follow the rules, when in actuality it is at a different setting hence different rules are applied. An influencer has credited the  shaming she felt on social media, in part, for influencing her and her boyfriend to wear masks whenever they’re out in public now — even when they’re often among the only people doing so.

“It’s really as if things are normal in Switzerland now. But coming from the US and knowing how this has affected people personally makes me more cognizant. As a long-term traveler and being on social media while in these countries, too, I feel responsibility not to get (the virus) and not to spread it.”

Accountability  

Many have canceled vacations or canceled trips which were meant to see their loved ones. Thus, when they see others enjoying nonessential travel, they may be angry, envious and feel that it’s not fair. They might be infuriated as they sacrificed things that are important to them for the wellbeing of others and expect the same from others.  Sometimes, even if your loved ones and peers are happy for you, it is likely that you might be the one doing the shaming.

At times, tourists may feel ashamed or guilty about their choices to travel as they were on the other spectrum of scoffering at photos of crowded pools and beaches and pinpointing others.

“Shame on those people when I’m home and then here I was, a month later in the same situation especially where most people weren’t wearing masks and I didn’t want to be associated with them.”

Furthermore, people often remind you about the regulations with the implication so much so that they don’t believe you’re going to do it because of the hassles. They emphasized on stay home notice and the quarantining to ensure you are accountable of the consequences in the case there is a breakout. This is akin to throwing a “I told you so” and it is really off putting when in actuality, no one has really figured out how the virus actually gets transmitted. 

With the four main concerns shared above, will there actually be a difference once we are allowed to travel? 

In the case you overcome those points, will you be sharing your experience via photos and videos as regularly? Will it be okay for us to be posting about travel right now?

Do I have to only post about the preparation and obstacles prior to the trip ensuring that it will be more of informative content instead of just flexing your holidays. Often, when the consequences are dire,  people feel entitled, what worse could be justified in shaming them and they feel that it needs to be harsh.  

“’This is the only way we can get people to behave “

 

Undeniably it can be effective but it does not make it morally right. Furthermore, we should be normalizing open borders for the economy to recover. We should not be afraid to post photos and questions others who shame the tourists when they are following the safety measures of the destinations.

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