Travelling in the times of Corona / COVID19


Let’s go.

Let’s not.

Oh common, let’s go.

But we can’t!

When will it be safe to travel again?

Where does one travel during COVID?

Thanks to the Coronavirus we have crazy amount of travel restrictions, we won’t even have fun.

You get the drift. Not a day went by when we didn’t talk about the fun times we had during our recent trip to Pai, or about our hikes in Meteora in Greece to see those monasteries.

As might be the case with most other travelusters (did I just invent a word there? 😉 ), Preethika and I have been see-sawing about travelling in these COVID-19 times. The thirst for travel increased especially after the lockdown restrictions were brought down and most states in India started allowing tourism-related travelling during Corona. Apart from keeping ourselves safe from Corona, our bigger concern was this – we stay with my mother who is 70+. We also end up doing all the shopping/running errands bit for Preethika’s parents (again 70+) who live a few streets away. So it was key that we take as much care as possible to ensure their safety. As you can see, taking the call to travel during Corona wasn’t an easy decision to make.

But here’s the thing with travel – once the travel bug bites you, the itch remains for life. You can’t just get rid of it. Pre-Corona times, we used to travel at least once a month and Preethika’s job keeps her on the move, which meant that the last 7 months have been the longest time we’ve been stuck at home without going out.

Finally we took the plunge. One fine day when I woke up, my first words to Preethika were, “let’s go to Kedarnath”. I knew that Preethika had this place on her mind for a while, but not a destination we had discussed ever. And her reaction to my words definitely suggested that she didn’t expect me to talk about travel at all 😛

Planning for a trip takes time and effort, and travelling in the times of Corona was a lot more strenuous. One good part was that most state governments have reduced the requirements of staying at home for 7/14 days after travelling, so that’s one good thing. There were so many things to keep in mind, right from who will take care of all the senior citizens at home to how will we best avoid crowds as much as possible. Here are a few pointers for those in similar situations.

Taking care of senior citizens around us

This was our primary concern, and here’s what we did. Stocked them up well as far as groceries were concerned. The full lockdown during March and April had ensured such planning wasn’t something new, but ensuring that the elders wouldn’t venture out in our absence was the bigger challenge.

We scheduled milk, fruits, vegetables and other daily staples in such a way that they will always receive their daily dose of freshies without any trouble, thanks to Supr Daily.

Booking tickets, filling numerous forms

Here are the list of tickets, bookings that we had to do and the numerous forms that had to be filled.

  1. Flights for all legs of the trip
  2. Hotel/hostel bookings at all locations
  3. Registration with the respective states we are entering. In our case, that was Uttarakhand, and then back to our home state of Tamil Nadu.
  4. Char Dham registration (this was in our case, may not be applicable to you) for Kedarnath.

COVID-19 related care to keep in mind while travelling

We’ve all heard of the obvious ones such as wash your hands often, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, maintain social distancing, and the most important of all, wear a mask at all times. However, we made a list of extra precautions to be taken while travelling amidst the current Corona pandemic. Here goes.

  1. Stay only in hotels/hostels/AirBNBs which have openly spoken/written about the Corona related safety precautions
  2. Wear surgical gloves while flying and while travelling in the airport <> hotel taxi.
  3. Wearing full hand clothing while on the move as much as possible
  4. Carry a soap sachet since using a sanitiser at all times doesn’t make sense
  5. Avoid crowded areas like the plague. This means shopping for souvenirs, eating roadside food etc are out of scope.
  6. Take your daily dose of Vitamin B, C, D and Zinc supplements. They have been proven to provide immunity against Corona / COVID-19
  7. Last but not the least, drinking hot water wherever possible. While this may be difficult for a lot of people, this is what Preethika and I used to do at all times, so quite natural for us.
That’s us just before we went river rafting on the Ganges 🙂

Self-imposed isolation post the trip

This is the most important of all, and usually, something that most will take lightly.

This is something that we had pre-decided, and something we totally urge that you follow as well. As I write this post, we are on our 6th day of self-isolation after the trip to ensure that we don’t spread the virus inadvertently, even if we are carriers by chance.

Travelling during Corona times – final words

The way things are going, Corona is here to stay until the end of 2021 at the very least. We are right in between COVID-19 pandemic, but it definitely appears as if the fear of Covid is over. That’s the ground reality in India today.

As the famous song goes, “We Shall Overcome!”


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