Rêveuse Travel: Travelling in 2020 during a pandemic

Rêveuse Travel: Travelling in 2020 during a pandemic

Recently we were fortunate enough to have gone on our yearly summer vacation which we booked right at the start of the year. Despite its uncertainty of whether we were going or not, we finally completed our holiday abroad, where we were welcomed back by the homey British weather, the perfect season to isolate inside. The whole trip was quite an experience, especially during these times and so we thought that it might be helpful to document some tips and notes for other people who were also thinking but unsure like us what it would be like to travel around this time (as of the beginning of September).

AIRPORT AND AIRLINE TRAVEL

From purchasing our tickets in January to the end of August, when we were due to travel, we were met with a lot of cancellations and rebookings from mid July. This might be something to note and be prepared for as we had a look again on sky scanner and it looked like they had cancelled a lot of flights during the week and only operating on the weekends from mid September. Luckily we were able to rebook our dates without any extra costs.

We had an early morning flight to Heathrow Terminal 5. Living near this airport is convenient for us, where we can take the underground and be there within 20 minutes. There are points as you get inside Heathrow where they provide hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean. 

As we got to the airport quite early, bag checks and security was extremely quick as there weren't that many travellers that morning.

A point to note is that all liquids must be contained within ONE see through bag. If using a plastic bag, it must be able to zip up/ close. We made the mistake of bringing one too many products which we had to unfortunately discard.

We were surprised to see the shops at Terminal 5 reopen and we grabbed a morning breakfast from Pret just in time to use the last day of the Help Out to Eat Out scheme.

Some chairs also had signs on so people are spread out a bit more. However, in general people were still walking quite close to one another yet everyone was wearing a face mask.

We travelled with British Airways where they had some measures in place. There were only about 15 travellers on our flight so it will depend where/when you are planning to leave so there wasn't a rush for everyone to get on the plane. As we got on, we were immediately given small packets of sanitising wipes and hand sanitiser which was nice. However, despite there not being more people on our flight, we were expecting to be spread out more but there were people sitting right behind us despite there being lots of other empty seats around. 

British Airways also usually provide an M&S menu and on our particular flight we were given a complementary bag containing a packet of crisps, biscuits and bottle of water which was a nice addition. This was given on the way back too, with the option of having an extra drink in a cup.

On the way back to London our flight was almost full (most likely due to the cancellations in weekday flights). As you exit the aeroplane, they call out a selection of rows at a time, so people aren't rushing all at once to get out. We were sitting right at the back but luckily didn't have to wait too long to get out and wasn't as stressful as it usually is. 

Passing through security, they also have signs to say they do random temperature screening checks. Again there are lots of hand sanitiser points and floor markers to maintain social distance. (although people weren't really adhereing to it)

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

Arriving into Croatia we checked online and it looks as if you have to fill in a form online with basic information such as where you're staying and emergency contact details. This was printed out, however when we got to Dubrovnik we didn't need to present it to border control. They only asked us for a contact number. 

Getting back to London you also have to fill out an online form 48hours before you are due to arrive back to the UK.  This takes about 8 minutes to complete and is more detailed with questions including your booking reference and your flight number. Again we weren't asked to present it but it is vital that you complete it before you enter the UK. 

TRAVELLING IN DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Whilst in Croatia we found that a lot of people are quite relaxed in terms of wearing a mask. Drivers, shop assistants and waitresses were all wearing one but we also saw many locals or tourists not wearing one. 

Dubrovnik was far less crowded than expected, so there was lots of room to walk around within the Old Town. Beaches were also far more empty than what we usually see at beaches in Italy which was nice to almost feel as if you had the sea to yourself!

We stayed at an airbnb a short walk away from the Old Town and inside everything was extremely clean. With a bottle of hand sanitiser provided and plenty of washing up and other amenities including towels which was really convenient.

We also managed to do a kayaking tour where overall we maintained social distancing from one another. They also clean out all the equipment and didn't provide any snorkelling mouthpieces which they usually do. 

TIPS

We recommend bringing a small bottle of hand sanitiser which came in really handy. In addition, a couple face masks is good to bring as we went out in the morning and rested at the airbnb around lunch before heading out again so bringing a few clean or washable face masks is good to have. 

Double check your destination is not on the red list even an hour before you head off as it can change at any moment. Ours luckily changed about a week beforehand, so we were able to prepare the necessary documents etc. before our travel.

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