We as travelers would never wish that we would being stuck in foreign country even though the country itself so being called paradise.
Surely none of us have ever wanted to get stuck in another country, let alone experience a pandemic in our lifetime. But here we are battling one of the worst coronavirus strains the world has seen so far — and quarantine tips are proving to be worth their weight in gold.
With COVID-19 cases not even peaking in some countries yet, people are getting stuck. They’re stuck in their residences under quarantine. Others, in a different city far from home. For a few, it gets worse: They’re stuck in another country altogether due to the implementation of strict lockdowns.
So what exactly do you do in these situations? Read till the end of this article for practical quarantine tips, no matter where you are across the globe. We wouldn’t want to wish this upon anyone, but this horrific scenario is very real for those whose travel plans took a turn for the worst during the initial outbreak.
As nations tried to contain the virus, there were those who didn’t catch flights home before borders were closed abruptly and airlines were temporarily shut down. Here we give you some tips to survive in foreign country during the pandemic of COVID-19
- Keep calm, check your resources, and stay connected
The first thing you should do is to make sure that you have enough funds to tide you through at least a month of staying abroad. Yes, you read that right — a month. You might say we’re overreacting, but overestimating your budget is better than being short on cash in any case. Remember, some countries placed themselves in enhanced quarantine for a minimum of 30 days, so that should be your gauge. If you need money wired to you, make arrangements ASAP.
We’ve heard of people stuck in beach towns in Gianyar, Bali for two weeks and counting. Thousands of travelers can’t catch flights home from Europe because airlines have stopped operations. Some routes were also affected because their designated layover airports have been closed until further notice, and redirecting these international flights will take longer with a pandemic in the equation.
So double-check your available resources: your credit card limits and cash advances, the savings in your bank account/s, and your pocket money. Arrange long-term housing if you can’t extend your stay wherever you’re billeted. Last but certainly not least, secure connectivity. You’ll need this to contact your government when the need arises, and it’s always comforting to stay in touch with loved ones during any crisis.
- Get in touch with your airline and travel insurance provider
There’s another reason why you need to secure connectivity at this time: You have to figure out if you can rebook your flight back home. Of course you didn’t plan on staying this long — what happens to your return flight (or flights)? It would be wise to contact your airline to know all of your options.
If the airline allows you to rebook flights at no additional cost as soon as commercial operations resume, then good! That’s one less thing you’ll spend for or worry about. If that isn’t the case, though, then maybe you can factor in how much you’ll have to prepare or set aside for the journey home. Now would be a great time to get in touch with your travel insurance provider, too.
If your policy covers emergencies like the one you’re in, the assistance you’re entitled to will certainly make things cushier and convenient for you. It’s times like these when you just have to pat yourself on the back for making wiser choices prior to travelling — such as getting yourself insured. Plus, contacting your airline and travel insurance provider will most likely give you a better grasp of the current COVID situation wherever you are.
- Browse your travel documents and keep informed
After you’ve sorted out your available resources and made sure that you can afford the extended stay, double-check ALL of your travel documents. Even if your destination didn’t require a visa, you’ll surely have a maximum number of days you can stay in that country. If you have a visa with you, then the same rule applies: Check how many days you can legally stay in your destination.
Start following official social media channels of all government offices that will keep you informed about your situation if you aren’t already. These are the embassies, the tourism offices, the foreign affairs arms, and local government units of your country as well as the place you’re stranded in. You have to know when and if authorities extend help to stranded tourists.
Here’s a top quarantine tip: Keep your eyes glued to the news. You can’t be blindsided or ignorant during this time. Don’t panic, but stay on your toes. Anything can happen. For example, you wouldn’t want to miss updates on your motherland repatriating stranded tourists, would you?
- Contact your embassy or consulate and your tourism department’s hotline
So you’ve checked the permissible duration of your stay and uh-oh, your time’s about up. Breathe; things are going to be alright. If no help or visa extension has been offered by the country you’re currently staying in, now would be a good time to contact your embassy or consulate.
If they don’t have hotlines, we’re pretty sure you can reach them online — tourism offices should be equipped with communication channels for tourists in the same predicament as yours. This brings us back to one of our top quarantine tips: Secure reliable connectivity, and make sure even that has back-up. We’ve heard horror stories of citizens of certain countries having to camp out their consulates’ buildings just to get an answer, but let’s hope you won’t have to resort to such measures. Keep in mind that in times of crisis and especially when nations have closed their borders to commercial international flights, it is your government’s responsibility to extend assistance to you. Now all you need is a way to contact them, whether by phone call or some online platform.
- Search for online communities and support groups
You’re stranded in a strange country and your dream vacation has quickly turned into one of your worst nightmares. You’re not alone. Search online and make friends (but don’t forget about social distancing!); support groups and online communities have quickly emerged one after the other during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Make your situation known; share the bad bits to help enlighten others but also, don’t forget to give credit every time you receive the assistance you need. There are many quarantine tips that you can follow, but at this point, seeking support in any form and staying updated are essential to ensuring the most comfortable stay this crisis (and your money) can afford you.
Though it’s hard to see the silver lining in all of this, celebrate the fact that you’re alive and healthy. To top it all off, you’re on an extended vacation! Sure, it’s not one that you planned and you really can’t go out much, but you’ll come home a survivor. That’s something to be grateful for any day.
- Map out nearby groceries and stock up on essentials
This is pretty self-explanatory, and only you would know exactly what you’ll need during this extended stay. Stock up on essentials — food, toiletries, medicine — but remember not to hoard! Take only what you need so that others can secure supplies for themselves, too. Don’t forget to take into consideration laundry needs, in case you didn’t pack enough clothes.
- Patience is key
As with many things in life, having patience is going to be crucial during this time. Your embassy and the State Department may be there to help, but they’re being bombarded. Remember to utilize social media contact options, send emails, call — and understand that millions of others are also dealing with less-than-ideal situations.
Most of us still grapple with the reality that we’re living with a pandemic in our midst, but these quarantine tips are sure to help you accept that things aren’t okay at the moment.
We’re sure they will be, though the world might just take a little longer to heal. We can’t wait till that day comes. Stay safe and stay healthy; remember to play your part in flattening the curve!