Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Something I know that really splits people is the topic of travelling internationally during this pandemic; I do see great points on both sides and I think it is important that every person and family should make the decision that they feel is right for them at that time and I also strongly believe that you should be able to make your decision without feeling judged or criticised by others.
If you follow us on Instagram you will probably know that we did decide to travel early August to Italy with the 3 of us. After a poll on my stories it became clear that travelling during Covid was something that everyone was interested in learning about; what has changed and what to expect so I wanted to share our experiences and our ultimate tips for travelling overseas at the moment.
Before jetting off there was a couple of things that you need to consider:
- Will you need to quarantine on arrival; you can check the GOV website for this information
- Similarly will you need to quarantine on return and if so how will this effect you with work, schools etc.
- How the virus is doing in the country; this is something I kept check of leading up to our departure just to have an idea of their daily death toll to gauge how the virus may be acting. For us Italy had between 3 and 10 deaths per day whilst we visited so relatively low.
- Extra precautions you may need; masks, anti bacterial and other sanitising products make sure you have some in hand luggage to use whilst in the airports too.
- Something important to know is when returning to the UK you need to fill out and download a return form on the GOV website (we only found out at UK Border when they asked to see it) if you are stopped outside the airport and do not have it you will be fined £1000pp; luckily we had a lovely guy at the border who gave us a link to quickly fill out! PHEW!!
Airport and Flight
We travelled from Stansted and I was actually surprised at how busy it was there, we travelled hand luggage but we had a pram to check in which was very straight forward. they had hand sanitisers everywhere which was great and it was compulsory for everyone (except children) to wear masks at all times although I think some people have misconception of how to actually wear one... not covering your nose defeats the object? but we just gave them a wide birth.
Shops and eateries were open we had a great breakfast from Leon although there was no seating inside for customers you had to use the public spaces and when eating you can take your mask off.
Boarding was again straight forward they called priority up then the normal seating however in true British culture everyone bundles into a queue like the plane will leave without them! just hang back to avoid the first rush.
We flew Ryanair and on both planes they were extremely strict with masks which made us feel really safe. Mouth and nose covered at all times except for eating and drinking and they are not afraid to wake people up to tell them to put their masks on properly. The plane out there was full but we were okay with that and back it was about half full so loads of space.
Our temperature was taken once we got off the plane in Venice which I found strange that it was not taken before this point but no one on our flight was stopped. Coming home from Rome they had a temperature check at the doors to the airport, you had to show your ticket to even be allowed through the door as well.
We stayed in 4 hotels in total one being our airport hotel at the airport and the other 3 in Italy. All took great precautions; masks in all common hotel areas, plastic shields at the check in's hand sanitisers as soon as you walked in and one way systems. The rooms felt extra clean with the beautiful aroma of bleach in the bathrooms!
We had breakfast in Venice and Florence with the hotels and Venice was spot on they had pre-made platters they brought out to your table however Florence was a buffet and we didn't feel as great about that seeing some tourists up there with no masks on (you were meant to but no one policing it) so we opted for the packaged food mainly.
Out and About in Italy
I can only speak for my experience in Italy however I imagine that it is similar across the board. Masks where compulsory in all shops, restaurants, bars and museums etc. so make sure you have plenty, the weather was very hot so I found myself sweating into them quite a bit and leaving make up in them (much to Roy's delight)
Regional Trains (Trenitalia)
We took 3 trains whilst in Italy to travel around and these were by far the most efficient modes of transport and the safest I felt. You had your temperature taken before you were allowed on the platforms. They were promoting contactless ticketing so you could download them onto your phone to just show the inspectors. You were expected to remain in your assigned seat except to use the toilets which we saw being cleaned a few times, you also had to sanitise before going in there.
The best part was at the beginning of the journey they gave out a pack with a new mask gloves, hand sanitiser, water and disposable cup, wipes and tissue which was great.
I'm hoping this will help anyone that is looking of thinking of travelling, I am so glad we did as we both got some amazing content for our business' with the places being quieter, the hotels where so much cheaper and we were able to help support the return to tourism so it was a great success all round. If there is any questions that I haven't answered please please either email me or DM me over on @Tysontrails and I will happily answer them.