Thinking of traveling during the pandemic? You are in the right place. With the vaccine just a few days away and social distancing measures still in place, it is yet not advisable to travel. However, if you are bitten by a travel bug, no one can quench the thirst for your adventure but traveling itself.
So let’s have a look at how you can travel during the pandemic, where you can go, and what precautions you need to take.
- Research and know your destination
The winter months can be really unpredictable, especially if you are going to the mountains. But this time, many local districts have lockdown restrictions due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Hence it is advisable to check before you make your bookings. At the same time, many cities have announced night curfews, so just research properly before you leave.
- Take precautions as you travel
It goes without saying that masks and personal hygiene are the best tools against the deadly infection. However, there are a few more precautions that you can take to be extra sure. Keep your destination closer to home, and try to reach there by your personal vehicle. It is advised that you should not use public transport for hygiene and physical distancing issues, but in case you are, just check if your transportation is safe and is following all the guidelines.
- Book smartly
Many websites like Booking.com have the added advantage of booking hotels in advance without paying any money. Make some use of it, see if they follow all the guidelines and in case you are not satisfied, you can always say no to such rooms.
- Going for a trek? No problem
The lockdown months have been specifically painful for those who are habitual trekkers. But don’t worry, many operators like Indiahikes and Thrillophila have attractive packages have affordable trek packages where attention to COVID-related safety has been significantly amplified. Just make sure that you use your personal trekking gear and you sanitize it a couple of times in a day.
- Be responsible – get tested!
There have been cases of touristy destinations being declared as COVID-19 hotspots as soon as tourism resumed. This happened majorly as people flocked to this location and took the virus with them. Be responsible and get your COVID test done, it’s simple and takes hardly 20 minutes. Moreover, some officials may also ask for your COVID negative certificate while you travel.
It is also advisable to have at least a week of quarantine once you come back from your journey or get tested again for the virus. Believe it or not, it saves lives!
Now that you know about the things you have to keep in mind, we have curated a list (in no particular order) of places where you can visit these winters!
- Auli, Uttarakhand – The surreal mountains will welcome you with chilling cold. The temperatures are hovering between -4°C and 7°C, so don’t forget to pack heavy woolen clothes.
Uttarakhand Coronavirus cases – 92842, Deaths – 1555.
- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – Rishikesh is one place that is ready to welcome you all year round. January is the coldest month for this place with maximum and minimum temperature shuttling between 20-6 degrees.
Uttarakhand Coronavirus cases – 92842, Deaths – 1555
- Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh – Are you craving to get away from the hustle-bustle of the cities? Khajjiar is here for you. It is not as crowded as Shimla, but equally beautiful and much more cleaner. The temperature can drop below 0, so pack enough clothes to keep you warm.
Himachal Pradesh Coronavirus cases – 56,146, Deaths – 941
- Rann of Kutch, Gujarat – Do you remember the famous advertisement – Kuch din to guzaro Gujarat me. Well, Amitabh was certainly not kidding when he said that because places like Rann of Kutch are ready to take you by surprise. It is one of the largest salt marshes in the world with extremely pleasant weather. Since the footfall is low due to COVID-19, you can get amazing package deals for this month!
Gujarat Coronavirus cases- 2,49,913, Deaths – 4332
- Darjeeling, West Bengal – This place is exactly how you imagine it to be – beautiful, breezy, and cold. Darjeeling. The view of tea gardens is mesmerizing and therapeutic after a long, working day. It can rain sometimes in January and the temperature is usually between 3-15 degrees, but if you want the ultimate pleasure of doing nothing, Darjeeling welcomes you!
West Bengal Coronavirus Cases – 5,58,173, Deaths – 9881
- Jaipur, Rajasthan – This is the perfect weather to visit Jaipur. The historic city looks even more enchanting in January when the weather is pleasant. Evenings are usually as cold as Delhi so it won’t be a temperature shock for you if you are traveling from the neighboring states.
Rajasthan Coronavirus cases – 311620, Deaths – 2727
- Udaipur, Rajasthan – One more place from Rajasthan on the list, and I am personally a fan of this place. Udaipur is possibly one of the most romantic places with innumerable rains and exciting weather. The huge palaces are a testament to the rich history and will always leave you for more.
Rajasthan Coronavirus cases – 311620, Deaths – 2727
- Gangtok, Sikkim – This place is certainly a gateway to the unexplored beauty of northeast India. Everything in this city, from its culture to local alcohol will leave you with unforgettable memories. While January can be bone-chilling, but the experience will be much different from the usual northern hill stations.
Sikkim Coronavirus cases – 5951, Deaths – 129
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, mask yourself, and go!