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Ensuring a safe, fun getaway

/ 03:20 AM January 23, 2021

Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan

Dream vacations are possible again, at long last.

After months of being cooped up in their homes due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, Filipino travel bugs can now pore over a long list of local destinations. The Philippine tourism industry is all prepped for a reboot, banking on Pinoy pride for a push. Boracay in Aklan, Coron and El Nido in Palawan, and Panglao in Bohol beckon. Looking for spots near Manila? Book a beachside villa in Batangas or a suite in chilly Baguio. (Check Philippines.travel/safetrip for reopened destinations.)

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If your schedule doesn’t allow you to leave the metropolis, at least leave your home for a few days. Try a staycation. Shangri-La at the Fort, Edsa Shangri-La, The Peninsula Manila and Aruga by Rockwell are eager to welcome you. So are the Bay Area hubs: Okada Manila, City of Dreams and Solaire hotels.

Boracay Island

Escape but remember the threat. Claim the trip you deserve but with an abundance of caution. Here are some tips for you to enjoy your much awaited getaway.

FEATURED STORIES

Get all the reinforcement you can. You likely won’t make healthy choices on that trip so help your body put up a fight. Eat healthy and sleep well leading up to your vacation. Heck, get a flu shot and take multivitamins.

Prepare your COVID-19 kit. Add that to your hygiene, first-aid, medicine and vanity kits. Stock a pouch with alcohol, face masks and foldable face shields, disinfectant sprays and wipes, even disposable gloves and a thermometer.

Make sure to have your COVID-19 kit with you when you travel.

Sanitize commonly touched surfaces, as well as shared items and spaces. So, bring lots of disinfectant tissues and gloves. This is not to cast aspersions on housekeeping, just an extra precaution.

It’s not bad to bring your own beddings. If you don’t fully trust your lodge and it helps you sleep better, do it. Moreover, distance the beds and put up curtains or other barriers if you are with a big bunch.

Prefer natural ventilation. If you can bear the natural temperatures, open the windows of your room. Also prefer the outdoors: jog or hike instead of going to a loosely regulated gym; eat or drink al fresco instead of staying inside a resto or bar. COVID-19 loves the humid indoors. Do not give it what it wants.

Claim the trip you deserve but with an abundance of caution.

Do checklists. Going out of your room is risky, so make each time count. Have fun but plan an itinerary to stay organized, and avoid slinging back and forth. When you want to buy items, list them down and send the least vulnerable person in your group to shop during off-peak hours.

Avoid people. When you see crowding, don’t go to it. Don’t stay in common areas, too. Avoid grand parties and prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings instead. If you must be around people, stay 6 feet away. Watch out for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and report them immediately.

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Remember the basics. Wear a mask and shield in public. Sanitize your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face. Maintain social distancing. Take to heart all that you’ve learned from this ordeal if you want it to end.

Finally, avoid risky places for the time being, and don’t patronize those that are lax on protocols. To keep your trip stress-free, transact only with reputable brands. Great views and experiences await, but we still live in a time when small lapses can cost lives.

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TAGS: getaway, Staycation
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