The start of a new year never fails to come with a box full of uncertainties, unresolved issues from the previous year, fear or anxiety about what the fresh year holds, and also resolutions that only last as long as fireworks on New year’s day.

While millions of people in various time zones around the world chant “Happy New Year!” and set off fireworks at the stroke of midnight, for some, the start of a new year is simply a social construct and only a continuation of days. For others, however, it is an opportunity to start over; erase the mistakes of the past year, indulge in retrospection, and make resolutions to make better life decisions.

Making a new year resolution isn’t where the work is; the work is in choosing to stay committed and deliberate in seeing it through the rest of the year. The year 2020 saw a lot of halted travel plans for the majority of frequent and intending travellers. At the start of 2020, many made resolutions to accomplish personal goals, some also saw the need to improve their lives by travelling more and those who had never travelled abroad, made a resolution to cross it off their bucket list. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, that many of those resolutions fell through because of the pandemic that plagued us at the start of the year. Across nations, lockdowns were enforced, borders were closed, jobs and lives were lost, and economies dipped into recession among other misfortunes.

The adaptability of man has made us learn how to survive, regardless of what life throws at us and we need to come to terms with living with this virus. So, adding that country to your ‘to-visit’ list should not be discouraged but you should ensure that proper measures are taken toward reaching that travel goal.


While some countries are starting to relax lockdowns, and preparing to open their doors to tourists, travellers are expected to understand that the pandemic has impacted international travel, and in order to be in the clear to travel, they must fulfill certain travel requirements because it won’t be business as usual for a while.

The following steps should be taken for those considering international travel during this pandemic:


Before making that resolution to travel this year, it is important to research the countries whose borders are open to tourists; read up on their quarantine requirements and travel guidelines. Countries like Thailand, Zambia, and Rwanda request quarantine requirements on arrival. Some countries with partial/selective quarantine requirements on arrival are: Barbados, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and Jamaica. Countries with no mandatory quarantine requirements on arrival are Colombia, Cuba, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Tanzania, and Turkey.

While over 50 countries have opened borders for international travel, countries like the UK have enforced another lockdown, even though its airspace is still open.


When you’ve made that decision to travel, it is best to ensure you’re fit to travel and won’t endanger the health of others. Provide an authentic COVID-19 test result. Do not pay for a false test result. Be transparent and honest when adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.


Travelling to another country in the middle of a pandemic comes with more responsibilities. When you’re out or in the midst of people, mask up properly to reduce the risk of getting exposed to the virus. Practice good personal hygiene at all times. Quarantine and keep social distance if you think you’ve been exposed.


Buy sufficient travel insurance that will cover costs in the eventuality of an emergency. A travel insurance provides you a safety net incase of a mishap.


Watch the news, read newspapers and read articles online to get daily updates on events around you. These are uncertain times, it is wise to keep your eyes open and ears to the ground. You never can tell if there would be a sudden lockdown announcement or new COVID-19 protocols in the city you plan to visit. Stay vigilant of the happenings in your environment.

While some may consider it unsafe to travel now unless it is important, making that decision to travel this year should still be encouraged as long as you adhere to safety precautions.

Remember, even with the pandemic, we need to learn how to navigate our way through life, safely.

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