May 18, 2020

How travel is going to change post the COVID-19?

Since most of us entered into lockdown in March , the world as we know it has changed drastically. After we emerge from the lockdown not everything will go back to the way it was - especially travel. Every aspect of travelling will need social distancing in it – from where you can travel to how you can sit on a plane. So how can we travel responsibly post the COVID-19 phase?
1. Start with travelling closer to home - Most countries would be coming out of lockdown at different points of time. They would also be having restrictions on letting in outsiders.  It is better to plan your first vacation within the country or somewhere closer to your country. Choose a good getaway within your country. You will have hands-on information about the situation in your own country rather than a foreign place.
2. Choose your accommodation with someone you trust - To maintain cleanliness, it is best to choose an accommodation with someone you trust or with a well-known brand. Do not opt for cheap hotels, which are not known for their cleanliness. Read reviews and research well about your hotels before booking them. Avoid overcrowded hostels where it would be difficult to maintain social distancing. The lesser you interact with people, the better; at least until we are fully unlocked from the grips of COVID-19.
3. Health certificate could be made mandatory - Most states and countries would also ask you to submit health certificates before you enter. This could become a norm until the Corona virus has been completely eradicated. It will always be best to have health certificates ready in hand when you first start travelling post COVID-19.
4. Buy an international travel insurance policy - Travel insurance policy will be of use now more than ever. If in the worst-case scenario you have to undergo any medical emergencies, having an international travel insurance will cover for the expenses. There are also higher chances of flights being cancelled or delayed. Travel insurance will cover those expenses too.
5. Avoid public transport - This might come as a blow to budget travellers, but avoiding public transports is the best precaution you can take right now. Overcrowded public transportation could be hotspots for virus infections. They could also be unsanitary. Even if you are opting for metros or buses, ensure you maintain proper social distancing norms.
6.  Opt for private transportation modes - Choose private vehicles like cars to get around your destination. You must know how to get an international driving license in India before you plan your trip in a private vehicle abroad. You can also opt for a trustable personal taxi service.
7. Plan road-trips - Road trips could be the best form of travel post COVID-19. Destinations to which we can drive-in will be the safest and affordable choice. You will have better control over the itinerary this way.
8. Staycations to ensure social distancing - Staycations are when you stay at a place nearby your home rather than travelling abroad. You can plan on a resort getaway or plan on a leisure activity time with your family at a place. This will reduce the number of people you meet. It will also be less expensive and more sustainable.
9. Travel maintaining social distancing and by wearing a mask - It is always best to ensure we follow the practice of maintaining social distancing and of wearing a mask even after we come out of lockdown. Ease on restrictions doesn’t necessarily mean that the virus would also be easy on us. Take the necessary precautions while you travel.
10. Last but not least, maintain hygiene and wash your hands often - COVID-19 has instilled in us a very good hygiene practice – washing your hands often and maintaining proper hygiene. It is best to keep following this practice even after corona virus has been eradicated.

P.S.: The author of this article is Arya T.N.

May 12, 2020

Win every new challenge on Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6

As I sat scrolling through my old travel photographs it reminded that I haven’t travelled nor gone for a long ride in a while. Road is my favourite home and in the last couple of months I have terribly missed the deserted roads, meeting smiling strangers, breaks at nonchalant tea stalls and gazing at endless landscapes. The eudemonia that I feel while am on the road can never been explained in words. And I am sure many of us can relate to that.

The last three years were filled with travels winding my way through various destinations. From a 78 day long ride across Himachal, Ladakh, Kashmir and Uttarakhand to the ride across the temples of Tamil Nadu to covering the palaces and forts of Rajasthan to the rides across secluded beaches of Maharashtra to staying with the local tribes in Arunachal to exploring the art and architecture of Italy to diving in the blue waters of Maldives, my travels have been a concoction of memorable rides and unforgettable destinations and breathtaking experiences, which have all been nostalgic.

With a full-time job and the present lockdown situation that the world is facing, travel seems too farfetched for the next few months. Staying indoors without travels is definitely a challenge but virtual tours are one way to relive memories and keep the travel spirits high. Reading travel book,travelogues and blogs, watching travel videos and movies, and researching on new destinations are some of the ways the traveller in me has been readying himself for the future travel days.

During this search for travelogues and videos I happened to stumble upon a video on YouTube which I could resonate with so much. Everyone goes through difficult times and searches for that perfect dose of motivation that keeps life going. For some it comes in the form of riding their Royal Enfield. It is the therapy that gives them clarity of vision to move ahead. I instantly wanted a test ride to feel the magic. Himalayan BS6 has been launched recently and while checking it out at a showroom near you may not be possible, remember I was talking about virtual tours?

How about we indulge in one? Go on, take the tour, I’ll wait a minute.

I am impressed by the new additions in Himalayan BS6 with more focus on rider safety as hazard light feature has been introduced. There has also been a change to EFI in BS6 from Carburetor in BS4 with no drop in performance at higher altitudes.The most important change is that BS6 engine has become more environment friendly with more of ethanol in fuel. The new riding experience is going to be out of this world.

But the challenge that I am facing at present as a traveller is that I cannot travel frequently, but I am being patient enough and hope to travel for long in the near future. What excites me right now is the anticipation of being on the road on the new improved Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 that makes all the waiting worthwhile. The lockdown may feel like a challenge right now but it’s going to end soon with me back to the road!

P.S.: This post is in collaboration with Royal Enfield

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