No doubt, 2020 was pretty much a write off for travel with the Coronavirus pandemic, and the beginning of 2021 has not seen any improvement. However, with borders reopening for tourism and the introduction of vaccines, there is hope the tourism industry will pick up in 2021. If you are looking to travel in 2021, being a responsible tourist is imperative.

What does being a responsible tourist mean? Well, in terms of travelling during the Coronavirus pandemic, it means taking every precaution not to get infected or infect anyone else.

Ways to be a responsible tourist

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How Can You Be A Responsible Tourist In 2021

1. Choose your destination carefully

Do your research before you travel and choose a country with little or no reported infections. For example, Cambodia, Seychelles, Cayman Islands and Fiji have all reported less than 500 cases since the Coronavirus was first declared a global pandemic. You can check this on the World Health Organisation Data Table.

Choose more remote places or areas that are not your usual tourist hubs to reduce risk.

2. Get a test before you travel

Some countries require you to have a negative test before getting on a plane to their country. Some don’t. In order to be a responsible tourist, have the test done before you travel, whether it’s a requirement or not! It will give you peace of mind that you’re not carrying the virus into a new country.

3. Quarantine when you get there

If there is a quarantine period in the country you’re visiting, stick to it. It’s there for a reason and it’s their rules. But again, some countries don’t have this requirement, so how can you be a responsible tourist and ensure you’re taking every precaution? Quarantine for the first few days and get a test on day 5 (as it takes a few days to show in your system) to show you’re all clear and ready for adventures.

4. Wear a mask

We all know that studies have proven that wearing a mask reduces the spread of infection. In fact, hearing from a nurse friend of mine, she advised that respiratory disorders in general had reduced significantly in 2020 (Coronavirus aside), due to the majority of people wearing masks!

Some countries are enforcing mask wearing more than others. Whether it’s enforced or not, it helps us to be a more responsible tourist. Masks will soon be one of the must have travel accessories! Check out these cute masks that you can accessorize with your travel wardrobe.

5. Be mindful of others

Remember that we are visiting their country. They have opened their borders to allow you in, perhaps putting their own country at risk. Some people are more nervous of others, and that’s ok. Respect that. Stay the two meters apart, where at all possible, and don’t give anyone reason to look at you as if to say, ‘what are you doing? Don’t you know there’s a pandemic!’.

If you act like you have the virus, there is less chance of you catching it or spreading it in the event that you do have it.

6. Think about getting the vaccine

I’m not here to argue with ‘anti-vaxxers’ or have a huge debate about whether or not you should have the vaccine or not. Obviously, there is a lot of talk about it right now and people are going back and forth on their decision to get it or not. Personally, I have decided to get it and I think it will help me to be a more responsible tourist. There are obviously people who can’t have the vaccine and I feel that by having it myself, I am also protecting those who cannot.

7. Have travel insurance

While insurance companies are not offering Covid-19 cover, it is still essential as a responsible tourist to have travel insurance. I took Lonely Planet and National Geographic’s recommendation to use World Nomads for my adventures. You never know what might happen when you’re overseas and not having travel insurance can be detrimental in a foreign country.

Ways to be a responsible tourist in 2021 (1)

So whether you choose to travel or not, and really the choice is yours to make, just be sure to be a responsible tourist, keep safe and cherish your travel memories. We all know how much we took travel adventures for granted before 2020.

Are you planning on any trips in 2021? Let me know in the comments below!



For activities: Get Your Guide

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For flights: Skyscanner

For travel insurance: World Nomads

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  1. WEAR A MASK. Everybody just should have this recorded! I was just back home and I’ve seen tourists who stupidly refused to wear masks. I’m sorry mate, but go and infect your own country – thanks! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! I think this is a given that everyone should be wearing them. There are a lot of tourists in Dubai at the moment who think they’re on a holiday from Covid and not wearing a mask, even though it’s been mandatory here since the middle of March last year. Quite irresponsible!

  2. Love these tips! I hate how some publications are condemning all travelers when there are definitely some of us who are taking the appropriate precautions to make the best of a bad situation but also protect others! Personally, I’ve been opting for road trips so that I don’t interact with people in an airport and on a plane, and it’s been one of the “most American“ experiences of my life! My next big goal is to do route 66!

    1. Wow Route 66 is totally on my list!! I flew at Christmas time to go back home and was at ease knowing that the filtration system on planes are second to none! I also got a test before I went, quarantined and got another test days later. But yes, there is definitely some negative press against those of us who are travelling, even if we are doing everything right. I was safer than anyone who went to the supermarket those days, as I knew I was negative whereas anyone who hasn’t had a test wouldn’t know if they are!
      I think it’s really made us appreciate what’s on our doorsteps though, and road trips are great!

  3. Great tips! Especially getting a negative test before travelling and quarantining once there, makes me sad to think people can travel to places with low or no covid cases and reintroduce the virus through carelessness!

    1. Yes absolutely! I traveled from the UAE back to Ireland and there was no requirement to take a test or quarantine, but I did it anyway. Must be done!

  4. These are all great tips, Ellie! I can’t wait to be able to travel abroad again and most of all visit my family back home. Wearinga. mask and be mindful for others is the minimum we can do every day. Thanks for sharing x

  5. Great advice!! We are planning on going “home” to Sweden from the US in March. These tips are very useful in keeping your surrounding safe. Thanks!!

  6. This is some really good advice and definitely things I’m bearing in mind as I’m doing my compulsory year abroad as part of my university degree. I need to travel to complete my education but I want to be mindful about how I do it! x

  7. This is great advice for anyone looking to travel. I think these sort of measures will be in place for a while in different countries. I’m not looking to travel abroad in 2021. If anything I’ll just go away somewhere in the UK. I’m hopeful of getting a holiday abroad in 2022 though, as we had 2 holidays cancelled in 2020 x

    1. Thanks Jaclyn. I think one thing this pandemic has forced us to do is enjoy our own country rather than going abroad, so a few staycations in 2021 is a great idea! Keeping my fingers crossed for you for your trips abroad in 2022.

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