The Covid-19 pandemic brought the whole world to a standstill, and majorly affected the travel industry. The global pandemic affected tourism-dependent countries negatively, making the impact of the crisis deeper and much longer-lasting than for other economies. Tourism rates are not expected to recover to 2019 levels until 2023. In the first half of 2020, tourist arrivals fell globally by more than 65%, with a near stop in April, according to ongoing IMF research on tourism in a post-pandemic world. If you are wondering whether it is worth trying to travel at the moment, my recent experience might help you decide. 


This Christmas break I went to India to visit my family, and as someone who usually goes every summer, it was exciting after not seeing them for nearly three years. However, the travel process has definitely changed since I last went. We had to do a ‘Fit to Fly’ test 48 hours before our flight. Upon arriving at the airport, there were a lot of documents we had to present in order to show that we were able to fly, for example that we were fully vaccinated. Each country has its own guidelines for entry, so for India, we had to do another PCR test when we arrived. Once that was negative, we could leave the airport. However, we then had to do a seven day home quarantine, which was in fact very useful for me as it gave me a chance to do my homework! After the quarantine, we were free to relax as we wanted. I visited many places, such as my favourite restaurants, and shops. I even celebrated two of my cousins’ birthdays, with one turning two and the other turning four. Christmas was unusual, as it isn’t as commonly celebrated in India, however there were lots of little children dressed as Santa, which was very cute to see. New Year’s Eve was lovely to celebrate with my family this year, and we set off a few fireworks. Before our flight back, we had to do another Fit to Fly test 48 hours prior to flying. After arriving back in London, we did another PCR test at the airport, and that was the end of my Christmas vacation!


The experience on board was also a little different. Face coverings had to be worn for the duration of the entire flight, unless you are exempt, and the flight crew were wearing full protective clothing. Disinfectant sprays were also regularly sprayed, just to be safe. 


As the world is now getting used to coronavirus and its variants, I think travel will definitely be back to how it was before the disruption. I was definitely wary of travelling, and we even came close to cancelling our trip because of the rise in the Omicron variant, however I am glad that we went because it was amazing to meet my family and to see India again. If you are put off from travelling because of the precautions on board, wearing a mask all throughout the flight was not actually that bad, mostly because I slept through it, but also because I felt safer knowing that I was being as careful as possible during my journey.