What It’s Like To Travel In The "New Normal" | The Full Frontal

What It’s Like To Travel In The “New Normal”

You guys smell that? It’s the smell of aeroplane fuel and airport food.

Yes, folks. It is time. We have finally made it to a time where we get to travel again. This time with very minimal restrictions. At least from our country — I don’t know about anyone else’s. 

I have dreamed of this day. After nearly two and half years of just travelling within the country (which is magical in itself, don’t get me wrong but your girl’s itching for some authentic food from other countries too), there’s finally a chance to feel some overseas breeze and the smell of coffee shops while you watch the snowfall… it all paints quite a pretty picture, you know. 

So if you ever plan on travelling anywhere anytime soon, here are some things you should keep in mind.

The Gist Of Your Worries

It’s easier to travel once you’re vaccinated. Source from Forbes 

Before flying off, you would, of course, have to go through the whole ordeal of renewing your passport, and we all know how time consuming and frustrating that is. Once you’ve secured your passport, you would have to book your flight and accommodation. This part’s pretty easy and all up to your preference. 

Now let’s get to the more serious part — your vaccination status.

First of all, let me just put this out of the way — yes, there are some countries where you can still travel to even though you aren’t vaccinated. However, depending on the country you go to, you would have to provide proof in the form of a negative COVID-19 test.

But if you have been vaccinated, there are basically no restrictions for you at all. All you’d have to do before you board your flight is to print out your MySJ vaccination certificate to prove that you have been vaccinated. 

Most places don’t require you to quarantine anymore. Since for them, COVID-19 is like so last season, you know. However, some countries still make it mandatory for you to take a two-week quarantine when you arrive. So don’t forget to check your destinations carefully in order to avoid any mishaps on your supposed stress free vacation. 

You can check whether your destination would require quarantine at wego.com

And Then Some…

It’s alright, while one door closes, another one opens. Source from WPR

There’s also the concern that the places you’d want to visit have been closed down since the pandemic. Which is a valid concern, in my opinion.

I’ve heard of a lot of places closing down and are out of business ever since COVID-19. For example, I’ve seen videos of the empty streets of Myeong-dong where before was filled with stores and food stalls. 

The closed down malls and abandoned buildings in Thailand were also kind of sad. Restaurants and museums that were once very popular were forced to shut down and you barely have anything else to look forward to anymore. But that’s alright, yeah? We can’t always be so wistful. There are always new places to discover. There’s nothing left to do other than to move forward. 

That being said, for the most part of it, travelling remains the same as it was before. Just with the added masks and vaccine status and sanitisation and all jazz. And when you get back, you’d need to fill in your MySJ Traveller form

For what?” You may ask. Personally, I don’t really know. It’s kind of like an entrance form to confirm that you’re entering Malaysia. The form should be filled by anyone and everyone who’s coming into the country. I’m not sure if you’d still have to do it after 1 July 2022, but we’ll keep y’all updated on that front. 

There Are….Other Worries?

Flight delays are the worst. Source from Daily Express

Aside from all the hassle of planning trips, the worries of your trip failing, filling out forms and printing them out too, another thing that’s a concern to a lot of people when travelling recently is the expected (and unexpected) flight delays and flight cancellations. For some airlines, at least. 

Maybe since we’re all still getting used to flying and whatnot, it’s become a sort of trial and error on the airlines side as well? Who’s to say?

I’m actually speaking from experience. Recently, I went to Thailand for a short getaway trip and the flight I was on got delayed both when we were heading towards Thailand and also again when we were going back home. Ah, who doesn’t miss flight delays and getting home late at night all tired and sweaty? Fun times.

There’s also other reasons like the hassle of baggage claim and if you packed any liquids under 100ml or not. Yeah, remember those? Okay, maybe that’s just me.

It’s so embarrassing having to chug a 120ml bottle of Oyishi green tea while the TSA of the Thailand airport looks down their noses at you. Then you almost pee yourself because there was a line at the airport toilet and you’re running late so you decide to just pee in the plane but alas, it’s delayed but you still can’t go to the bathroom because you’re scared you’ll miss your flight. And when you finally settle on the aeroplane, there’s turbulence, so you kiss your bladder goodbye and hope you don’t get any kidney stones when you land from holding in your pee for too long. 

I must say though, I really like Malaysia Airport’s passport system. You don’t have to use your thumbprint anymore, just your face. It’s great for someone like me, whose thumbprints are less than perfect. 

There’s No Harm In Being Safe

Wear your mask everywhere. Even when you think it’s “safe”. Source from Forbes

I’m getting ahead of myself here. The point is, we’re getting closer and closer to going back to normal again. I predict that before the year 2022 ends, we’ll be fully back to how things were in the “olden days”. Just wait and see. 

But also remember to keep taking care of yourself when you’re out there. Just because there aren’t any restrictions doesn’t mean you get to throw caution to the wind. Sanitise and wash your hands frequently. And mask up. Please.

Fly Away, Child. You Are Free Now

Let your worries go and travel away! Source from Vector4free

I know you’ve been thinking about travelling and worrying about all of the above isn’t helping but hey, what’s life without a little stress and adventure? This is a reassurance for you to not be afraid to travel. You’ve been dreaming about this for a very long time now, don’t let these manageable worries get in the way of that.

What’s most important is for you to do your research first before you go anywhere. Just in case. 

And if you’re still scared, there’s no harm in starting your travels in Malaysia first and work your way up to countries overseas. 

I Travelled Across Peninsula Malaysia & So Should You

Native sheep crossing a footbridge in a Redang Island village. | Source