Navigating the Coronavirus media coverage — without locking yourself in a windowless room, skin feeling three sizes too small from sanitizer overuse — can be difficult. It can be even more difficult if you plan to travel in the near future. If you’re determined to avoid the moral panic and find some practical steps on how to manage the threat realistically, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll be answering some important questions, such as:
- Should I cancel my travel plans?
- How do I keep myself and other travelers safe from infection if I decide to continue with them?
- And what about my booking with Hacker Paradise?
Proceed Or Pivot?
The situation in front of us is a serious one and its evolving daily. It’s true, the virus is affecting people across the world. It’s also true that we need to approach the situation with a level head and accurate information. As Obama said, “let’s follow the science” — and who knows the science better than the experts.
The first step in deciding whether to proceed with your travel plans or to pivot is to find the right sources of information, and monitor them regularly. We suggest following travel advisories of the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. If your planned destination is on any of the ‘risk lists’ produced by these, it’s probably a good idea to adjust your plans.
The second step we’d advise is to find out about Coronavirus protocols at the airports you plan to transfer through or arrive at. These are likely to be different, country to country. The same can be said for the airlines you intend to travel with, the majority of which will have released a statement on the issue and how they intend to mitigate it.
If you’re feeling assured after completing the two above steps, the next is to cover yourself. And not just in sanitizer.
During this time, it’s critical that you have health insurance that lasts the duration of your trip. While initially, many insurance companies did not offer Coronavirus coverage, there are some that are doing what they can to catch up with the need, Allianz being one. In the case that you’d already bought insurance before the outbreak, shoot the company an email to ensure that you’re covered for this particular virus.
Next — if you’re still looking to book flights, seek out airlines that have a “Peace of Mind Policy”, like Alaska Air. This cover allows passengers to cancel or change their flights without additional fees that would typically apply. And if you’ve already secured your flights, check to see if your airline has applied a similar ‘disruption to travel’ policy that you’d be covered by retroactively.
To Mask Or Not To Mask.
So, you’ve decided to continue full(ish) steam ahead with your travel plans. Now would be the time to get clued up on some precautions to keep yourself and other travellers safe from Coronavirus infection:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer.
- Don’t touch your face, specifically your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Don’t wear a mask (unless you develop symptoms).
- Close the lid before you flush the toilet (especially on planes).
- If you need to cough or sneeze, do so in a way that doesn’t expose your hands or others. Ie into your shirt, elbow, or disposable tissue.
- Set up tap-and-pay on your phone or pay with a credit card when shopping (as opposed to exchanging cash).
If you’re like us and intend to spend time in coworking spaces while traveling, here are some other tips:
- Bring your own cups/utensils for eating and drinking
- Use the dishwasher
- Sanitize your computers and phones at the beginning and end of the day
Your Travel Plans With Hacker Paradise
Joining Hacker Paradise is a personal decision that we want you to feel good about. As always, we’re committed to the safety of our participants and having a positive impact wherever we travel.
Our mission is to offer people an alternative way of living, working and adventuring, and we intend to continue while taking necessary precaution to protect our community. We’re no strangers to navigating uncertainties that can come with a program like ours.
What you need to know:
- The wellbeing of our community and the destinations we visit is our highest priority.
- We are monitoring the situation from two lenses: the global movement of people/travel paths and local circumstances in each of the locations we plan to visit.
- On an international scale, we follow travel advisories of the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. We’re also in ongoing communication with local contacts in all of our destinations to get an accurate reading of each country we visit.
- We’ll only run trips to places we believe are low risk.
- We are experienced in crisis management. We’ve responded to medical emergencies, evacuated groups from countries in civil strife (twice), and cancelled trips ahead of time where necessary.
Information about your booking with us:
- If we cancel your trip because the situation around Covid-19 changes at your trip destination (and following guidance from the State Department and CDC), you may choose to receive 1) a full refund, or 2) a credit, plus an additional 15%, that you can put towards a future trip.
- If you cannot join your trip because of government restrictions on departure/arrival or flight cancellations due to Covid-19, we will endeavor to extend the same refund/credit as described above. At an absolute minimum, we will refund/credit the program portion of your trip.
- If you decide not to join your trip for other reasons our existing T&C’s apply:
- More than 120 days before the commencement of a trip will result in a full refund, less $200 admin fee.
- Between 30 and 120 days before the commencement of a trip will result in a 50% refund.
- Less than 30 days before the commencement of a trip will not result in a refund.
There seems to be no country that is without some risk, including those we call home or find ourselves in at this moment. The situation is fluid and we are ready to adapt as things unfold.