Despite its high vaccination rates, America is still far from normal right now, with the Delta strain and all.
In Australia, we’re a long way off normal too. And our travel limitations are stricter than those in America: we are still completely banned from jetting off internationally, without a government exemption.
In Europe, Asia and Africa, though many people are now once again going on short domestic trips again, the overall picture is still very different to how it looked in, say, 2019.
But next year, if all goes well, will be different. Though it still won’t be ‘normal,’ per se, there are signs travel could become a lot ‘freer’ – particularly in Australia – as early as December.
Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce recently commented: “the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months’ time.”
Australia’s current goal is for 80 per cent of adults to be fully vaccinated by December. If we hit that, we should be able to – government lifting the travel ban permitting – start travelling to countries with high vaccination rates and low Covid risk, like the UK, North America and parts of Asia.
Higher COVID-risk countries like Bali, Phuket, Bangkok, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg will probably be pushed out to at least April 2022.
When you strap yourself in for your first international flight in a post COVID world, however, there are a few things you’ll need to learn. The biggest change, arguably, from a passenger’s point of view, is the requirement to wear a mask throughout your flight.
If the thought of this is giving you cauliflower ears already, fear not: there is a solution.
“This mask hack will save your ears when flying,” Immanuel says. Watch the video below to learn exactly how it’s done.
The trick? Putting the straps of your mask over the headphones, rather than under them.
“Just need some nice Bose QCs,” on Instagram commenter wrote beneath the post.
“This is so handy,” wrote another.
“Definitely the best way to cut noise and wear a mask at the same time!” commented yet another.
“Smart! I like it. With my big head I always get very painful ears from the mask.”
Another Instagram user commented: “I do it at work all the time while being on Ramp 😂 over the earmuffs!”
There you have it: a veritable ear saver.