Traveling Safely: Your Guide to Martial Arts Training Camps in the COVID-19 Era
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There’s no denying that 2020 has been a rocky road, and the need to disconnect and focus on our wellbeing is now greater than ever.
The global pandemic has affected all aspects of modern life. From grinding to a complete stop to reopening with restrictions in place, travel has seen one of the biggest shifts in 2020.
People turned their attention to their own backyard, and domestic travel has taken center stage. Not surprisingly, outdoor and wellness travel have seen a surge in popularity.
After many months of ups and downs, most of us can’t wait to get away from it all and have a change of scenery. A martial arts training camp to level-up your fighting skills, improve your fitness and overall health, disconnect, and reset may just be the escape that we’ve been waiting for.
That said, 2020 has left many people wondering whether it’s safe to go on a martial arts camp or not. Or even travel at all. The mere thought of travel planning right now is riddled with a lot of questions.
This useful guide is designed to help you plan, book, and enjoy a martial arts training camp safely in the COVID-19 era. Below, you’ll find insights on:
- An overview of travel in the time of coronavirus
- What has changed on training camps?
- How can I feel safe on a martial arts camp?
- What are my safest options?
- What if my plans change due to COVID-19?
- What if I can’t travel right now?
Note: We strongly advise you to check your local embassy and/or your destination’s official government websites for the travel restrictions in the area you plan to visit prior to booking.
An overview of travel in the time of coronavirus
Since the reopening of certain borders around the globe, we now have a general idea of what traveling in the COVID-19 era looks like. While each country does have its own rules, here’s what you can expect when traveling internationally:
- A negative RT-PCR test (taken within a certain time before traveling, depending on the local entrance rules) or Rapid Antigen test (RADT) might be required upon entry in a foreign country.
- If you are unable to take the test before you leave home, you may opt to be tested upon arrival (and wait out the results in quarantine, should a PCR test be required).
- Quarantine may be imposed for up to 14 days in certain countries.
- Some countries have eased their restrictions for immunized travelers – if you’re fully vaccinated and are able to provide a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate, you will be exempt from quarantine requirements (if you’ve received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine less than 10-14 days before traveling, you may still need to quarantine).
- In most countries, travelers are required to have their temperature checked and complete a health & travel questionnaire.
- Providing proof of travel plans (accommodation, tours, etc.) might be required upon entry.
- Providing proof of travel insurance is required in some countries. Ideally, it should cover medical issues, COVID-related claims, and pre-existing medical conditions.
- Wearing masks might be mandatory in all public spaces, including common spaces at the camps, both indoors and outdoors. Those who’ve been vaccinated will still need to wear a mask.
- Travelers showing COVID-19 symptoms will be placed under quarantine.
- Physical distancing is required at all times and in all places, except when you’re only with your travel companions.
- In some destinations, if you’re traveling solo, you can stay in private rooms only. If you’re traveling with your companions, you can share a room. In some cases, if you’re not traveling with your own group and would like to share a room, you might be required to have a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before your arrival at the camp.
What if I am vaccinated?
Vaccination programs are being rolled out throughout the world, bringing a glimmer of hope to 2021, including the reboot of travel.
Many tourism-hungry countries are looking into the possibility of restriction-free travel for immunized persons. This means that, if you can prove that you’ve been fully vaccinated (received both doses) no longer than six months before traveling or that you’ve had COVID-19 within three to six months of traveling, you could be exempt from quarantine and, in some countries, from testing too.
Some destinations have recently started welcoming travelers that have been vaccinated (and can prove it) without quarantine and, in some cases, without a PCR test either. Others require proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of traveling in order to be exempt from quarantine. You can see the full list of countries that welcome vaccinated travelers without quarantine here.
Many countries around the world are looking into opening up for travelers who’ve had the vaccine. There’s hope this can happen within the next months or later in the year.
In the meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is developing a digital COVID-19 vaccine passport for travelers. However, for the time being, most require proof of a negative PCR test in order to get onboard an international flight.
Even if you’re vaccinated, you’ll still need to abide by the local COVID-19 restrictions and general infection protocols. You’ll have to continue wearing a mask in public spaces and maintain social distancing.
Note: Don’t forget to check the rules for re-entering your country. As the situation continues to evolve around the world, countries have started imposing restrictions on their own nationals returning from abroad.
For example, all airline passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) must present a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of departure) or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.
International travelers (both citizens and visitors) have to quarantine upon entry into the U.S. International travelers are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after traveling and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel (even if the test is negative). If you don’t get tested, you should self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
If you are fully vaccinated, you should wait two weeks after getting your second dose to travel.
What has changed on training camps?
Image credit: Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat
There’s no doubt that martial arts camps look differently in the COVID-19 era. Travelers and trainers alike have learned to be flexible and adapt to the new situation.
As soon as restrictions were eased in certain destinations, numerous camps went to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for their guests.
The organizers have adhered to the local safety protocols and are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in their area. For starters, you’ll find that many of these training camps have limited the maximum number of participants, thus ensuring peace of mind for those seeking a safe escape.
Although extra safety measures are being taken, the main focus on the camp has not changed. They remain an authentic experience and an opportunity to take your training to a new level, gain more insights into your favorite martial art, improve your fitness, relax, and unplug. The entire experience is still centered around martial arts, training the mind and body, healthy eating, a positive mindset, and enjoying the good company.
To help people find their calm in the time of coronavirus, during lockdowns, and while traveling is still not possible, another form of training camps has sprung – online experiences. These specialize in a variety of martial arts training and may also include wellness activities, coaching, and workshops.
How can I feel safe on a martial arts camp? Clean & safe camps
Image credit: Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School
While all training camps have to comply with the general COVID-19 protocols in order to remain operational, some guarantee that they have implemented a number of measures to ensure high standards of health and hygiene, thus preventing and controlling the spread of the virus.
These trainings are tagged “clean & safe” on our BookMartialArts.com website.
These camps take the health of their guests and team very seriously. They focus on extra cleanliness and the best practices to create a safe environment, as much as possible, from the moment you arrive at the camp to the accommodation, equipment used for the activities, classes, workshops, meals, and everything in between.
We highly recommend opting for martial arts camps with the “clean & safe” tag, which guarantee participants that they have adhered to the special health and hygiene protocols implemented by the local government. These measures can differ from one destination to the other, and may include (but are not limited to):
- The camps use cleaning chemicals that are effective against coronavirus.
- Linens, towels, and laundry are washed according to the local authority guidelines.
- Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays.
- Communal and high-touch areas are regularly disinfected throughout the day.
- The equipment used for the activities is disinfected between guests.
- Cashless payment is available.
- Physical distancing is maintained.
- Instructors maintain a safe distance from the client.
- Activities take place outside where possible. When this is not possible, the activity rooms will be set up with the 2-meter (6 feet) rule between participants.
- The staff follows all safety protocols as directed by the local government.
- Hand sanitizer is available in guest rooms and key areas.
- Process in place to check the health of guests.
- First aid kit available.
- A room is available to isolate suspected or infected COVID-19 patients.
- Protective masks are available for all staff.
- Protective masks are available for clients.
Note: When attending a martial arts training camp only with your travel companions, the social distancing requirements when dining and during the activities will be slightly different.
What are my safest options?
Image credit: Muay Thai Battle Conquer Gym
Even though most training camps have complied with the general COVID-19 regulations, there are certain traveling options that are safer than others. For example, you can choose to go on a martial arts camp closer to home, travel with your own group and join a private training, or opt to spend more time outdoors.
Go on a martial arts camp closer to home
You don’t have to venture far to reap the benefits of a martial arts training camp.
The global pandemic has encouraged everyone to travel closer to home. So why not take this opportunity to discover the beauty in your own backyard, explore a destination in your country that you’ve never been to before, or see the familiar with new eyes?
Aside from the safety reasons, there are other benefits of traveling closer to home. Planning transportation is a lot easier, there’s little to no jet lag, and overall, you’ll save time and money.
Simply go to BookMartialArts.com and browse training camps that are closest to your current location.
Image credit: Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School
Are you considering traveling with your friends or family in a small group? For an extra level of comfort, safety, and privacy, you can opt for a private training camp.
These are group retreats taken to the next level – fully customizable and tailored to your specific needs. There’ll be minimum contact with those outside the group you’re traveling with. It’ll be just you, your private group, instructors, and staff throughout your stay at the retreat.
Furthermore, the social distancing requirements when dining and during the martial arts training and wellbeing practices will be slightly different from a regular retreat where people outside your group might attend.
One of the most valuable lessons the global pandemic has taught us is to never underestimate the healing power of nature. In 2020, more people chose to relax in nature, quite a significant increase compared to pre-lockdown.
It goes without saying that social distancing is a lot easier in the great outdoors. Furthermore, when you’re outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.
Being outdoors has numerous other benefits, including boosting your mood, relieving tension, lowering stress, and fighting depression, as well as giving your body a good dose of vitamin D, which is known to increase immunity.
Thankfully, you can practice martial arts and discover the beauty of nature at the same time. Simply opt for a training camp that takes place in nature – in the countryside, in the mountains, or near the beach.
Depending on the weather, these camps may choose to hold the training sessions outdoors, in a serene setting and against an awe-inspiring backdrop. Enjoy sessions on the beach, in an alpine meadow, or the retreat’s own backyard.
This not only makes the classes safer but is also a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and yourself.
Most martial arts camps held in nature offer exciting complementary activities, such as hiking, nature walks, skiing, surfing, SUP, cycling, horse riding, diving, and other adventure-packed or fun-filled pursuits.
What if my plans change due to COVID-19? Flexible booking conditions
Concerned that your plans may change due to COVID-19? Thanks to BookMartialArts.com’s flexible booking conditions, you can reschedule your booking for free or receive your non-refundable deposit as a voucher and re-book anytime.
Reschedule your training
If new travel restrictions are put in place and you need to cancel or postpone your trip, you can change the dates of your training. Contact our customer service team or the retreat organizer to inquire about the other available dates.
Book a different training or trip
If you or the training camp is not able to reschedule your retreat, you can book a different training or trip in whichever location you choose. Simply use your deposit to book the new holiday.
Receive credit & book any trip later
If you are unsure whether you can travel or when, you can convert your non-refundable deposit into store credit. This way, you can use the credit for any vacation that we have available on any of our themed travel websites, such as yoga retreats, meditation retreats, surf camps, horse riding holidays, safaris, wellness holidays, and more.
What if I can’t travel right now? Book an online experience
Image credit: The Hero Tribe
Thanks to technology, you can now join a martial arts training program from the safety and comfort of your own home. These online experiences are designed to help you achieve your martial arts goals, as well as relax your body, mind, and soul without stepping foot outside your home. You can deepen your practice, disconnect, and reset without traveling at all.
You can access the courses from any device, anywhere in the world, and enjoy daily live-stream training sessions, receive support and guidance from professional trainers, and connect with like-minded people from all over the world. You’re only one click (or tap) away from the instructors and the other participants!