IIZI team’s travel adventures: runaway cat, active volcano and crazy traffic in the mountains

October 13, 20216 min reading

What was the most attractive destination among IIZI employees over the past six months and how much did COVID-19 affect travelling?

If in the spring 2020 the world was locked down in the fear of the virus and people were forced to stay put for a while, then a year later audacious people were already making travel plans. Virus related restrictions were eased here and there and quite a few IIZI people dusted off their suitcases and decided to spend their vacation abroad. We asked them where exactly they went and what exciting things they did.

After a period of hard work IIZI people mostly rewarded themselves with week-long holiday trips. Over the past six months the most active time were the summer months from June to August. The longest stay was in Cyprus where the travelling party charged their batteries for as long as six weeks.

IIZI people relaxed by the Mediterranean Sea

Most people headed for the Mediterranean Sea – the most popular destinations were the sunny Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey and Montenegro. Another desired destination was Austria, from the closer countries one can point out Finland and Sweden, and the scenic Iceland was also among destinations. The common mode of travel was by air but ferries and vehicles were also used. The option to rent a car was mainly used to discover more at the destination.

The purpose of travel varied among IIZI people and the choice of destination depended mainly on the local Covid situation – local restrictions, whether the destination was coded white, yellow or red, and so on. Covid aside, people travelled for the sun, to visit with friends or relax at their favourite location that had become a tradition. We are happy to say that quite a few IIZI people had their dreams come true with a trip taken in the past six months.

There is no way around Covid

Although our lives, including travelling has returned to normal for the most part, Covid related actions have not ceased. Before taking off people asked for more information from their travel agent and also visited the website Reisi Targalt (Smart Travel). People kept themselves updated on Covid requirements in the country of destination, restrictions in transit countries and infection rates. It is also important to register on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before going on a trip.

It was, and still is, mandatory to wear a medical face mask at the airport and on the plane.  A vaccine passport or a negative test taken 72h earlier is also required. Depending on the destination, a rapid test may also be required on site. Updates on the most recent and thorough information is available on a website set up by the Government of the Republic.

A requirement to wear a face mask applies in indoor settings both in Estonia and elsewhere. Our travellers’ impression was that people in other countries are more prone to wearing a mask, implying that their sense of risk is significantly higher.

Smart people travel with travel insurance

IIZI people go nowhere without travel insurance. Travel insurance was chosen based on the widest coverage possible, including possible costs should one get Covid. When travel plans included hiking, this was also considered in insurance. In some cases people opted for the travel insurance that came with their credit card.

Life is an adventure and a lot can happen, especially when going on a trip. IIZI people’s travels went according to plan for the most part, but there was an occasional incident here and there.

Runaway cat

One of our people became a climate refugee at the beginning of summer when a decision was made to go to Cyprus for six weeks. Since the holiday was going to be longer than usual, the family pet was brought along. Unfortunately, travelling with a cat is not an easy task and the kitty, stressed out, decided to flee on a layover in Athens. “It was a tremendous disaster and shock since the airport is open territory and an extremely large one at that and we were starting to miss our flight,” recollects the cat owner. Luckily the kitty was soon caught and they could head for the security gates with the scared pet safely in their arms.

Traffic in Montenegro pushes the limits

“Speaking of traffic, it is common in that country for other cars to randomly slide into oncoming traffic,” said an IIZI traveller who went on holiday in Montenegro and who found the local traffic culture to be extremely terrifying. “Various rules of courtesy apply on narrow mountain roads in other countries, but not in Montenegro… you’re on your own if you want to pass another vehicle,” describes the visitor and says that one has to be extremely careful when driving a rental car over there.

A dream come true on Iceland

Hiking in the land of ice and fire was a long-time dream of one of our people that came true last summer. According to him it was an unforgettable experience to see an active volcano with his own eyes and one could almost touch the burning lava. A breathtakingly beautiful video was made of the trip which you can watch HERE!

IIZI travellers’ recommendations for holiday travels:

  • Don’t worry too much. Find out the local requirements and you’ll do fine!
  • Choose a wide insurance coverage and you’ll have a carefree trip!
  • When going on holiday you have to be careful and follow the hygiene rules.
  • Find out the applicable restrictions in the country of destination.
  • The adventure begins once you ditch the plan!
  • The best time to travel is now because there are so few tourists.
  • Don’t do too much research! Otherwise you will have taken your trip on paper and once you get to your destination it won’t be half as interesting.
  • Vaccination gives the same piece of mind as travel insurance.
  • Make sure you have enough time, be patient and be tolerant!
  • If you are travelling a great distance, think how stupid some Covid restrictions may get and how to cover them with your insurance. For instance, being quarantined even if vaccinated.