Places are slowly but shortly starting to open up but that doesn’t mean travel is 100% back to how it was before the pandemic.
Many parts of the world have different rules in place, regarding the health and safety of their people, and these rules may even differ within specific towns.
However, don’t let these rules discourage you from going on a much-needed getaway.
I know all you vagabonds out there are excited to get back to traveling, so if you're curious about what the best and safest practices are for traveling during a pandemic, continue reading.
Check Local Restrictions and Requirements
Before going on a trip anywhere research your destination’s rules and regulations. Some state, local and territorial governments have rules, such as requiring people to wear masks at all times or within specific vicinities. They may also require those who recently traveled to stay quarantined for up to 14 days.
The best sites to look at for information are the CDC and the state and local health department websites for the specific places you plan to travel to. Information can change quickly so be sure to check for updates when it gets closer to your departure date.
Being well advised beforehand can save you from unpleasant surprises and delays. If you think you might make stops along the way to your destination be sure to look up restrictions for those places as well.
Wear A Mask!
I repeat, Please. Wear. A. Mask. Studies have shown that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus.
Make sure your mask is covering both your nose and mouth, because as we speak and breath we inhale and exhale microscopic particles.
The mask mostly prevents larger expelled particles from evaporating into smaller particles, and then traveling further.
So, this means that if you are sick the mask will block these contaminated particles from spreading out into the air and coming in contact with heathy individuals, thus preventing the spread.
However, even if you are not sick wearing a mask should be seen more as a selfless act in which we are just doing our part to make sure the most vulnerable members of our community are staying protected.
Pack The Essentials
Extra masks. Check. 60% Alcohol based hand sanitizer. Check. Antibacterial wipes (70% alcohol). Yes. Disinfectant spray (also comes in travel size) Got it. Thermometer (just in case) Check. Hand cream (to keep your hands soft after frequent washing) Definitely. Gloves (for peace of mind) Sure. Vitamin C. (to keep that immune system up) Heck yea.
Double check that you have these extra necessities before you travel. They will help you stay germ free and can also bring you some comfort while traveling during this pandemic.
When you’re on the go, I would make sure the hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are easily accessible to you. So, try to keep them in your purse or carry-on bag.
Remember To Social Distance
Studies have shown that keeping at least 6 feet apart from others can help stop the spread of Corona Virus. Sometimes it may be hard, especially in overly crowded cities or airports but in that case, wear a mask.
If you are indoors, limit your contact to surfaces such as handrails, elevator buttons, and kiosks. Research has not been completely proven that COVID-19 is transferable to surfaces, but surfaces do carry other germs so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching objects, meeting people or before you eat.
Make sure that even your hands are social distancing from your own face. I know that sounds silly but the germs you come in contact with linger on your fingers, and then when you touch your face, those germs get passed into your eye ducts or seep into your pores. Gross right?
Check Airline Guidelines Ahead Of Time
If you are traveling by air, I suggest looking up the airline website and reading their specific guidelines.
All airlines should be social distancing, by limiting airplane capacity on flights. They are also requiring everyone to wear, you guessed it, masks!
When I was on a recent flight back to New York, I noticed TSA was allowing us to bring food but we had to take it out of our carry-on and put it in a separate bin before it went through the scanner.
This isn’t a major hassle but it’s just an extra step to be aware of. It was brought to my attention that they put this rule in place to lessen the likely hood that TSA reps would have to touch our belongings.
Be Conscience When Making Road Trip Stops
States and cities are opening up for in country tourism sooner than cross continental travel is, so it is likely that most of us will be taking road trips to fill our travel wanderlust.
With that in mind, it’s important to still remember your travel essentials and maintain proper sanitary habits.
You don’t have to wear a mask when you’re in your own car but keep them easily accessible for when you make pit stops.
Speaking of that, try your best to keep stops to a minimum to help limit the spread of germs by coming in contact with others.
Research Before You Stay At A Hotel
All hotels should be adhering to enhanced cleaning guidelines of public areas, elevators, guest rooms and kitchen areas. As well as extra employee sanitary habits, such as frequent hand washing and cleaning of equipment.
Hotel staff should be wearing masks and they might even offer contactless payment methods.
For additional reassurance, I suggest giving the hotel a call. Ask to be put in a room that has been vacant for at least 24 hours and once you arrive disinfect for your own peace of mind.
You can even ask the hotel if they have any specific protocols in order, in an event that a guest suddenly becomes ill.
Determine If Traveling Is Worth It For You
Travel does increase your chances of getting COVID-19 so if you are immune compromised or might have any underlining conditions speak with your doctor before taking any trips.
Even if it’s your dream travel destination, listen to your body and give it the love it deserves.
No vacation is worth you risking your life. If you are meant to go, the universe will guide you to rebooking in the future.
To Sum It Up
All these rules may seem restricting and time consuming but the health and safety of others and yourself is of the of the utmost importance.
This guide is just a tool to help you be prepared for this new age of travel, but it shouldn’t scare you or hinder you from living out your life.
Just wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance from those who especially appear sick.
I encourage everyone to keep a positive attitude and remember that everything is temporary, including this pandemic.