When the global pandemic first hit, it was extremely important for everyone to stay put. We were all asked to isolate — and for good reason. But now that the months have passed, travel has become essential for some of us. The thought of getting out there can be as exciting as it is scary. But if you follow the guidelines and some common sense, you’ll have a much better chance of staying safe.
Here are the dos and don’ts of traveling during the COVID19 pandemic.
DO’S OF TRAVELING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Before you travel, check the current requirements for your destination. Some countries require a COVID-19 test certificate before they’ll allow you to enter. If this is the case, be sure to travel with current test results.
And if you have time before your trip, find natural ways to boost your immune system. This won’t stop you from contracting the virus, but healthier individuals seem to have shorter recovery times.
As for the actual travel, think about all the safety measures you employ to go to the grocery store. These still apply. You’re going to want to wear your mask and bring your own hand sanitizer to use often.
If you’re flying, bring disinfectant wipes so you can wipe down your tray table and armrests. Also, try to fly into and out of a smaller airport where fewer people pass through. This may increase the cost of your trip and your travel time, but it will keep you safer.
In your hotel, place your suitcase on the floor and wipe it down with disinfectant wipes. Also, wipe down all the hard surfaces in the room. This includes tables, doorknobs, handles, light switches, phones, and keyboards. Do this as soon as you enter the room, so you don’t forget before you touch something. Naturally, you’ll want to pay special attention to disinfecting the bathroom.
Remove the bedspread and any decorative pillows. These aren’t laundered regularly. The linens should be clean.
Avoid using the hotel glassware and consider skipping housekeeping until you check out. This will limit the number of people touching your stuff.
DON’T OF TRAVELING DURING THE PANDEMIC
One of the most challenging parts of traveling during the pandemic is to remember not to touch things. It seems like such a simple concept, but it can be difficult in practice. If you take the escalators, do what you can to avoid touching the handles. If you must touch them, be sure to sanitize your hands immediately afterward. You may opt to wear disposable gloves while at the airport, but remember not to touch your face or phone until you take them off.
When you’re on the airplane, don’t make the mistake of removing your mask. Planes are hotbeds for viruses because the air continually recirculates. And while social distancing will reduce your risk of developing COVID-19, there’s still a greater risk when you’re on an airplane. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about the aerosol-sized particles that may float through cabin air, but your mask is still the best protection you have to keep yourself and others safe. If everyone wears a mask, there’s less of a chance of spread.
Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic can be scary, but it may also be necessary for you. If this is the case, take all the precautions outlined here and try to social distance as much as possible. There are really no sure things when it comes to coronavirus, but if there’s one thing experts agree on, it’s that we have some control over our own health.
As always, wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands regularly.