Who wouldn't miss traveling? It is known that traveling fulfills our mental health needs, increases our confidence, and even grants self-actualization. But during a pandemic, you would think twice before you step out of the door, and all the more, to go on a travel trip.
If you are a frequent traveler, or if you need to travel under any circumstances, or simply decided to have a breather and go out for once, here are the tips on safe travel during a coronavirus outbreak that you have to bear in mind.
If possible, take a journey that is straight and even door-to-door. Traveling by car would probably be the easiest and safest way to go on a trip during the pandemic, so look for destinations within driving distance.
A further benefit of taking a car is that you can take it on local excursions once you reach your destination. Choose local events, however, which do not include public transport, and opt for long walks or bike rides.
Book wisely! Pick an off-peak period for travel.
Pick the best date to travel. Don't leave on a Friday, when there will be more crowded public rest stops.
Pack your meals, snacks and bring your own drinks to avoid waiting in line. This will help you save time and money, too!
Never forget to wear your mask before you step outside your vehicle
Keep tissues and hand sanitizers on you at all times.
Remember, a non-stop flight is better than one with layovers. If you have to fly, bear in mind that you always have to choose the option that has fewer risks of being exposed to the virus.
And if your decision to go on a trip is final and you decide to travel by air, check whether your airline has measures in place that allow social distancing, enforce the use of face masks, and have adequate access to hand sanitizers or hand washing wherever possible.
This type of travel is one of the riskiest amid the pandemic. Here are the important things to remember when traveling by air:
Get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when you are fit. After receiving your second vaccine dose, wait 2 weeks to travel; it takes time for your body to develop immunity after every vaccination.
Get yourself screened for a covid test 1-3 days before you fly. And once you get the test results and tested negative, always keep a copy of the necessary documents with you. If you test positive, do NOT fly.
Always check the travel restrictions of your destinations before you go.
Whenever in public, wear a mask over your nose and mouth. On airlines, buses, trains, and other modes of public transport traveling to, inside, or outside the United States and in U.S. transport hubs, such as airports and stations, please note that masks are required. Protect yourself and protect others.
Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching any parts of your face.
During the pandemic, traveling to the airport and the time you spend at an airport during check-in, security checks, boarding, and baggage collection may well be more dangerous than the actual flight itself, so don't forget to take care of yourself and your company every part of your trip.
Before your actual trip, whether you are a planner or not, it is best to plan and organize all the parts of your trip, most importantly the lodging and dining.
Opt for a place where air can flow through open windows when you want to lodge. Or better, plan a camp trip and stay outdoors. Or if you have no option for that and have to stay indoors, look for a space with a terrace or balcony. And when booking a hotel, look for accommodation that allows you to open a large window. Hotels with quality air conditioning and filtration systems are smart options but are ultimately riskier than an open window and a balcony or terrace.
The same goes for dining out. Airflow is a very important aspect when it comes to virus transmission.
Most respiratory virus transmission occurs indoors, so avoid activities like eating inside a restaurant, particularly if it is crowded. Choose those if there are tables outside. Being outdoors is always better than being cooped up inside, no matter what the activity.
When you have landed at your destination, avoid indoors with packed crowds. As I've said in #4, it is best to have a good airflow when looking for a place to stay and dine in. When the air is moving, the risk of transmission is low.
Take some time to isolate yourself from crowds and go outside. Go for long walks along the beach, add a day hike to your itinerary, or look for a bike ride near you. You can also take this time to meditate and reflect. Plus, you will be amazed by how nature can recharge your batteries when you allow yourself to relax, and take things slow.
Most people would say they missed live music, dancing with strangers, going to restaurants or bars, and all of these things are bundled up when traveling. These are only some of the things that we cannot carry over our pandemic life.
More than a year in, we are all forced to stay inside and change our ways of living. A collective sacrifice that could save lives.
But traveling is inevitable. If you’re one of the lucky ones and you get the chance to go out, pay attention and look around to see what has changed. You can also take this time to reflect on the things that you want to do once all of this is over. The question is, of course, when that will be. For now, let's all stay safe and be mindful wherever we go. Always have a safe trip!