How to Stay Healthy While Traveling During COVID
DISCLAIMER: The CDC states that travel increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Choosing to travel during the pandemic is a personal decision you must make for yourself. The safest choice is to stay home, but if you’re going to travel right now, then be sure to use the following tips to know how to stay healthy while traveling during COVID!
Find Adventure Close to Home
Sick and tired of being stuck at home? I don’t blame you! Of course, it’s truly the safest place to be right now. So why not bring travel a little closer to wherever you are with a staycation? Here are some unique staycation ideas to get you started:
Choose Your Destination Carefully
If you’re going to leave your immediate area, you’ll want to read up on where you’re headed. Look into the following information for the city, state, or country you want to go to:
- What are the current restrictions and closures? Check out this map from kayak.com that shows travel restrictions by country
- What measures do the local hotels, eateries, etc have in place to keep people safe?
- How do the trends look? Is there a steep rise in cases? Or are they steady or trending downwards?
Many states and countries have restrictions on who can and can’t enter, and whether or not you need to quarantine upon arrival or present negative PCR COVID-19 test results within a certain time frame of arrival. Wherever you go, make sure to follow any and all regulations for COVID.
Remember, it’s not just for your own safety, but the safety of others, too!
Stay Up To Date with COVID Guidelines + Travel Restrictions
Check the CDC and the news to stay informed on precautions while traveling during COVID both before you arrive and once you’re there. The truth is, these really are unprecedented times, and things can change at any moment.
If you’re traveling internationally, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program from the US State Department. It’s completely free, and they’ll keep you up to date on all travel advisories and breaking news for wherever you’re headed!
Be Flexible & Prepared When Traveling in a Pandemic
Because things can change at a moment’s notice these days, you’ll want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So when possible, purchase tickets and reservations that offer full refunds, and opt for travel insurance whenever you can.
Also, make sure to always have a plan B! For example, if you book an Airbnb in another state, try to have another one or two in mind that you could book last minute in case your host cancels. If you’re taking a flight, consider booking closer to your travel date as many flights are being canceled due to the pandemic.
When the pandemic first started, it was much more difficult to get a flight refund, Luckily, airlines have adjusted their policies for the times. Check out this article from The Points Guy on all the newest airline change and cancelation policies.
Always Wear a Mask - Even When You're Not Traveling
The director of the CDC has called masks “one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus.” So do your part by masking up! The best kinds of face masks are both secure and comfortable. Look for a fabric mask with sturdy straps and a snug fit that stays secure over your nose and under your chin.
And avoid wearing masks with valves! Those are meant for industrial workers who are trying to avoid inhaling small dust particles. Masks with valves aren’t as protective during COVID-19 because viral droplets can enter and exit the mask through the valve.
Limit Your Exposure to Others While Traveling During COVID
The number one way to keep everyone safe and healthy is to limit your interactions with anyone who’s not in your household. Here are some of the best ways of staying healthy while traveling during coronavirus:
Outdoor Activities are Best
Travel by Car over Plane
Cook Meals Whenever Possible
When traveling, cook meals at home or carryout from restaurants rather than dining in. If you have to eat at the restaurant, try to eat outdoors whenever possible, or at the very least choose restaurants with low capacity and plenty of ventilation.
Airbnb Over Hotel
Stay in an Airbnb over a hotel. If staying in a hotel, turn down daily housekeeping services to limit your contact with others as much as possible.
Wash Your Hands & Sanitize Everything
Want to know the easiest thing you can do to stay healthy while traveling during COVID? Wash your hands and sanitize everything regularly!
If you can find it, purchase sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol or more. Also, use a disinfectant wipe (I have these travel-friendly wipes) before touching any of the following common communal surfaces, as well as any others you come into contact with:
- Gas station handles
- Public doors and door handles
- Tables and counters
Be sure to regularly wipe down and sanitize your phone and credit cards too, they can be a hub for germs!
Return Home Safely
Now that you’ve traveled as safely as possible during the pandemic, there’s still one more thing you need to do to keep yourself and others healthy. If you’ve traveled somewhere outside of your immediate area, limit your exposure to others as much as possible. If you can, quarantine at home for two weeks to make sure you don’t have any symptoms.
You may want to consider getting a PCR test for peace of mind. If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or discover you were in contact with someone who now has it, you should absolutely get a test done. You can use this site to find out where and how to get tested safely in your area.
Conclusion: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling During COVID
I hope these tips to stay healthy when traveling during COVID help you to stay safe and informed no matter what you choose to do. For more tips, check out the CDC’s dedicated webpage for safety measures while traveling during COVID. Stay safe out there!
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