As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, it’s no longer possible to keep every aspect of life on hold. Whether for pleasure, business, or some other need, travel is slowly resuming. But before you hit the road or hop on a flight, it’s imperative that you make a plan to stay safe.
Try These 5 Travel Safety Tips
In 2019, Americans took roughly 800 million trips between July and September. This year, AAA predicted that Americans would take just 700 million trips over that same timeframe. And though this may sound like a massive number, it’s almost a 15 percent dip. And out of these 700 million trips, most looked quite different than they did in 2019.
As we continue to live in the middle of this global pandemic, it’s important that travelers practice smart and safe habits. And if you’re preparing to travel in the coming weeks, you may find the following suggestions helpful:
1. Keep Things Simple
The best piece of advice is to keep your travel plans as simple as you can. By eliminating unnecessary elements of travel (especially in the transportation category), you can lower your risk factor.
“Take a trip that is direct and door-to-door if possible; avoid a lot of different means of transportation or transfers,” Health Matters suggests. “For example, traveling by car during COVID-19 will likely be the safest, so look for destinations within driving distance. Get on a plane only if you need to visit family or if it’s an emergency.”
If you have to fly for some reason, be conscientious in your approach. Nonstop flights are better than multi-leg flights with layovers. You should pack as lightly as possible and carry sanitizer with you at all times. A common-sense approach will dramatically reduce your odds of being infected.
2. Try RV Travel
RV travel is one of the best options in today’s uncertain landscape. It allows you to drive, eat, and sleep in a socially distanced bubble. As long as everyone in your travel party has been tested and remains symptom-free, you have very little to worry about.
The great thing about RV travel is that you can do it big. We’re not talking about pop up campers that you park in a roadside park. Instead, you can rent luxury motorhomes that come with all of the amenities and features built-in. How’s that for a vacation?
3. Spend Time Outside
While it’s becoming more difficult (now that the weather is getting cooler), try to vacation in places where you’re able to spend more time outside.
“There’s evidence that people are more susceptible to infection in indoor environments, where viral particles circulate in enclosed spaces,” Here Magazine mentions. “Outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and fishing make it much easier to keep isolated from others and prevent airborne spread.”
If outdoorsy activities aren’t your thing, you should still try your best to avoid crowds by eating outside, steering clear of shopping malls, and going a bit off the beaten path.
4. Pack Wisely
Be smart with what you pack. Remember that certain stores might be closed and/or out of essential items. Bring anything that you think you’ll need and/or that you wouldn’t want to buy or borrow while traveling. (Some people are even packing their own pillows and towels for hotel stays.)
5. Observe Local Practices
The reality is that everyone has different theories, fears, wants, needs, and expectations about what this virus is, how dangerous it is, how it spreads, and what an acceptable level of risk is. When you’re at home in your own little bubble, you get to set the rules. But when you go into someone else’s city, business, hotel, etc., you need to observe their practices. Playing by their rules is the respectful thing to do. (If you’d prefer not to, you can take your trip elsewhere.)
In some instances, staying at home is the best thing you can do. This is true if you’re showing symptoms and/or are in a high-risk category. But for the rest of us, travel can and should be an option. It’s all about being smart with where you go, how you get there, and what you do during your stay. And if you’re willing to implement the appropriate measures, you’ll have a safe and fun experience.
I’m a single mother of 2 living in Utah writing about startups, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and health. I also write for Inc, Score, Manta, and Newsblaze