The pandemic persists, so what do you do if you need or want to travel? Some travel is easier and safer, but all travel can be approached with planning and preparation! These are my travel tips for the pandemic.
Safe travel is possible, even during the pandemic. Some people will insist you not travel unless its an emergency, but that’s not the right solution for everyone. There are safe and responsible ways to travel. Many of us need to get away and clear our heads, see family, or go someplace for work. That’s okay, because traveling simply requires added caution, due diligence, and our travel tips.
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Whatever your reason for traveling, its your decision and you know your circumstances best. Thankfully, there are many safe ways to travel! This even includes flying, which is why I put together my travel tips for the pandemic.
Pandemic Travel Tips
Pick your location wisely.
There are definitely hot zones within the United States. If you don’t have family in Florida, for example, it’s not wise to travel there for some fun in the sun. Yes, the state is currently reopened, but that doesn’t make it safe. Cases are rising, so is some fun in the sun really worth it? If it’s a getaway you need, then definitely pick somewhere that you know you can be safe.
Quarantine before leaving/getting home.
This may be difficult, so do your best. If you’re going to visit family, it’s definitely wise to quarantine beforehand. The worst thing you can do is be out and about right before a trip, and then bring germs and the virus with you. Having just traveled cross country, I limited my contact with the outside world prior to leaving. When you get back home, limit your travel out. If you know you’ve been exposed, then DEFINITELY quarantine yourself!
Drive if you can.
Driving during the pandemic is a smart way to travel. You can easily limit interaction with others. That’s the biggest thing to focus on when traveling. You’re opening yourself up to other people and you don’t know where those other people have been. By driving, you protect yourself and others in your life.
Having just flown, I can share my firsthand experience. There are a ton of people not flying smart. Pick your airline wisely. Some airlines aren’t selling the middle seat, which means you don’t have to rub elbows with anyone. This is definitely a relief! Other airlines are packing flights and cancelling and consolidating to ensure they are full. This makes it very hard to social distance. Also, try to book a nonstop flight. Just know that changes to your flight may be looming.
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On our recent trip we booked two nonstop flights, but unfortunately American Airlines canceled our direct flight home. We were originally flying from Boston to Los Angeles, but they cancelled ALL direct flights and routed us to their hub in Charlotte. Charlotte was subsequently crowded because American Airlines routed all their flights there! I won’t be flying with them anytime soon, so buyer beware.
Remember when you fly to give other people their space. There is absolutely no reason to crowd people when you’re getting off the plane. Having flown on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, neither did a good job of preventing crowding. Both were good about the boarding process, but both could have been better about exiting the plane. There is no reason to allow a mad dash. Exiting by rows, which one of our American flights did, is a great way of keeping distance.
Wear your face mask.
I’m so tired of face masks being a political issue. They are not and if you are traveling, then you need to wear them. Wearing a face mask protects someone else from your germs and vice versa. If face masks can stop people from spreading this sickness, especially if you’re a carrier without symptoms, then where one. Traveling is hard enough without being afraid of a stranger without a face covering. No one complains about “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” I’m embracing “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service!” Respect your fellow person.
Bring your own food.
Whether you’re driving or flying, bring your own food. If you’re flying, no airline is offering food and beverage service. All are giving out water and a small snack, i.e. mixed nuts or those classic biscuit cookies. Then at the airports, including the busy Charlotte airport, only a limited number of eateries are open. The few I saw had super large lines. Pack up your own food and snacks!
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Do not travel sick.
This applies under normal circumstances, but of all my travel tips, this is most important right now. Do not travel sick, especially if you don’t know if it’s Covid19 or not. Not only are you infecting those around you with whatever you may have, but also those you are going to visit. This is about being respectful and actually caring for your fellow individual and yourself.
Quit crowding others.
This is a big pet peeve of mine, even when we’re not in a pandemic. Do not crowd others. There is no reason we can’t give other people space. If you have to line up for something, then give everyone space. I do not want to feel you breathing behind me. It’s rude in any climate, but now it is just down right disrespectful.
Be smart people!
If you want to or need to travel during the pandemic, then be smart! It’s that simple. Stuff is opening back up, but remember to weigh the risk versus reward. Personally, visiting Disneyland or Disneyworld is not worth the risk. I’m not willing to travel there, even though I would LOVE to take my family to Disneyworld. Our safety and exposure to others is more important. We can still travel during this time and limit the spread of this sickness, but we must be smart. Protect yourself as well as others.
Some people may judge you for your traveling right now, but I’m a firm believer in doing what you got to do, as well as what you want to do. My travel tips will make it easier, so if you want to travel somewhere and you can be safe, then do it! At some point we need to adjust our lives to this current climate and travel is apart of it! Just be respectful of the people around you, have fun, and stay safe.
Meet Your Traveler:
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Writer, and Host at BuzzChomp. She’s also an Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for her film work, or get lost in her comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Photo Credit to Brian Stauffer illustration for Foreign Policy & CTV News
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