Tips for traveling during covid-19

Traveling can be exciting especially when you have been anticipating a trip. However, it is often easy to get caught up in the adventure and throw safety out the window. Preparing for a trip is completely different than it was pre-COVID as there are a lot more precautions to take and items to add to your luggage. According to the CDC, travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel. However, sometimes traveling is inevitable, and you need a few reminders to keep yourself safe, here are some tips from a recent traveler. 

First off, make a checklist! Not only for your regular travel needs but a safety checklist. Make sure to include extra masks, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and maybe even a thermometer and gloves. Although most viruses don’t spread easily in aircraft due to the air constantly being circulated, air travelers still have to think about terminals and security lines. 

When arriving at the airport make sure to limit your contact with high touch point surfaces. This includes handrails, elevator buttons, water bottle refilling stations and door handles. Obviously completely avoiding these surfaces is impossible so bring gloves to steer clear of direct contact. 

You feel all prepared, with your gloves and hand sanitizer ready to board the plane. Then you remember “when was the last time these airplane seats were thoroughly cleaned?” If a plane sits for longer than eight hours, flight attendants will perform a deep clean according to Delta Airlines. If the aircraft is sitting for less than three hours, the seats and handrails will be sprayed and wiped down with sanitizer, says Southwest Airlines. Although airlines are actively sanitizing seats, you can never be too sure. Pack alcohol wipes to ensure your seat is clean. 

Now that we have got airport safety checked off, let’s move onto rooming. Before booking, research your destination and plan to protect guests and staff. While you can’t control the actions of others, you can find out what managers are doing to encourage safety among guests and staff. Are masks required? Are alcohol-based hand sanitizers readily available throughout? How often are public areas being sanitized? Is there contactless check-in? If you don’t find your answers online, pick up the phone and ask directly.

Whether you are staying at a hotel, an Airbnb or a family home, no one really knows what germs could be hiding right under your nose. Packing bedding is helpful but not everyone has the extra luggage space to be carrying around a queen-size comforter. Pack or purchase (at the airport terminal) a bottle of cleaning alcohol and a spray bottle. 

If you are staying in a hotel, be aware that you can request a room that has been empty for a couple of days. Hotels do not have to always accept your request, but it is worth a shot! With fewer people traveling, hotels (especially larger properties) are not likely to be at capacity, so requesting a room that’s been unoccupied should be a simple request.

Decline housekeeping services to reduce the number of people in your room. If housekeeping staff enters your room wearing a mask, they likely won’t spread the virus to the air or surfaces, but there’s always a slight risk that improper mask usage or no mask usage at all could lead to the virus entering your room through housekeeping. You can always ask for fresh towels to be dropped off outside your door.

Even after the pandemic is over these are great tips to keep in the back of your mind for your next vacation just as an extra precaution towards fighting off germs and bacteria. All though these tips are helpful today, there is going to be a day where these travel worries will be far behind us.