How to Travel Safely During Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic weighs on everyone. During stressful times, most people want to take a vacation to unwind; however, covid-19 has made travel difficult. You might not want a vacation; perhaps you just want to visit a family member who lives states away. Regardless, you want to make sure you travel safely.
During this time, everyone is encouraged to limit their exposure to others, and this effort includes limited travel. However, there are times, for essential reasons, when travel is inevitable.
In this article, we want to give you a few tips to keep you and those around you safe.
Note: nothing in the article is meant to supersede official health safety institutions. States and cities will differ on their travel restrictions. Be sure you know your local regulations, the regulations of your destination, and everywhere in between.
Check the CDC article on safe travel for more information.
How to Travel Safely by Plane During Covid-19
If you're considering a longer trip, then you are probably thinking about flying. Here's the thing, most sources state that traveling by car is probably the safest option.
Traveling by car is safer, mainly because you don't need to contact other passengers. You also don't need to spend any time in long lines at airports. For this reason, we would say this: travel by car if possible.
But, if a car is not an option, here are some safety tips for the plane:
- Wear a mask and distance yourself from others
- Don't travel at peak times of the year
- Try to limit stops
Let's cover these in more depth.
Wear a Mask and Distance From Others when Flying on Planes
The good news is that planes have robust air filtration systems and do not allow passengers to sit next to each other. However, the bad news is that airports can still become crowded.
To combat this, be sure to wear a mask. See this article by John Hopkins about the best type of facemask to wear. Not all facemasks are equal. For your comfort and the safety of others, you want to make sure your mask has the best combination of comfort and effective filtering.
Of course, close contact with others should be avoided. You want to keep 6 feet or more between you and those around you.
Don't Travel During the Busy Season
Instead of traveling on the weekend, make arrangements to travel mid-week. Instead of traveling during spring break, when everyone else is out and about, make plans to go before or after the busy seasons.
It might also be wise to scout out your destination before beginning your journey. If the city you are planning to visit has increased tourism for some reason, avoid that area.
Travel by Direct Flight if Possible
The fewer terminals you need to race through, the better. Try your best to travel via direct flight - you will suffer less fatigue, contact fewer people, and the whole experience will be smoother.
Traveling by Car During Covid-19
Yes, this is considered your best option. When you travel by car, you need not expose yourself to any large crowds. Also, it's easier to control when you stop and start. If you become ill during the trip, you can choose to turn around.
Here are three ways to keep traveling by care safe:
1. Prepare to limit stops
2. Keep disinfectant wipes handy
3. Don't travel sick
Here are some more details.
Limit Your Stops
Traveling by car is at its best when you limit stops.
Here are a few ways you can reduce stops.
First, try to back lunches. Drive-thrus and restaurants should be avoided; however, the former is more appropriate.
Second, if you're taking a longer trip and need a break, try to rest in an outdoor area.
Keep Disinfectant Wipes Handy
When stopping for fuel, you'll want to wipe down the fuel pump and any buttons used for payment. After you finish fueling your vehicle, take a moment to sanitize your hands with a hand sanitizer containing 60 percent alcohol content or greater.
Disinfectant wipes also come in handy if you must use wash facilities that are in bad shape. Take the wipes and give things a quick cleaning before you touch anything.
Don't Travel Sick
Even by car, you should stay home if you're sick. Being sick makes trips miserable; add the possibility of infecting other people, and it's just best to stay home.
Most areas recommend you isolate yourself for at least two weeks after recovering from sickness.
Traveling by Train During Covid-19
Trains have a few possible benefits. Though they are enclosed like planes, a train usually has more space. Amtrak seats are typically spaced farther apart, and the air is still being filtered.
To stay safe on a train, you want to do everything we mentioned about staying safe on a plane.
Wear your mask, stay away from others, clean common touch-points, and try to limit stops. Of course, refrain from traveling if you are sick.
Some have likened traveling by train to traveling in a moving hotel. If you can afford it, take advantage of a private room on the train. Private rooms allow you and your loved ones to travel while making minimum contact with others.
Though now isn't the best time for traveling, there are some things you can do to make it safer. Now might be the time to take that camping trip, where you can stay outside and away from people. Conversely, it probably isn't the best time to visit a large city.
Whether flying or taking a train, follow the rules outlined by the service provider. Make your trip as short as possible, with as few stops as can be tolerated. Every time you make contact with people, there is the potential for exposure.
Charming Shark knows it's hard to stay connected with your friends and family members during this time. To show your loved ones that your bond is strong, send them a bracelet or necklace. This small token shows your care and lets them know that, when this pandemic passes, you will see each other again.
Written By: Gideon Zielinski