Traveling during the holidays may feel stressful for you. With COVID-19 still impacting individuals around the world, understanding some key holiday travel tips can help make your travel less stressful, while minimizing your risk of infection.
Holiday Travel Tips
If possible, it's best not to travel during this holiday season, as doing so can increase your risk of contracting COVID-19, and/or spreading it to others if you are asymptomatic. If you have decided that you feel comfortable traveling, there are some precautions to take that may help lower your risk of infection.
Tips for Flying During Coronavirus
Flying tips include:
- Avoid travel if you aren't feeling well and contact your doctor to see if you need to seek medical attention and/or get the COVID-19 test done.
- Look up your destination restrictions and guidelines for travelling during the pandemic to ensure that you are still able to go there, or if there are any special considerations to be aware of.
- Make sure you always wear your mask properly when out in public.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching anything communal.
- Bring hand sanitizer with you while traveling and use after touching anything communal and before eating if you are unable to wash your hands.
- Be sure to have a few back up masks to take with you and launder them frequently.
- Stay six feet away from anyone you don't live with.
- Try not to touch your face while traveling.
- If possible, drive yourself to the airport or go with others you live with. If you do need to ride share, always keep your mask on and use your hand sanitizer to clean your hands after touching surfaces in the vehicle.
How to Fly Safely During Coronavirus
If COVID-19 is quickly spreading at your destination, you may want to reconsider traveling there. While some areas are seeing a reduction in COVID-19 cases, other areas have numbers that are continuing to climb. Updated case numbers by location can be found on the CDC website. You may also want to reconsider traveling if you live with or frequently see individuals who are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19, or if you are high risk for contracting it. Remember that you may not exhibit symptoms, but you can still pass it along to your loved ones.
Road Trip Tips During Coronavirus
If you are road tripping:
- Try to only travel with those you live with.
- If you do road trip with others within the same car, you may want to all get COVID-19 tested beforehand, but it's best to check with your doctor first.
- Pack your snacks and drinks so you can minimize stopping in public places where your risk of infection is higher.
- When stopping for gas, wash your hands or use your sanitizer after handling the gas nozzle. If possible, wipe down the gas nozzle with sanitizing wipes before touching.
- When using a public restroom, keep your mask on, minimize touching surfaces, maintain six feet between you and others, and wash your hands thoroughly before getting back in your car.
- When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and you may consider changing your clothing and/or mask.
- If stopping for food, try to use curbside pickup or a drive through versus going into a restaurant with other people.
Is It Safe to Travel During COVID-19?
It's best to check the Centers for Disease Control for the latest update regarding travel during any given time frame. They will have updated regulations and guidelines, as well as a list of destinations with up-to-date infection numbers available so you can make an informed decision.
What Do I Need to Do After I Travel During COVID-19 Pandemic?
When you get back from your trip, it's best to quarantine for 14 days to ensure that no one has become infected while traveling. You may want to get COVID-19 tested, take your temperature on a daily basis, and monitor your wellbeing, as well as the health of those who you live with to look out for any symptoms. If you must go out in public:
- Wear a mask and stay six feet away from people.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before you leave the house and upon your return.
- If you feel ill, do not go out in public and asked friends or loved ones to help you out with necessary tasks (can drop off groceries at your door with no contact, for example).
- Be sure to wash your travel clothing, masks, and sanitize your luggage, sunglasses, and anything else that may have come in contact with others or communal surfaces.
Stress Free Traveling Tips
- Travel on the day of the holiday, a few days before the holiday, or the day after the holiday. The day before a holiday tends to be one of the busiest times to travel.
- Airports often have water filling stations, so bring your reusable water bottle to fill up once you've passed through security.
- Pack only what you need so you aren't stuck carrying around a heavy bag while traveling.
- Look up airport parking ahead of time so you have a plan when you arrive if you will be parking overnight.
- Be sure to carry your glasses, spare contacts, eye drops, your medication, and any other essentials in your carry on. That way, if your bag is lost, you'll have your essentials that are hard to replace while traveling.
- Flying early in the day or late at night tends to be less crowded.
- If you are taking a road trip, be sure to map out stops for bathroom breaks, as well as for refueling your vehicle.
- If you are taking a road trip, be sure to check in with someone back home when you have reached certain checkpoints.
Why Is Travel So Stressful?
Traveling may feel stressful because you are heading into a new environment, may feel nervous about forgetting certain items, and may be traveling with dependents who need assistance. The unknown may make some individuals feel stressed out, as well as the idea of traveling long distances. To combat travel stress, it's best to be as prepared as possible both in how you pack, and mentally for different potential scenarios that may unfold (missing flight, unexpected stops, etc).
How Can I Reduce Stress While Traveling?
Whether you opt to travel during the pandemic, or to delay your travel plans to a later date, being totally prepared for what your travel entails can help reduce your overall stress.