The holiday season is quickly approaching. In the past the holidays represent the busiest travel season of the year in the United States. With so many longing for reunions with family and friends in this year of the coronavirus pandemic, the holiday season will likely prove to be a premium travel time, even with the added challenges of staying safe and healthy. Family and friends are hoping to enjoy special times making memories, but for those traveling with senior adults or others with chronic health conditions, staying safe from infection is crucial.
While some may be hesitant to travel, others are excited and preparing to follow the latest national, state, and local protocols to remain safe while traveling. If you are among those planning a trip this holiday season, you may be seeking tips on how to travel safely this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend staying home as the best protection, but should you choose to travel, the Coastal Home Team wants you to stay as safe as possible and offers these travel tips to help.
If you are planning to travel, being testing for COVID-19 is recommended. It is easier than ever to gain access to testing from a variety of facilities – hospitals, urgent care centers, pharmacies, pop-up sites at community centers, and more. At most sites, you will need to make an appointment for you and your traveling companions to be tested to be sure you are free from an active infection before heading out to visit family and friends. After your holiday travels are complete, testing again is recommended before returning to work or school.
You and Your Companions
After being tested, you and those with whom you will be traveling – children, teenagers, adults, or seniors – should review the current guidelines, new requirements, and various changes that you will need to follow while traveling, especially if traveling by train, bus, or plane.
Your holiday plans may take you through a variety of states and localities, depending on your mode of transportation – bus line, airline, or railway – which means you need to know guidelines and restrictions related to the pandemic for quarantines, mask wearing, socials distancing, group gatherings, and more. The CDC recommends all those two years and older should wear a mask, when indoors and when social distancing is not possible. In addition, it is important to include regular handwashing for 20 seconds with soap and water. When soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer containing 60 percent alcohol should be used. While traveling, personal devices – phones, handhelds, and toys – as well as high touch surfaces should be frequently disinfected with wipes containing 70 percent alcohol.
Traveling by Plane
Many are planning to travel by plane for the first time since the pandemic began. If you choose to air travel for your holiday, you should book early to receive the best rates and keep in mind that most airlines have implemented no change fees for domestic travel. Every airline has strictly enforced mask guidelines. In addition, for the highest level of protection when flying, choose N95 face masks with a face shield. You will likely be required to have temperature checks and answer exposure questions as you social distance your way through security, transit, and boarding.
You’ll also want to bring along hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes of your own. Choosing to utilize carry-on luggage rather than checking your bags also limits the number of times your bags are touched and by whom as well as allows you to avoid the luggage carousel crowd when you arrive at your destination. Many airlines have limited food and beverage options, so if you want snacks and water, you will need to bring them on board.
Happy Holidays from Coastal Home Team
As you plan your holiday travels, stay safe, and enjoy your visit with family and friends.