The coronavirus pandemic has affected all types of travel, from leisure vacations to business trips. In fact, 65% of companies across the globe have canceled or rescheduled meetings and conferences. Since the best way to slow the spread is to stay put, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. While the safest option is to reschedule your trip, sometimes that’s not possible. If a family member or friend needs help, you’ll do whatever you can to get there. Luckily, these travel safety tips can make the journey as safe as possible.
Read on to learn how to keep yourself safe when traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Know the Conditions at Your Destination
Before you book your trip or make any concrete plans, see what the conditions are like at your destination. What’s the infection and hospitalization rate? What kind of restrictions do businesses have in place?
After all, you don’t want to arrive at your destination only to find out that everything’s closed. It’s also at this point where you can decide whether or not the trip is worth taking.
If you’re traveling to a state in the U.S., check that state’s public health website. Some states have 14-day quarantine requirements for when you arrive. You can also check on social media to get a sense of the activity in the area.
If you’re staying at a hotel, call ahead and learn about their policies on disinfecting and mask-wearing.
2. Pack the Right Hygiene Products
Packing for any trip can be time-consuming, but during COVID-19 you also need to pack the right hygiene products. No matter where you’re going or how far you’re traveling, you’ll need to keep your hands clean. Plus, you’ll need to disinfect any surfaces you touch.
You’ll want to stock up on disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, disposable rubber gloves, and plastic ziplock bags.
If you’re road tripping, know that you might have to rely on gas stations and rest stops to use the bathroom. Wash your hands thoroughly and use your hygiene products to wipe surfaces.
If you’re flying on a plane, the TSA will let each person bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in their carry on bag. Even if you’re not flying, keep hand sanitizer in your bag or in the car where you can get to it. Use it whenever you can’t wash your hands.
If you stay at a hotel or a rental house, use disinfectant wipes to clean hard surfaces like tables, light switches, and remote controls. The disposable gloves are great for pumping gas because you can throw the glove away when you’re done.
3. Always Wear a Mask
You’ll also want to pack plenty of masks. Disposable surgical masks and homemade masks both offer protection.
You should wear a mask any time you’re in public and you can’t stay at least 6 feet away from other people. That means stores, gas stations, restaurants, and rest stops.
Most cities and individual businesses require you to wear a mask to come inside. Even if they’re not required, you should still wear a mask to protect others and yourself while you’re traveling.
4. Wash Your Hands Often
The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. You should do this after returning from a store, visiting any high-traffic area like an airport, or blowing your nose.
Whether or not it’s during a travel day, try to avoid touching your face. Good hand washing practices is one of the best ways to protect yourself.
You can also wash your hands throughout the day as you think of it. When in doubt, wash your hands.
If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and rub it in until your hands feel dry.
5. Bring Your Own Food When Possible
Whether you’re going on a road trip or to the airport, pack your own food. This will cut down on your interactions with other people as well as handling money.
Plus, if restaurants and stores are closed, you’ll still have something to eat.
If you’re traveling by road, make sure to take plenty of bottled water with you. Staying hydrated is important and you won’t have to stop at gas stations as often.
If you’re traveling by plane, pack an empty water bottle instead. TSA limits the amount of liquids you can bring through security. But, you can refill your water bottle once you get past security.
6. Avoid Places Where Social Distancing Isn’t Possible
Whether you’re taking a road trip to a national park or you’re flying to visit family, avoid crowded places when you can. The CDC recommends keeping at least 6 feet away from other people.
To keep yourself as safe as possible when you travel, only visit places where people are following social distancing. You might need to change your plans or return when it’s not as busy. Keep your plans flexible so you can stay safe.
For example, if you get to a restaurant that doesn’t have outdoor seating, don’t feel pressured to stay. Instead, you could head to a grocery store deli and enjoy an outdoor picnic. If a tourist attraction is too busy, try to return the next day when it’s not so busy.
You should also avoid going to large parties, wedding receptions, or any other big gatherings.
7. Book Private Transportation When You Can
A great way to lower your chance of exposure is to book private transportation. If you need airport transfer, book a private car service instead of taking public transportation. This will cut down on your interaction with the public.
You can also call ahead to learn about their cleaning or mask-wearing policies. When you’re traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to be proactive. Learn what to expect so you can prepare for a safe trip.
8. Pay With Cards Instead of Cash
It’s also a good idea to pay with a debit or credit card instead of cash when you’re traveling.
This will cut down on your close contact with other people. Plus, the money itself can harbor dirt and bacteria. Paying with a card will keep your hands cleaner.
After paying with a card, you can use a disinfectant wipe to clean the card. Then, use hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
Make Travel Safety a Priority
Travel safety is always important, but it’s even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the reason for your trip, you can enjoy peace of mind if you stick to these travel safety tips.
If you’re in need of high-quality transportation, Corporate Transportation can help. We offer airport transfers, shuttle services, charter buses, limo service, and more in the St. Louis area.
Contact us today and we’ll get you where you need to go.