Travel increases the risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. The best way to keep yourself and your family safe is by self-isolating at home, since you can get COVID-19 when traveling. You may feel healthy and not show any of the symptoms, but it is still possible that you can spread it to others. You or someone in your family can spread the virus to others fourteen days after being exposed.
Avoid traveling when you are feeling sick or if you suspect you have been in close contact with anyone who has the COVID-19 virus. Also, do not travel with anyone who is sick. We have included some useful tips in this article on how to travel safely during the pandemic with your family.
Prior To Traveling
Before embarking on your trip, take the following into consideration:
Is the COVID-19 virus spreading rapidly at your destination?
The more positive cases at the destination, the higher the chances of you and your family contracting the virus when traveling and subsequently spreading the virus upon your return.
Is someone who lives in your household likely to get extremely sick from the virus?
If you happened to get infected during your travels, chances are high that you can spread the virus to someone in your household, despite you not having any of the symptoms.
Are you likely to get extremely sick from COVID-19?
Any person can get sick from contracting the virus, however those who have underlying health issues like asthma, diabetes, etc. or elderly adults are more at risk of getting severely ill, or worse dying.
Are there any restrictions or requirements for travelers at your destination?
Some local, state, and territorial governments have certain COVID-19 requirements, like wearing masks, or people who travel frequently must self-isolate at home for fourteen days.
Have a look at your local public health or state websites for any information relating to COVID-19 before traveling. If you are going to travel across the border, check for any restrictions or entry requirements for arriving travelers at the destination.
In some countries it is mandatory to be tested or placed under quarantine.
During your travels
- Try not to travel with too many suitcases. Try to find the best travel suitcase that is perfect for your requirement and pack clothes that are comfortable.
- Always wear a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose when you are out and about in public places.
- Try to stand at least two arms length from anyone who is not part of your household and avoid close contact as much as you can.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least twenty seconds or use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of sixty percent or more.
- Avoid any contact with someone who is sick.
- Do not touch your nose, eyes, and mouth.
What measures are companies implementing to protect customers for the pandemic?
If you are planning a trip, you might want to review the company’s website to see if they have any safety measures in place to protect customers from contracting the virus. Things to look for are:
- Asking customers and employees to wear a mask.
- Encouraging social distancing.
- Using contact-less or online check-in and payment methods.
- Sharpening up cleaning procedures.
12 Tips on how to travel safely during the pandemic
Anticipate whatever you may need when traveling
- Remember to pack your masks
- Pack hand sanitizer and keep it close by.
- Bring medicine for the whole trip.
- Pack water and snacks in case you do not find any stores or restaurants open along the way.
- If you are thinking about cleaning your travel lodgings, have a look at the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Be sure to always wear your mask in public places.
- Stay about six feet from anyone which is not a part of your immediate household.
Rest stops and bathrooms
- Use warm water with soap to wash your hands for twenty seconds after using the restroom in a public setting.
- If no soap and water is at your disposal, use hand sanitizer with at least sixty percent alcohol content. Cover the entire surface of your hands and rub them together until dry.
Filling up your car at fuel stations
- Use disinfectant wipes to wipe surfaces on the gas pumps that you have touched and door handles.
- After filling up your car, use hand sanitizer and once you have arrived the destination, wash your hands with water and soap for sixty seconds.
Food stops along the road
- The safest option would be to pack your own food. If you are not packing your own food, use food delivery services, drive-throughs, take-outs, and curb-side pick-up locations.
Scan government sites for any travel restrictions
Local, state, and territorial governments have certain restrictions relating to travel in place, including screening and testing requirements, quarantine requirements, and stay-at-home orders when arriving. Check the local health and state departments for fresh information and travel tips.
You must be flexible when traveling since COVID-19 restrictions and policies are updated all the time. For international travel across borders, be sure to check with the country’s ministry of health, office of foreign affairs, or US department of state for information on entry restrictions and requirements upon arrival.
You might have to undergo a COVID-19 test before being permitted to enter the country. In the event of you testing positive upon arrival, you might have to isolate for a certain period of time, and you may not be allowed to exit the country as scheduled.
Considerations for different types of travel
Travel by air
Air travel necessitates spending time in security queues and airport terminals, which can bring you in contact with regularly touched surfaces and other people.
Most germs and viruses will not spread easily during flights since the air is filtered and circulates on airplanes. However, it is problematic to practice social distancing on a crowded flight, and sitting at least six feet away from other passengers, in some instances, for hours on end.
This may increase your risk of contracting the virus. Also factor in how you will be traveling to and from the airport, because ride-sharing and public transportation can also amplify the chance of being exposed.
Travel by car
Making stops along the way for bathroom breaks, gas, food, and drinks, can put your family and yourself at risk of being in contact with others as well as regularly touched surfaces.
Travel by train or bus
Traveling on trains or buses involve standing or sitting within six feet of other passengers which is a risk factor in getting COVID-19.
Travel by RV
Traveling with an RV may require less stops for bathroom breaks or food; however, you might have to stop overnight at an RV park or stopping for gas or supplies at public places. This means you may come in close contact with others.
We hope this article on how to travel safely during the pandemic was useful. Be sure to follow these safety guidelines and always keep yourself and your loved ones protected.
Thank you for the tips. Currently my family are not travelling and rarely go to the shop. My parents are senior citizens and we afraid that they might become sick. But we really miss our extended family 🙁
Yes I worry about my parents too Patricia! My kids and I stayed with them on their farm for the first 3 months of lockdown but then we had to come home. We are not personally going to be traveling for a while, but I am really looking forward to when we can! I would love to take a trip up the garden route but we will wait for another few months and see what happens with the numbers! I’m also missing my family. My dad is 70 years old and he had cancer last year plus he is diabetic so I don’t think we will be seeing them for a very long time just to make sure.
No we don’t travel. My husband do most of the monthly shopping with the nessasary precautions. I was never out since lockdown started as you know due to my anxiety so Ile rather stay home. Thanks for the article very informative
Thanks for the tips. My family and I have become rather paranoid about the outdoors so we avoid it as far possible , except for the essential needs runs at month end.