Life doesn’t always turn out as planned and this year is no exception. We all know how chaotic and frustrating 2020 has been. For many, all sorts of plans have been canceled or rescheduled. But, just as before, there are still many ways to travel within the US this Winter. From airplanes, to buses, to trains, and cars, the USA still has open airways, roads, and rails. At the end of 2020, is important to consider which type of travel may be best for you and your party.
Air Travel –
Air travel is still the easiest and fastest way to travel this year. But air travel does require interaction with employees when handling baggage, identification, and plane tickets. In addition, in the security line and waiting areas, you come into close proximity with employees and other flyers. Though it is easy to be as precautions as possible in these instances, because of how air is circulated and filtered on aircrafts, there is an inevitable risk. With the inability to leave the aircraft for several hours, this is something to keep in mind.
Public Transport –
For busses, trains, or other ride-sharing based travel, it is important to keep in mind the length of time you will be in each mode of transportation. From the crowded waiting areas, to sitting or standing with others within the six feet guidelines, be aware of this increased risk. If you choose buses, trains, or taxis, it is important to know what you can do to protect yourself on public transportation.
Personal Vehicle –
Car and RV travel is potentially the safest way to travel this year if you have the time. Even so, it is important to keep in mind that you will be making a few different stops along the way. For gas, food, to use the bathroom, or find a hotel, the breaks needed for a car trip introduce you to new locations, strangers, and frequently touched surfaces. Even though these seem like perfectly normal activities, it is important to remember the bigger picture during COVID-19.
For those who are still traveling this holiday season, here is what you need to know:
Before You Leave –
- Check the status of not only the state but the city you are traveling to. Just like your local area, there are different levels of security and lockdown requirements everywhere you go. This information will help you understand what will be available when you get there and know if restaurants and stores are going to be open and if there is a curfew.
- Read through the information your airline has to offer on their website. Almost all airlines require masks to be worn at all times and provide other safety information you need to know. Additionally, almost all airlines are now offering cancelations and reschedulings for free. So, don’t fret if something changes! It is easy enough to log-on to their website and make new accommodations.
- Ten to fourteen days before travel, take every precaution to stay safe. Do your best to stay safe and healthy, following city and state guidelines. Do your best to avoid large gatherings, public transportation, and being around those who are sick.
- Though we are all aware of the normal TSA guidelines and airport etiquette, it is important to remember not to be as comfortable as you are in your daily lives. Now that we have lived with COVID-19 for most of the year, at home and our local places we feel more at ease. In the airport and while flying, however, you should be fully prepared. Do not forget your mask, and always have a spare. There are travel sizes for hand sanitizer and lotion that can be used throughout your trip. It is also a great idea to bring disposable gloves.
During Your Trip –
- Continue to follow safety regulations. Mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, and standing six feet apart. When in private residences of friends and family, make the choices best for you, but know when to delay travel or find new accommodations if a friend or family member is sick. Even if you don’t get sick, you may be a carrier, and that could affect everyone from friends, family, coworkers, to grocery store employees, and strangers.
- Always be prepared. Make sure to stock up on food, medications, and toiletries. Everyday city and state officials are making choices when it comes to the new information about COVID-19. In case there is a stay-at-home order started, early curfew instigated, or other lockdown restrictions on businesses, you will have what you need.
- Enjoy yourself! Yes, the world is a crazy place, but your friends and family are still there for you. Even if you can’t go out, there are plenty of things to do at home. Movie marathons, trying new recipes, bringing out old board games, and so much more, are available to all. Don’t forget the purpose of your travel in the first place, and if there was ever a time to count our blessings, it would be this December.
After You Get Back –
- Be aware if your school or work requires quarantine after travel. Even if it is not explicitly said, it is best to still try and stay isolated for ten to fourteen days after your trip. Symptoms of COVID-19 takes a while to surface and may be hard to distinguish from other illnesses. If you get sick at all, get a free test as soon as possible.
- Keep in touch with who you visited. Because of the delayed start of symptoms, it is important to know how everyone you came into contact with is feeling. If a few days after you return, someone starts to feel ill, it is very possible they could have been sick (and symptomless) while you were there. Or, if you begin to show symptoms, it is extremely important to inform them and get the test as soon as possible.
Tis the season to be thankful and tis the season to be jolly. After figuring out the best way to travel and following all the safety guidelines, it is perfectly possible to have a fantastic holiday during this most wonderful time of year. If you have any other tips, comment below!
Author | English Major | #RealLifeBelle | Academic Romance | "This was no accident, this was a therapeutic chain of events." | www.TheMousyGirl.com