Staying Safe on the Go
Traveling during the holiday season will bring new challenges this year. Sure, there figure to be far fewer crowds and there is no shortage of awesome deals to be had on flights and resort stays. But the coronavirus pandemic continues to loom large, especially for those at higher risk or suffering from underlying medical conditions. Fortunately, there are several steps travelers can take to ensure safe holiday travel in 2020.
Monitor Your Destination
The first thing you should do when planning holiday travel is read up on the latest travel restrictions, quarantine orders and health and safety guidelines in your particular destination if there are any. Some places are requiring visitors coming from COVID-19 hotspots to self-isolate for at least 14 days upon arrival while others are asking visitors to complete health questionnaires or present a negative coronavirus test result prior to entry. Travelers, especially those at higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, should avoid areas with high infection rates or at the very least exercise increased caution.
Purchase Travel Insurance
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of protecting yourself and your trip with travel insurance. Depending on your situation, the right policy could cover medical costs and even medical transport back home in the event that you become severely ill due to COVID-19 or any other reason. Some resort brands such as Sandals are even offering guests complimentary travel insurance for added flexibility and peace of mind.
Wear a Face Mask
Face masks are one of the most effective tools in the fight against COVID-19 and have become a requirement in most places, including airports, airplanes, hotel lobbies and public areas, bars and restaurants and indoor attractions. Therefore, holiday travelers must either embrace face-coverings or choose to stay home. Pack several so you can ensure a clean mask every time.
Practice Social Distancing
When traveling, try your best to maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others. The CDC’s updated guidance defines close contact as being within six feet of someone with the virus for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours.
Avoid Contact With Those Who Are Sick
Don’t travel if you feel sick and avoid contact with friends, family members, or anyone else who isn’t feeling well. You won’t always be able to tell when a stranger is ill but wearing a face mask and keeping your distance is the best defense.
Refrain From Touching Your Face
Do your best to avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth. It’s a tough habit to break—a recent study found that participants touched their faces an average of 23 times per hour, with 44 percent of those touches coming in contact with mucous membranes—but there are ways to stop, including keeping your hands busy with a stress ball or other gadgets and using a tissue when you need to scratch an itch.
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Always be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow to cover your face to minimize the transfer of potentially harmful droplets.
Limit Surface Contact
The coronavirus can be spread by droplets that are sneezed or coughed out before landing on surfaces that you may come in contact with before touching your face. Obviously, avoiding every surface is impossible so be sure to pack disinfecting wipes that you can use to sanitize high touchpoints like airplane tray tables, remote controls and door handles.
Wash Hands Frequently
The CDC recommends that travelers wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Be thorough, covering all surfaces of your hands until they feel dry.
Work With a Travel Advisor
Having a trusted travel advisor in your corner is more important than ever as they can sort through the wealth of information out there, including the latest travel restrictions and testing requirements and guide you toward the perfect trip even in these uncertain times. Reaching out to your local travel agent or finding a specialist on TravelSense.org is simple and will save you time, money and stress (there’s been enough of that in 2020).
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