What was once the busiest traveling period for the US, with one in three Americans leaving their homes between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will now look much different this year. With many travel restrictions and warnings set in place across the country, traveling for the holidays will require much more preparation and safety precautions.
While the CDC has advised against travel for the holidays, it’s projected that nearly 130 million Americans will maintain their travel plans before the end of the year. If you’re getting ready to travel for the holidays, here’s a few recommendations on how to remain safe.
Make Extra Preparations Before You Travel
Before hitting the road, there are a few measures that the CDC recommends to limit your risks while traveling, including:
Additionally, there’s no guarantee that your travel destination will have fully stocked stores without purchasing limits or shortages. To avoid missing out on your travel essentials, it’s a good idea to stock up on items such as face masks, sanitizer, and other hygiene products before you leave.
Take Precautions When Flying
Fares are low for airline travel right now, and many airlines are offering flexible booking options for last minute changes. When traveling on an airplane, be ready with your safety essentials. Experts are suggesting travelers carry along:
- N95 face mask if possible
- Protective eyewear such as a face shield or goggles
- Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer
Boarding and exiting the plane are the two most dangerous parts of flying right now, as there are plenty of opportunities for contact. During these times, take extra precautions to remain as socially distant as possible and be patient with staff and other travelers.
Luckily, airplanes have ventilation systems that help to recycle clean air, which reduces the chance of airborne illness to spread when everyone is wearing a mask. The only highly publicized cases of the virus spreading through planes occurred mostly at the start of 2020, before face masks were mandated. Travelers should be cautious about highly populated areas, such as:
- Public restrooms
- TSA lines
- Boarding areas
- Waiting lounges
- Public transportation
These areas are unavoidable when traveling, but by practicing social distancing when possible and remembering proper sanitization techniques, you can remain safe while traveling for the holidays.
Keep Outside Interactions at a Minimum
If you’re driving to your destination rather than flying, try to limit the number of pit stops you make to control the risk of touching contaminated surfaces or coming into contact with others. When you get to your destination, try to limit your exposure by keeping family interactions within the home. Remember that pandemic restrictions vary by state, so be sure to check out the mandates and regulations set in place in your area.
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