The holiday season is the peak travel season around the world. There is a mass exodus of people from cities to several destinations around this time. More than 55 million people travel through trains, planes, and automobiles to get away from the metropolis in America alone. Some people travel back to their hometowns to be near family. Others arrange vacation getaways for the holidays.
However, COVID -19 has thrown a spanner in the works. This year has seen a record low in traveling during the holiday season. Flight reservations are down by 89%. Some states have closed their borders to travelers, while others have introduced 14 days long mandatory quarantine. Meanwhile, the CDC has strongly advised against traveling in favor of staycations. Furthermore, airlines and train services have developed strict guidelines to protect passengers from infection.
Under such circumstances, it might be best to avoid traveling for the holidays. However, if you have to travel, then there are some precautions you can take to stay safe on your travels. Read through this article to find some tips for holiday travel that can keep you safe from COVID-19.
- Check your destination state’s local health site:
Infection rates differ in each state. Obviously, the more the cases, the higher the risk of infection. Therefore, you should check patients per area before deciding to travel there. Similarly, every state is dealing with the situation differently. Some have imposed 14 days of post-travel isolation, while others are testing travelers. Hence, it is vital to do your research before being aware of the ground realities beforehand. To check the stats, go through the local public health websites that have information on the number of cases and recommended travel practices. Well informed is well prepared.
- What are you planning to do once you get there:
COVID is a virus that can transmit from one person to another. The more closely and the longer you interact with others, the higher the risk of contamination. Therefore, there are some high-risk activities you should avoid. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation are riskier than outdoor places so going to bars, movie theatres, amusement parks, and concerts is a big no-no. But you do not want your vacation to be boring. So, what can you do to have fun and stay safe from infections? Plan outdoor activities. And suppose you are not a camping person. In that case, you can still have an outdoor experience with multiple activities. You can stay at places like Sevierville Hotel that are 30 minutes away from Smoky Mountain National Park. Such hotels offer and recommend many fun activities such as hikes and nature walks. Not only will you be social distancing, but you will also improve your health and engage in healthy activities. So avoid activities with more than six people in close quarters to stay healthy while traveling on holiday.
- Be extremely sensitive if traveling with children:
Traveling alone during a pandemic is hard enough, but traveling with minors can be almost impossible. Not only do you have to keep everything on schedule, but you also have to keep your family safe from infection. And if your child throws a tantrum because they have to wear a mask, then things can get very frustrating. So, how can you manage your children while making sure they are following the guidelines? Have a talk with them about what they should expect from the trip to be surprised by changes. Explain to them the importance of following the guidelines. The CDC also recommends that children up to and older than two years should wear masks at all times when traveling. Also, make sure the minors wash their hands with 30-minutes intervals for 20 minutes with soap and water. But water is not available while traveling. What do you do then? Stock up on sanitizers and wipes with at least 60% alcohol content. Apart from this, you should wipe all frequently touched surfaces to prevent infection. It is also risky to stop for food during travel as you will contact many people. Try to stock up on food to limit trips to shops for food and treats. To summarise, pack as if you’re going for war. Keep wipes, masks, sanitizers, and snacks with you. Remember, the less contact, the better for your child’s health.
- Travel with as little things as possible:
People bring all sorts of things home when they travel for the holiday season. If you’re visiting family, chances are you’re planning to travel with gifts for all members of your family. Nonetheless, experts recommend that you travel light during the pandemic. Carrying gifts while following all precautions is almost impossible. So, mail all your presents before traveling back. Experts also suggest that travelers limit luggage to carry on bags so that few people handle your luggage. To summarise, travel light to dodge the fright of COVID-19 during the holidays.
- Get a test and avoid unrest:
Coronavirus tests are essential before and after you travel. Pre-travel examinations can minimize the chance of you infecting your loved ones. Ask your primary health care provider about the best test options for you. But you have to time your test so that it’s neither too early nor too late. If you plan it too early before the trip, you might have to get retested before traveling. Alternatively, if you plan it too late, you might not get the results in time. Hence, to be safe, get tested a week before traveling. Do not forget to get tested when you get back. Tests are usually the only way to identify asymptomatic carriers. So, not only is this tip relevant to keep you healthy, but it is also vital to stop the spread to others.
Even though avoiding non-essential travel is the best safety precaution for the current pandemic, most people are still willing to travel during the holiday season. Traveling during COVID-19 can be quite an ordeal as you need to stick to a schedule while following all safety guidelines. The only way to stay safe while traveling is to wear a mask at all times, sanitize surfaces, and wash hands regularly. Finally, avoid close contact with people. If you follow these tips, then you’re good as gold for your holiday vacay.