As the holidays approach, everyone is beginning to make holiday travel plans to enjoy some special time with family and friends after a particularly challenging year. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, holiday travel will be more challenging than ever, especially for senior adults and the immunocompromised. In the United States, the holidays are the busiest travel times, and while some are hesitant to travel, others are excited by the possibility of holiday reunions with family and friends.
For those planning to travel, staying safe is a top priority this holiday season. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to stress staying home is the best protection from COVID-19, many people are seeking tips on how they can travel and stay safe during the holidays this year. The caring team at Stellar Transportation offers this tips.
Your Traveling Companions
No matter who you will be traveling with, from children to teenagers to senior adults, it is important to explain the changes and new requirements which will need to be followed, particularly if you are traveling via bus, train, or plane. If you are traveling with individuals outside your household, quarantining for 14 days prior to joining up and traveling together is recommended.
Masks, Handwashing, and Disinfecting
Wherever your holiday plans may take you, it is important to the know mask guidelines, not only for your mode of transportation – airline, bus, or train – as well as the areas in which you will be traveling. States and localities may have pandemic restrictions still in place as well as mandatory quarantines. The CDC recommends everyone two years and older wear mask. In addition, the CDC continues to recommend regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 second intervals. Hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol is recommended when soap and water are unavailable. It is equally important to frequently disinfect high touch surfaces like personal items – mobile phones, hand-held devices, and toys – with wipes containing 70 percent alcohol.
If you are planning to travel by air, you’ll want to book early for lowest rates. Many airlines currently have no change fees on domestic travel. Each airline has unique mask policies which are enforced. For the safety of you and your travel companions, consider opting for an N95 face mask along with a face shield and bring your own disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. If possible, consider using only carry-on luggage as opposed to checking bags, thus controlling the number of touches as well as circumventing the need to visit the luggage carousel. On most major airlines, food and drink options have changed, so you may want to bring your own snacks and water on board.
New procedures abound whether you are traveling by plane, train, or bus, so be prepared. In most instances, you will be required to undergo a temperature check, as well as answer a COVID-19 exposure questionnaire. Social distancing is required as you make your way through transit, security, and boarding.
For those traveling by car, pack accordingly with extra mask, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes as well as snacks and drinks. Doing so will help you keep stops and interactions to a minimum and you won’t have to worry about stores being out of stock in route or at your destination.
Coronavirus testing is advised prior to traveling for the holidays. With numerous facilities offering testing from urgent care centers to hospitals, pharmacies to pop-up sites, and more, it is fairly easy to make an appointment for testing to ensure you and your traveling companions are free from active infection. It is also advised that those choosing to travel over the holidays be tested on their return.
Enjoy Your Trip
As you plan, keep your schedule as flexible as possible, be safe, and enjoy your trip.