Travel Safely!

Here’s How to Do It…

So you’ve been sheltering at home for the past eight months, leaving your house only for essential errands, walking the dog, and an occasional treat, like dinner at an outdoor restaurant. Or maybe you’ve taken a road trip or even ventured farther by flying to a destination.

In any event, you’re itching to travel — really travel — especially with the holidays approaching. You’re aching to get out there and explore a new place, immerse yourself in a new culture, meet new people (or visit much-missed friends and family), or just be in different surroundings.

You’re not alone. In an October survey by Longwoods International, a tourism industry market research company, 65% of respondents said they plan to travel within the next six months.

And you can travel. Just follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and take some precautions if you want — or need — to get away, as long as you’re not sick or were near anyone who has had COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days.

If you’re all clear on that matter, there are a couple of things you can do before you go: Find out if your destination is a hot spot or if COVID-19 is on the rise there. And learn about the destination’s COVID-related travel requirements or restrictions, such as mandatory testing or quarantining. Among the websites you can check are state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for domestic travel. For international travel, you can check a country’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the U.S. Department of State.

During your trip, just do everything we’ve all been advised to do when leaving our places of residence: Wear a mask in public, stay at least six feet apart from anyone (except your traveling companions), wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, avoid contact with anyone who is sick, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. And be aware of what other people are doing, according to the CDC website.

Fortunately, most travel-related companies have implemented protocols such as enhanced sanitation of their facilities, requiring employees to wear masks, requesting or requiring that customers wear face coverings and practice social distancing, and utilizing contactless reservation and payment systems.

Some have gone further. For example, many cruise lines and hotels have replaced buffets with full-service dining or have masked and gloved employees serving food in the buffet line. They have re-spaced seating arrangements in public areas. And some have even installed plexiglass barriers between dining tables and at the reception desk.

These are challenging times, we know. But with a little extra preparation and awareness, it’s possible to have a fun, fulfilling and safe vacation.

Ready to go?