How to Travel Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic – 8 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy!
Even as a full-time travel blogger, it took me awhile to feel comfortable traveling during 2020. Like many of you, I spent most of the spring and summer not leaving my house, ordering groceries online, not seeing friends and family, and doing everything I could to avoid any risky situations at all cost. I was, and still am, very scared of this virus. But, also like many of you, by late summer, I was ANTSY to get on a plane. To go somewhere, anywhere!!!! So my fiancé Kenny and I booked a trip to Bora Bora during the pandemic, and it was the best decision we’d made in 2020. Bora Bora requires negative testing, and the flight was direct, then, once on the ground you pretty much are on your own in an overwater bungalow the whole time, making it the absolute ideal place to social distance.
That trip opened up my eyes to some easy ways to stay safe while traveling the pandemic, and even encouraged us to plan a trip down to Colombia, where our brands Kenny Flowers and Watercolors manufacture. We hadn’t been able to get on the ground with the factory all year, so it was due time we make a trip to our South American home-away-from-home. But that flying route was definitely not as simple as Bora Bora, and there were a lot of hoops to jump through along the way. But, we made it, and I learned a ton of helpful pandemic travel tips to share with you guys.
Here are 8 easy tips to stay healthy while traveling during the Coronavirus pandemic
or while traveling anytime, because you never want to get sick while you’re on your way to vacation!
1. Minimize layovers
In general, avoid a lot of different means of transportation or transfers when traveling during the pandemic. If you can drive to your destination or want to do a road trip, that’s definitely the safest, though flying isn’t unsafe in itself (United came out with a study that found an extremely low risk of infection on a plane). The air on an airplane is super clean due to industry standards and regulations requiring air circulation and HEPA filters. Therefore, airborne transmission of viruses and other germs is rare, similar to being outdoors. It’s honestly more the airports and crowds that create more risk. So if you are flying, avoid trains/trolleys in the airport, and avoid crowds. It’s better to walk in the spacious air with less people around than be packed in a train with a bunch of strangers. And, if you can avoid huge airport layovers or ones without trolleys, I would. I found while flying through DFW I felt very unsafe, as for some reason the trolleys have no social distancing measures.
2. Travel to destinations that require a negative COVID test
If you’re looking for safe international destinations to go to during COVID-19, look for places where everyone on your plane has been tested negative. These are places like Bora Bora, the Maldives, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, Colombia, etc. When everyone traveling to your destination has tested negative, you’re likely to feel (and be) so much safer.
3. Test yourself before you travel – whether or not the destination requires it
If you’re traveling to somewhere like Mexico, which doesn’t require a negative test, please be a responsible traveler and test yourself before and after the trip anyway (I like using Pixel by Labcorp – they deliver the test to your house, it’s a quick easy swab you do yourself in your nostril (not all the way through to your brain like some are, ugh!), then they pick it up from your house, and you get results in a few days – it’s easy – and FREE with insurance. Highly recommend doing it before a trip to make sure you’re not spreading the virus to anyone vulnerable while you travel. Note that this type of test is NOT accepted for travel if it is required for your destination – that has to be a PCR.
4. Be picky about where to stay and the lodging that’s safest in a pandemic
Should you stay in an airbnb vs. a hotel in the coronavirus pandemic?
Luxury hotels with balconies, access to fresh air, good quality air conditioning and proper filtration systems are a great option for travel right now, but hotels are ultimately less predictable than renting an airbnb for your group, where you don’t interact with anyone else. It comes down to what you feel safest with.
Check out my posts on the best airbnbs around the world for inspo.
5. Stay flexible
Travel plans these days are constantly changing. On both of my recent trips, the airlines had huge delays because of scheduling issues – it’s a hectic time for everyone in the travel industry – which means your plans need to stay very, very flexible. Nothing is guaranteed and we’re all just lucky to be able to travel at all right now. I’d recommend you allow yourself an extra day cushion if you’re traveling to an important event, make sure you get to the airport super early, and be prepared for anything when traveling during a pandemic.
6. Always carry hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
I like these travel sized ones, and keep them everywhere when I’m traveling (in my favorite belt bag that I always wear in the airport, in my carry on, and more in my checked bag for when we get to the destination)
When you’re outdoors, especially if the air is moving, the risk of transmission is very low. Go somewhere where you can take walks along the beach, hike the mountains, or take a bike ride — these are great low-risk activities. When dining, definitely choose to eat outside vs. an indoor restaurant with no airflow (who doesn’t love a chic outdoor bistro anyway!)
How to Travel Safely During The Coronavirus Outbreak – The Bottom Line
Traveling during this unprecedented time is even more stressful than ever before, but there are ways for you to travel safely during the Coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 is very infectious, but many places are still safe destinations to travel to in 2020 and 2021. You can use these tips to keep yourself healthy on your travels, but also don’t forget the importance of self-care during these times!!! Make sure you sleep enough and eat well, drink a lot of water, clean the areas around you with disinfectant, and keep your travel plans flexible (cannot stress this one enough!). Buy travel insurance and avoid crowded areas as much as possible, and above all stay aware at all times and don’t let your guard down.
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