LOCATION, TK—Since the pandemic started, travel has been mostly out of the question. However, as we get adjusted to quarantine life, it has been a little easier to do so. Here are some tips on how to still get your summer vacation, even during a pandemic.
If you are going to travel, you need to make sure that it is as safe as possible. If you are taking a trip to a place somewhat far away or taking a trip at all, it is highly recommended that you strictly self-quarantine for 14 days after you arrive at your destination. Or, at the very least, do it when you get back home.
The CDC recommends the following if you are traveling:
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Wear a cloth face covering in public.
- Avoid traveling if you are sick.
Get your sleep!
According to The Independent, anxiety levels have risen by nearly 50 percent because of the pandemic. Traveling can also cause stress, so it is very important to get your sleep before you start traveling. According to sleephelp.org, a sleep-health education site, studies show that not getting enough sleep can cause anxiety. So make sure to get your rest. This will make your trip much more enjoyable and safe if you are driving.
What type of travel is safe?
The safest forms of travel are road trips inside the country. Traveling out of the country is dangerous, and in some cases, illegal. It is recommended to stay inside of the country if you are going to travel so that the risk of spreading/contracting the virus is lower.
You probably want to get tested for COVID-19 before starting your road trip since you will still be interacting with people at your stops. If you are renting a vehicle make sure to clean it thoroughly when you are done and follow safety protocols inside the place you are renting it from.
I recommend getting takeout from local restaurants at your stops for food. Many local companies have been struggling during quarantine and can use the support. Though when you go in, make sure to follow safety protocols such as wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from people and etc.
Lonely Planet, a travel guide and news website, recommends packing a “coronavirus kit” with extra face masks, extra toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Tylenol, water and snacks. They also recommend using hand sanitizer at every pitstop.
Bring food! If you are going on a road trip you need to bring a good amount of food. Grocery store lines are very long in some places and most restaurants are not open. So it is a good idea to bring a lot of food.
If you are thinking of going on an adventurous vacation, you could try camping. Staying in an outdoor space with a small amount of people will lower your chances of catching or spreading COVID-19. Before you go, do your research on which campgrounds are open, how much food and what equipment you need to bring, and possibly local attractions that you want to (safely) visit.
It is very highly recommended (and mandatory in some places) that you get tested for COVID-19 before you fly. This can allow you to get on your plane faster and ensure that you don’t get anyone on your flight sick. You should also wear a mask as much as you can at the airport and on your flight. Try not to touch things in the airport and use hand sanitizer often.
There are very few airport restaurants open and limited airline meals. So make sure to take your own food when you travel.
Airlines have been blocking middle seats to enforce social distancing. If you are sitting near someone you do not know on your flight you should make sure to be extra cautious (use hand sanitizer often and if you have to take off your mask don’t breathe on them) to make sure you don’t spread the virus to them. Remember, you should always act like you have the virus so that if you’re an asymptomatic carrier, you don’t spread it. It is possible to have it and not know, as most people don’t show symptoms for two weeks.
Hotel and rental safety
When staying in a hotel or a rental, you need to make sure that the place you are staying at is taking the pandemic very seriously. Dr. Greenough, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins university, recommends that if you are staying in a hotel, you should look for signs such as hand sanitizer stations and enforcement of the six-feet-apart rule. When you get to your room, it is recommended that you wipe down “high-touch” surfaces such as television remotes and door handles.
If you are renting a place from a website, such as Airbnb, you can look for rentals that say things in their description like, “suitable for social distancing” and “cleaning between stays follows CDC guidelines” to make sure that your stay is as safe as possible.
Have a great quarantine summer!