Our international experts give tips on travel safety in order to stay healthy on the go.
Exploring new destinations and immersing yourself in fascinating new cultures are often the highlights of our year. With the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changing the way we live and travel, you may be wondering if it is currently safe to book a vacation.
With a little careful planning and added awareness, it’s entirely possible to enjoy a short vacation in the coming weeks and months. Whether you’re discovering indigenous traditions in Oceania, exploring romantic cities in Europe, or staying closer to your home in North America, we’ve done additional research into the safest ways to travel.
Here are our expert travel safety tips to help you stay healthy on the go:
Know before you go …
The first question to consider before planning a trip is, “Is it safe to travel now?” The answer depends a lot on where you plan to visit.
Some areas are at much higher risk than others, which means your chances of getting infected and then spreading COVID-19 are higher if you visit them. Remember that many countries also have strict quarantine rules, especially if you are traveling from the United States.
Are you currently living in a risk area? You might want to hold back your plans until the infection rate drops, or you might want to explore a location near your home instead. If you or your fellow travelers have health problems that could make you more susceptible to infection, it may also be worth delaying your trip.
However, for people in low risk areas looking to vacation in a low risk location, it should be safe if you are careful and properly prepared.
Five important travel safety tips
1Avoid direct contact with other travelers
You should be at least three feet away from people who do not belong to your household. We recommend planning your day to avoid the crowds at popular destinations (which often means arriving early or later in the day).
2Wear a face mask when in public spaces or on public transport
Remember, it should cover both your nose and mouth. Try to eat and drink before getting on the plane or know you are in a crowded area. We recommend bringing several masks with you so that you always have one on hand in every pocket and bag.
3Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer
Especially after touching common areas. Bring disinfectant wipes to sanitize surfaces that you touch frequently (like the handle of your hotel room door).
4thStay away from sick people
Do not travel if you have been in close contact with someone who is sick or if you have symptoms yourself. Many tour operators are offering new flexible booking options to encourage people to reschedule and stay home when they are sick.
5Give yourself extra time
This is especially important at airports where you may have to wait in line at security checkpoints or boarding. This also applies to travel planning: due to volume restrictions at many top attractions, you may need to reserve a seat well in advance of your trip. By working with a targeting expert, you can make sure you won’t be disappointed.
Travel safety tips for driving on the road
If you’d prefer to stay away from public transport and have the opportunity to change your itinerary when rules change, a road trip is ideal. However, exploring a country by car comes with its own safety tips.
Plan your route carefully – Road trips always require careful planning, but this is especially true during a pandemic. Some places on your itinerary may be at risk to become high risk areas. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan or alternate route if the situation changes.
Pack plenty of hand disinfectant and detergent – It’s easy to stay hygienic on the road once you are comfortable with your packaging. Remember to bring plenty of hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, and face masks as there is no guarantee that you will be able to buy more during your trip.
Check your accommodation at each location – Although more properties have opened since the pandemic began, it’s still worth contacting your hotel, B&B, or private rental company the day before your stay to make sure it’s open and accepting guests. If the answer is no, you have plenty of time to rebook elsewhere. It is also helpful here to book your trip with a trustworthy travel company so that they can keep an eye on and solve all problems without disturbing your fun.
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Is it safe to travel by plane now?
While most airlines are working on reduced flight schedules, it is still possible to fly to most destinations around the globe.
Once you’ve decided on a flight, there are a few things to consider before booking. First, remember to take out travel insurance (if possible) in case your trip is canceled at the last minute. It’s also a good idea to check regularly that your chosen destination hasn’t changed travel restrictions.
During your flight and at the airport, it’s easy to be safe wearing a face mask, keeping your distance from others, and following the rules set by local authorities. While many airlines currently undergo a thorough cleaning before and after each flight, there is still a risk of exposure to the virus if other passengers are already carrying it.
If you’re nervous about sitting in close proximity to strangers during your flight, be aware that the following US airlines are currently blocking the center seats so passengers can safely keep social distancing:
Many global airlines have also introduced rules for their flights, from not having food and drink on board to operating at half capacity. The travel landscape is certainly different today than it was a year ago. Still, with the right precautions and safety measures, you can experience the joy of an adventure in a magical place.
Do you have any questions about traveling to a specific destination?
We are here to help.