Whether it is for business, pleasure, or family obligations, travel during the Coronavirus outbreak is possible, but we need to be safe. Precautions listed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Mayo Clinic, and others provide useful guidelines to consider. Whether traveling by car or by air, we hope you find these insights helpful.
Know Requirements and Restrictions before you go
Advance planning is key to any successful adventure, especially during these times. State and local governments may have differing requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently traveled to stay home for up to 14 days. Checking restrictions of your destination and in-transit stopping points could save you unpleasant surprises and delays. State and local health department websites are your best resource. Remember that Coronavirus restrictions can change rapidly depending on local conditions, so bookmark and check back for updates as your trip gets closer. Don't forget to look up visitor information and hours for any restaurants, parks, and other places you may want to visit during your visit. It is also important to note that many restrooms are closed—another reason to plan ahead.
How are you getting there?
Some individuals feel that travel by car is safer than by plane. Precautions in place and a little common sense will help to minimize the risk no matter your choice.
Travel by Car
We can choose to hit the road in our own car, or we can use a rental. Rental car providers like AVIS and National claim that they have enhanced the techniques used to clean vehicles after each rental. Special attention is being placed on interior customer touch points such as seats, steering wheels, door handles, and other hard surfaces. They also echo that they are cleaning their facilities frequently with recommended sanitizing products. The extra care is comforting and worth exploring.
Rental car companies and their Coronavirus safety actions can be found here:
A consideration for some is to upsize their rental vehicle to accommodate more personal space while on the road. Don't forget to pack some food and water to take on the trip. Consider including nonperishable items to tide you over in case access to restaurants and grocery stores are limited.
When you stop to get gas, use a disinfectant wipe on pump handles or buttons before you touch them. After fueling, use hand sanitizer. And when you get to where you're going, use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 15 seconds. If you choose to grab a meal on the road, opt for restaurants that having drive-thru or curbside service.
Since travel by car does not have the same bag restrictions as the airlines, everyone can pack to the max. Here are some road-worthy luggage suggestions [luggage link here] perfect for your next big adventure.
Travel by Air
In the U.S., most aircraft are equipped with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. Recirculated air onboard each plane is filtered to remove airborne particles, including viruses. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air and are up to 99% effective.
To date, there's no law requiring air passengers to wear masks. Despite having HEPA filters onboard, each U.S. airline has implemented its own Coronavirus rules, processes, and distancing measures to keep everyone safe.
To save you time in learning about these actions, we've listed a few links here:
Carry-on snacks are necessary on any flight, but make sure they are in compliance with airline requirements. To promote safety among passengers, the TSA now allows up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer to be passed through security. Still, they ask that it be removed from carry-on bags before the screening.
To stay healthy when flying, experts say to keep the following in mind:
- If you're concerned about aircraft cleanliness, try booking the earliest flight possible that day. And if your schedule allows it, consider nonstop flights to limit your exposure to multiple dirty cabins.
- Practice social distancing throughout your journey—at check-in, security screening, boarding, baggage claim, etc.
- Experts say that the most common way to pick up a bug when flying is from a contaminated surface like tray tables, lavatory doors, and latches on overhead bins which are loaded with viruses and bacteria. So it makes sense to wipe the surfaces with sanitizer before touching.
[Check out the latest in gear designed for air travel]
What about lodging?
As with the rental car companies and airlines, Coronavirus precautions are in full force among hotel chains. In fact, some feel that because of these extraordinary measures, hotel stays are more sanitized than they’ve ever been. It is a good idea to confirm those measures that will be in place at the time of your stay. Links to several of the larger hotel Coronavirus plans are included here along with their tips for a happy and relaxing stay.
Here's to safe travels!
Whether you choose to travel by car or by plane, keeping you and your family as germ-free as possible is the goal. Be sure to pack face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes making them easily accessible to use them during the trip as necessary. [This gear is perfect for packing your PPE gear]