words Alexa Wang
As states begin the gradual process of opening back up for business, many people are itching to travel. It’s clear, however, that COVID-19 is still going to be a part of our lives in the near future. This means you’ll need to take precautions when traveling.
These precautions are important during any regional pandemic or health crisis, but are especially vital during the current ongoing COVID-19 situation. Here are 10 tips for traveling safely during a global pandemic.
Choose your destination with care
Choosing your destination wisely will yield big benefits to help you stay healthy during your travels. Avoiding COVID-19 hotspots will increase the odds that you don’t contract the virus while on your trip. Instead of picking a place that’s been especially problematic, look for destinations that have seen a lower-than-average number of cases.
On a similar note, now is a good time to take the road less traveled by picking less touristy destinations for your next trip. Rather than taking that big city vacation, maybe now is the time to take that sleepy beach town trip you’ve always dreamed about.
Timing is everything
If you can’t avoid traveling to (or through) a popular place, reduce your risk of getting sick by traveling during the off-season. For example, instead of heading to a national park during the busy season, visit in the off-season months of September and October.
If you’re visiting a certain destination during a popular time of year, you can take in the tourist attractions at off times. Rather than heading to the Statue of Liberty during the middle of the day, try arriving right when it opens to avoid the bulk of the crowds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now strongly recommending that people wear masks when out in public. While it’s acceptable to take the mask off while taking pictures and for essential activities such as eating and drinking, leave it on as much as possible.
Not only will the mask reduce your risk of contracting the virus, but it will also protect those around you. With more people choosing to wear masks on their travels, the practice will soon become normalized. Most domestic airlines have already mandated that passengers wear masks while in flight.
Practice good hygiene
The cornerstone of keeping yourself healthy is frequent hand washing. Be sure to use warm water and soap while vigorously scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, taking special care in between your fingers and on the back of your hands.
You can also use hand sanitizer in between hand washes or when you don’t have access to soap and water. Be sure the sanitizer has an alcohol concentration of at least 60%.
Avoid food from street carts
Picking up food and snacks from a local street cart is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of a destination. But during a global pandemic, it’s smarter to stick to the restaurants. A restaurant is a more controlled setting that has to adhere to stricter hygiene rules. You can make it even safer by asking to sit outside on the patio.
Choose a less crowded hotel
This is a great time to choose a smaller hotel for your lodging accommodations. Big resorts and cruise ships are flush with more germs and more people, increasing the risk that you’ll encounter sick travelers. Choosing a less crowded accommodation will decrease your exposure to the virus.
Upgrade your travel and accommodations
Now is not the time to skimp on travel. Cheap accommodations are more likely to have poor sanitation practices, increasing the risk of exposure to harmful germs and bacteria. Spending a little more money on a nicer hotel can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
If you’re worried about how to afford this upgrade, consider launching a travel-friendly career that allows you to work and indulge your love for travel at the same time. A career in medical staffing is an ideal way to see the world and give back at this crucial time in history.
Don’t let the effects of the COVID-19 virus keep you from satisfying your thirst for wanderlust. With the proper precautions, you can still tick those destinations off your travel bucket list.