Travel Series Part 2: Top Tips for Essential Travelers
This year has completely changed the way we live. For many of us who are used to frequent travel, the once simple steps of getting on a plane have turned into a potentially dangerous excursion. As you could imagine, boarding my flight three weeks ago was an entirely different experience than what it used to be. Everyone inside was clad in masks, and honoring social distancing guidelines by standing on the markers on the floor, yet it still looked like a scene from an all-too-realistic horror film. Being surrounded by strangers in a confined space after months of quarantine can be rather unsettling. However, extensive preparation can help you feel a bit more safe and secure in your travels. If you’re planning on traveling in the near future, keep reading for some tips on keeping yourself safe and healthy during airplane travel during COVID-19!
Before You Go
Many healthcare organizations online are stressing the importance of picking your seat before your flight. I typically leave my seat choice up for chance, simply keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t end up packed like a sardine in the dreaded middle seat. But during this time, strategically choosing you spot on the flight can make a huge difference. If you have the means, upgrade to business class, as there is more space for social distancing and less foot traffic in the aisle. But upgrades can be expensive, and if you’re tight on money, picking a window seat is a more economical option. The window seat is furthest from the aisle and allows for the most personal space. Most airlines aren’t filling their flights to maximum capacity, so you might luck out and have and empty seat next to you!
During the Flight
Today’s aircrafts do an excellent job of filtering out bacteria and dust in the air, so the air quality is fairly safe, so just keep your mask on properly as much as possible. If you’re taking an international flight, meal times can be tricky, as everyone’s masks come off, so try to eat before your flight. If you get hungry during the flight, I suggest waiting until other passengers have finished eating and put their masks back on to quickly enjoy your meal. And of course, be sure to wash or sanitize your hands before eating!
When you Arrive
If you’re traveling from the US or any high risk region, be incredibly mindful of your potential to spread the virus. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you may still be a carrier, so get tested as soon as possible after arriving! Some airports have made this super convenient by offering free testing stations before you exit. Most COVID tests take a few days to hear back from, so during the beginning of your stay, make sure you have a sufficient, comfortable place to do a self-quarantine until you’re certain that you’re negative!
Remember that we are advised not to travel during this time, unless it’s truly necessary. It’s not time for vacations in Mykonos quite yet, but if you have somewhere you need to go, do so carefully and safely. It’s a great idea to purchase travel insurance or check if your insurance has international coverage if you’re going out of the country. Most importantly, check if they cover pandemics, as many insurance companies do not. Most importantly, be respectful of the place you are visiting and follow their COVID guidelines. We are all in this together and we all need to do our part to get through these tough times! Keep checking the Tidy Spaces blog for more pandemic travel tips, tricks, and stories!
Written by content creator Sydney Goodrich