How to travel safely during the COVID-19 Pandemic…
Traveling during a pandemic can be stressful and overwhelming if not carefully planned. Although the CDC does not recommend travel during the pandemic, most travelers had little to no complications. It is particularly important to take time and research weeks in advance of your trip, to make sure that you are up to date on the most current restrictions and guidelines for each aspect of your trip. It is also a good idea to often visit the CDC. Gov website (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the website of your travel destination. For example, if you are going to Mexico, you should visit Travel.state.gov and look at the requirements to enter the country. Another website that you should visit is your airline carrier to familiarize yourself with the travel requirements and restrictions. Make sure that you understand cancellation, flight change, and refund policies. A new travel policy recently became effective on January 26, 2021:
On January 12, 2021, CDC announced an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than three days before their flight departs and to present the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Air passengers will also be required to confirm that the information they present is true in the form of an attestation. This Order is effective as of 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on January 26, 2021.
Here are a few important tips to travel safely during a pandemic:
Research the COVID-19 rate at your destination. Know the guidelines, requirements, and restrictions for entry into the country and exit from the country.
Contact your hotel/resort to find out if they provide testing. Inquire about what type of testing they provide and the cost. Do you need an appointment to take the test? Is your insurance accepted as a form of payment? Also, find out if they provide quarantine areas for guests who test positive. Do they charge a fee to quarantine? If quarantined, what are the procedures that guests must follow? You may also want to advise your medical health provider that you will be traveling internationally.
Contact your airline carrier and ask about the flight change policy. Can you change your flight if you test positive? Is there a cost? What is the timeframe?
At check-in, ask for information about the sanitation of the hotel. Is the room cleaned daily or on request? How much contact does the staff have with the guest? What type of food service does the hotel/resort provide? Buffet style, dine-in, takeout, or room service?
Pack lots of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Wipe everything down from the time you step onto the airplane until the time you return home. Stay in your seat as much as possible during the flight. Try to book a flight with the least number of passengers when available.
Take a test before you leave, to guarantee that you are negative when you leave the country. Then, take a test after returning home. Be sure to quarantine while waiting on the results of the test. The CDC recommends that you self-quarantine for seven days after returning from travel; but, that is a personal choice.
If you plan on venturing out from your hotel, please take extra precautions. Avoid overcrowded places when possible such as bars, concerts, etc. Social distance, wear your mask, wash your hands, and disinfect surfaces whenever you can.
Purchase travel insurance in case you have to cancel at the last minute. Be willing to change plans in the blink of an eye if you feel uncomfortable about your surroundings.
Trust your instincts. If it does not feel right, it is not right.
***If you booked with a travel agent, please consult with them about restrictions and guidelines as it pertains to COVID-19***
Content Writer: Wynona Chevalier, aka "The Travel Beauty"
Requirement for proof of Negative COVID-19 test or recovery FROM Covid-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States. (2021, February 19). Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html