13th October 2021

Safety tips while traveling with the family during the COVID-19 era

The world is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which shook the globe 2 years ago. Nations worldwide are opening up their borders and economies for travelers from abroad. This means people can now travel, especially as the holiday season is right around the corner.

While many people have been vaccinated against the virus and more are following suit, it is still advised to take necessary precautions. Also, there are children under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated. But don’t let such limitations prevent you from traveling. Here is a compilation of tips to ensure you have a fun and safe trip.

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1. Study the Data of COVID-19 Cases

It is important to study the rate of COVID-19 infections at the destination you wish to travel to. To get the data, simply visit the website of that place’s local public health department and learn about the area’s positivity rate. You can also log on to the Global Epidemics website, run by the Brown School of Public Health. For more clarity, read through that area’s restriction and vaccination policy. For example, some authorities like the European Union allow non-essential travel for Americans who are vaccinated.

2. Regular Tests for the Unvaccinated

For whatever reason, if you are still not vaccinated, it is wise to get frequent tests around your trip. This is essential as it will ensure you do not bring the virus back with you to your hometown when you return. As a rule of thumb, get tested no more than 3 days before you travel back. Many countries require a negative report before allowing people in.

3. Gear up and be Prepared

Keep your protection essentials handy even if you are vaccinated. Your kit should contain a potent hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and extra face masks. It is suggested that you regularly clean your face mask and change it during the course of the day. It would be better to use disposable masks (which you can get from sites like https://www.sciquip.co.uk/disposable-medical-face-masks.html) than cloth masks, as the latter would need cleaning on a timely basis. This is especially true if you have been exposed to dust and sweat. Face masks can get dirty quickly and turn into a breeding ground for other microbes and bacteria. You may not catch COVID-19, but these microorganisms can make you sick too.

4. Choosing the Ideal Means of Transport

According to experts, if you are traveling locally or short distances that take about a day to reach, then driving is the safest mode of travel. This is particularly beneficial for those who are unvaccinated. Traveling in your own vehicle limits interaction with other people and reduces the risk of getting exposed to the virus.

Flying is also considered safe, thanks to the efforts of the aviation industry in maintaining great hygiene. Even if you are vaccinated, it is advised not to remove your masks and avoid moving around in the plane.

Bus travel may not be that safe. This is largely due to the subpar ventilation system on buses, which may trap the virus inside the vehicle.

5. Maintain Cleanliness but don’t Become Paranoid

People who are vaccinated can enjoy their vacation like in the good old pre-COVID-19 times, according to a senior scholar from John Hopkins Center in Baltimore. Vaccinated individuals can rent out hotel rooms and not confine themselves to isolated homes. Some safety basics should be adhered to, like disinfecting objects you are likely to touch. This includes TV remotes, switches, and doorknobs. A simple antibacterial wipe should do the trick. You do not have to go overboard and sanitize everything in the hotel room. Opening the windows after room service will improve ventilation.

6. Eating out is Fine, but Caution Advised

 Unvaccinated individuals should avoid indoor dining as it involves removing their masks. Those who have received their vaccination shots can enjoy some Haute Cuisine and fine dining. A common word of advice that applies to all is, try to eat in outdoor spaces where there is enough room for the virus to escape. Closed, indoor eating places could still pose a risk if they do not have adequate ventilation. Remember, the best defense against COVID-19 after vaccination is distancing.

7. Make a To-do List of Activities, Choose Wisely 

Your destination may have areas with varying degrees of COVID-19 cases. As a traveler, you should be aware of these locations and avoid them the best you can. This will include some fun activities that you usually do on vacation like visiting the beach, exploring bars and nightlife and much more. Don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of things you can still enjoy. Simply avoid crowded and closed spaces for your own good. Also, avoid sharing your phone or camera to take pictures. But if you must, do not forget to sanitize the surface with antibacterial wipes.