Travelling during pandemic (Covid-19) – For a while during the first quarter of the year (2020), state borders were shut due to the novel Coronavirus.
It was a strategy to contain the Coronavirus in areas where it had already taken root – to prevent it from spreading across the globe. According to statistics, this strategy proved to be futile.
By the 19th of July 2020, only 12 countries were yet to be affected by the Coronavirus. Thus, it’s safe to say that the mitigation techniques employed to curb the virus were ineffective.
We are human, and we have to move. We must communicate and connect. We must socialize, and in many cases, we have to travel to do so. How then do we do all of these, and manage to stay safe during a pandemic?
In this article, we have prepared a list of 20 tips for traveling during a pandemic.
#1 Get Covid19 Tested:
This is the first thing you must-do if you intend to travel during a pandemic. It is advisable to get tested even before you decide to go.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t noticed any symptoms or haven’t been in contact with anyone who has shown the virus’s symptoms. You have to get tested to avoid the risk of putting other individuals in danger.
If you’ve already been tested, but you’re awaiting your results, you will not be eligible to travel. You have to prove that you’re not a carrier of whatever pandemic is on the prowl before you embark on your journey.
If you’ve been tested and found positive, then you shouldn’t be traveling; rather, you should be isolated. Self-isolation may be an option if the pandemic presents a breakdown of normal activities. Otherwise, you can reach out to relevant authorities to help isolate you under the right conditions.
#2 Prepare all Medical Records:
In times of global challenges of the sorts, this is your golden ticket. You may have to show this to travel agencies, airline operators, and even your chauffeur. This is to prove to others that you do not have a history with the pandemic.
This also shows that you have been tested and deemed fit to travel. For instance, the incubation period of the Covid-19 pandemic is two weeks – try to ensure that your medical records are updated within two weeks of travel intent.
#3 Prepare Your Travel History as Well:
You need to be able to show where you have traveled in the past. If you’ve been to areas with a high number of pandemic cases, especially within the pandemic incubation period, you might have to get tested.
Traveling around is the easiest way to spread the virus across the globe – getting tested prevents you from doing the virus’s bidding without even realizing it.
You have to remember to protect yourself. In most pandemics, gloves, proper hygiene, and masks should keep you relatively safe. However, there is no one-size-fits-all for epidemics.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance to abide by the stated regulations placed by respective regulatory bodies.
When traveling, it might also be wise to take inexpensive items like toothpicks to push elevator buttons ATM knobs, and others. Take your vessel of water, which you can drink from whenever you want. This way, you drastically minimize the need to interact with other individuals.
Practicing social distance should go without saying, but it is easy to forget guidelines like these or ignore them. This is especially the case in family-themed travels or trips with friends.
While it is human nature to socialize, this isn’t the time for socializing – not when you’re traveling during a pandemic. Try to maintain, at least 6 feet between yourself and others around you.
Avoid crowded places as best as you can and avoid any event that is likely to pull a crowd.
#6 Roll Down the Windows:
This will ensure better airflow. If you are traveling in a commercial vehicle, you may respectfully request that the windows be rolled down.
Most of the pandemics experienced over the past couple of decades tend to thrive in tight spaces, preferably lower temperatures. Rolling down your windows does not keep you safe from a pandemic, especially with Covid-19.
Always remember to wear your facemasks, especially when you have to break the social distance rule.
#7 Travel with People You Live With:
During a pandemic, avoid traveling with strangers. Do not go with friends, and do not travel with long-lost family members who suddenly show up.
You do not know the whereabouts of these people and, hence, you do not see what they might have picked up. To protect yourself, you must travel with people whom you can account for wholeheartedly. If you need to get a driver, contact a transportation firm that has put mitigation plans to minimize the virus’s risks.
#8 Rent a Car.
The safest way to travel during a pandemic is, perhaps, by getting your car. When you go with your vehicle, you make all the rules.
Unlike a public bus where you may have strangers pressing in on you, renting a car gives you good options. When you use your vehicle, you get to choose the gas stations to stop and those to avoid – or you may decide to ditch all stops, which is safer.
If you cannot rent a car, hire a top transportation agency to help send a car.
In times like this, you must be careful when making use of public bathrooms. You’ll be better off not using the bathroom in the first place, but if you must, there are some things you must have in mind.
Avoid touching. Do not flush with your hand. Use your foot or your elbow – and if you use your elbow, try to sanitize it. There is more danger when you eventually flush the toilet.
Also, depending on the nature of the pandemic, stools have been known to be disease-carrying agents. Flushing might cause it to aerosolize and infect you if you’re not wearing a facemask.
#10 Staying safe in Hotel
Be wary if the room before was just recently occupied. Request the hotel manager’s presence – tell him/her that you want a place that hasn’t been occupied in the past four days.
When you do move into the room, wipe all surfaces that are easily within reach and open the windows to let air into the room.
#11 Consider Camping:
Staying in a hotel might not be a safe option during a pandemic. On the other hand, campers face less risk since the fundamental idea behind camping has to do with the outdoors. Unlike hotels, when camping, you can control distancing to certain degrees.
#12 Take Your Food With You:
This way, you do not have to stop to buy food – the more you interact with people, the higher your chances of being infected. Even when you have to buy food, never sit in to eat your food. Always eat in isolation.
#13 Take the Most Direct Route to your Destination:
Regardless of the mode of transportation, it is advisable to take a direct route to your destination. It is much better than changing flights, or buses, mixing with more strangers. Each time you do, you put yourself at a higher risk of contracting the pandemic.
Advisably, take a direct flight and get a family member to pick you up from the airport. When this is not achievable, hire a renowned transportation company to get a driver to take you home.
If you’re going to be traveling in a situation where you’ll have to interact with many strangers, all you need is a facemask. The CDC records that gloves are unnecessary and might even be dangerous for other people when you touch them while wearing one.
You might decide to take your gloves with you on an airplane but have in mind that you may not use them. Only people who work directly with the sick, or care for those already infected need gloves.
#15 Protect Your Eyes With A Pair Of Glasses:
A lot of people wear their facemasks and neglect their eyes. Viruses such as the Influenza virus can gain access to a host through their eyes.
Touching your eyes increases your chances of being infected. To prevent this, wear glasses. If you do not have eyeglasses, a face shield covering your eyebrows to your chin should work just fine.
#16 Make your Hotel Reservations Before You Arrive:
The last thing you want is to get to your destination, only to be told there are no rooms available. Having no reservations might be quite tricky, especially in an unfamiliar environment, especially if it’s nighttime.
It’s bad enough being stranded in unfamiliar terrain, now add a pandemic to the mix, and that is a nightmare.
#17 Plan Your Route:
Plan your route before leaving the comfort of your home, especially if you’re driving yourself.
The best route to take is the path less traveled. You want to avoid coming in contact with as few people as possible. If possible, take a path where there are fewer places to stop.
Also, do not put yourself in a position where you’ll need to ask a stranger for a favor – remember that even they will be worried about you infecting them.
#18 Remember To Isolate Yourself:
When you return home from your travels, ensure to isolate yourself for the incubation period of the pandemic. Leave nothing to chance. In many cases, the causative agent may take different forms.
For the period of incubation, adhere to strict precautions. Maintain social distancing from other people. Avoid intimacy – it will do you and your family right if you desist from kissing your spouse during this period.
If you must interact with others, also wear a facemask and keep your hands clean. Use sanitizers too as frequently as possible. Check your health – if you begin to show any symptoms of the virus. If you suspect anything, call for medical help immediately.
#19 Leave an Emergency Contact:
Leave emergency contact details for your family or loved ones. Just in case something goes wrong, you should have a contingency plan.
Create another channel of communication just in case your contact becomes unavailable. If you become infected, you’re going to have to be quarantined. Your loved ones should know this.
#20 Travel Only When Necessary:
Before you travel, ask yourself if it’s worth it. If you’re going to see a loved one, understand that there’s a chance that you could pick up the virus on your way and end up infecting your loved one.
How important is the visit? Is the visit so crucial that you’ll risk infecting a loved one?
Perhaps, a business trip? Can this business be handled online? If yes, wouldn’t it be safer and less stressful if you handled it online rather than going out there and putting yourself at risk?
You must understand the associated risks before you embark on your journey.
Author Bio: Okonkwo Noble understands the need for sustainable travel. He is a foremost travel enthusiast and adventurer. He also volunteers as a part-time English teacher for Internally displaced children.
He’s a writer for Limo Services USA the best limo service in Miami of uncompromised safety, reliability, and luxury.