First, and foremost, it must be said that in the US, more than anywhere, you should avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary right now. We’re aware that now, more than ever people have been able to experience the digital nomad lifestyle by taking advantage of their work-from-home flexibility to travel across their countries but with daily new cases rising to nearly 200,000 per day, staying in one place is the safest and most responsible thing to do. Now more than ever before, we should be thinking of the safety of others just as much as we think about our own.
1. Stay At Your Destination For At Least 3 Weeks If Possible
Staying in one area for almost a month, every time you travel may seem unreasonable for some people, but it is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of those around you. Even if you do not isolate yourself for two weeks you’re giving yourself enough time in the area to see if any COVID symptoms potentially develop before you head back on another plane or train and risk unknowingly spreading the virus to other people. Even driving often requires stops along the way for food, gasoline, and to use public restrooms which can all easily become hot spots for infection.
If you are planning to stay at a hotel or in an AirBnB the CDC recommends making sure there is a contactless check-in process and suggests avoiding elevators, ATMs, water fountains and business centers. It’s also worth remembering that any time you do travel it is still recommended to get tested before you leave and after you arrive. if you are planning to stay with family or friends do your best to make sure group activities are kept at home or in uncrowded outdoor spaces. If you’re traveling specifically for Thanksgiving in the United States, then annual the tradition of meeting hometown friends at a bar the the night before the holiday is also best unobserved this year.
As a side note, travel insurance may also be something worth investing in to protect yourself from any unforeseen losses when traveling. With the current global pandemic still ongoing, Money.com wanted to better understand just how travel insurance works in conjunction with it. So their team researched what policies have which sort of coverage and crafted a list of the best travel insurance companies of 2021.
2. Always Opt For Contactless Delivery Or Pickup When Possible
This is something you’re surely used to by now, and perhaps have been using even before the pandemic began. Contactless food delivery and curbside pick up have been options long before this year even began, but these options are vital to keeping millions of people safe while allowing restaurants to keep their doors open. The CDC has recommended bringing your own food if you happen to be driving to avoid contact at rest stops or drive-throughs, however that food will not last you your whole trip.
If you are for some reason in a position where delivery and curbside pick up is not offered by any restaurant in town and you have to eat inside of a restaurant then you should take the following precautions:
- Wear masks when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
- Take precautions – like wearing a mask as much as possible when not eating and maintaining a proper social distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.
- Maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more in any entryway, hallway, or waiting area.
- When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from other people.
- When possible, choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
3. Ensure You Will Have Wifi Where You’re Staying Or Invest In a Hotspot
This may seem like a no-brainer. Who would ever dream of staying somewhere without wifi, right? Well, many of us frequent travelers have found ourselves in situations where we have had to stay in accomodation with less than stellar wifi, but those trips may not be as traumatic as they sound because using cafe wifi instead was likely the majority of the experience. Today it doesn’t make as much sense to spend a whole morning and afternoon in a cafe surrounded by people, so make sure to ask about the connectivity in your accommodation or buy a wifi hotspot that’s reliable so you’re never left stranded.
4. Keep Track Of Where You’ve Been And Who You’ve Been With
It’s the holiday season. New case spikes are happening around the globe and people will more than likely still celebrate in groups with friends and family. It’s still really important to make sure that you keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve been around to help make sure you can take appropriate action if someone you know winds up infected, and you know exactly which people to call if you are infected. It is a team effort to keep our communities safe and keeping this list is an essential part of contact tracing efforts.
If you are hosting a gathering consider taking these steps beforehand as per CDC guidelines:
- Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
- Remind guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
- Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
- Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
- If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.
5. Wear A Mask
This one is obvious. Hopefully you have been wearing one for months now. many of us have several masks now and likely have a favorite. For many of us masks have become as essential as our phones and keys. Unfortunately for many people, wearing a mask is still seen as an unnecessary inconvenience, or worse; part of a conspiracy to diminish human rights.
Wearing a mask today is more than just a means of protecting yourself and others, it’s also a symbol that shows that you care about other people, and that you’re willing to put the needs of others before your own. Wearing a mask today so that you or someone else does not have to hear a ventilator tomorrow is the most generous gift you can give this holiday season, especially after a year where so many have lost so much.