With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, planning a vacation has become quite a challenging task compared to how it used to be. Yet, with kids leaving school and companies rounding off for the year, many families are eager to travel and reconnect.
While family time is priceless, we still need to acknowledge that the threat is still around. Cases are still rising in some parts of the world. No matter where you’re going, though, it’s always a good idea to plan and strategize for holiday travels and vacations.
While you have probably been taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions – such as wearing nose masks, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands frequently – you may be wondering if there is anything else you can do to protect yourself and your family. In this blog post, our team will address a few additional tips you can use to ensure your holiday trip is safe and easy.
Take Note of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
COVID-19 data varies between countries and even from state to state. That’s why you need to stay updated on COVID-19 guidelines in both your area and your destination. These guidelines can change drastically from time to time, so it’s important to check frequently to catch any changes. In addition, you should take a look at airline requirements if you are flying and prepare yourself for what you should do if you test positive during your holiday trip.
Different countries have different quarantine requirements for arrivals that can vary based on the country they traveled from. In addition, some countries have different requirements for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Others may require proof of your vaccination status before or upon arrival.
Before starting your trip, you’ll need to make sure you gather all of the necessary documents beforehand so you can prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Preparing ahead of time will make for a hassle-free travel experience.
Avoid The Weekend Rush
This is probably one of the most important COVID-19 travel tips to follow. Before the pandemic, a weekend getaway was probably one of the best vacation ideas. Nowadays, most vacation spots are too overcrowded on weekends.
Instead of planning your getaway on a weekend, it may be better to travel to your destination on a weekday because it’s usually much less crowded. The fewer people around you, the less likely it is for you to catch COVID-19.
Book Hotels & Lodging Wisely
If you’re getting a hotel, it’s important to ask about the flexibility of your destination’s check-in and check-out rules before you arrive. For instance, you may want to know what would happen if you needed to extend your stay in your hotel if you tested positive for COVID-19.
Be sure to make all necessary inquiries from the hotel’s support staff before you book your hotel or lodging. Different hotels have different policies for lodging during COVID-19.
Be Mindful of Hotspots
You should always be mindful of traveling to places where COVID-19 is spreading at a higher rate. If you have to travel to a COVID-19 hotspot zone, be sure to prepare yourself so you can stay as safe as possible.
Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tools that you can use to check COVID-19-related data for every state in the United States.
The CDC uses datasets – including the percentage of positive tests in a community, new cases, and the rate of community transmission – to categorize the risk of contracting COVID-19 in any given state in the United States. They divide the level of risk into four categories.
The four categories are: high, substantial, moderate, and low. You can check the level of community transmission of where you wish to travel to in the United States at any time. You can also check the COVID-19 stats of most countries by using this tool provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Wherever you’re going, whether it’s a COVID-19 hotspot or not, you need to be prepared. There are a few simple precautions you can take whether you’re planning a domestic or international vacation. These precautions include:
- Determining your COVID-19 status through COVID-19 testing before you travel as close to your departure time as possible
- Wearing a nose mask while on public transport
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based (minimum of 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer
- Practicing social distancing and staying at least 2 meters apart from other travelers while you’re en route
Understand Your Family’s COVID-19 Risk Status
Converging lines of evidence have shown that children and senior citizens are at a greater risk of falling severely ill from COVID-19. Before you travel, it is pertinent to understand everyone’s risk status.
You can take a look at our blog about underlying conditions to help you determine if anyone in your party has those risks. Pregnant family members also have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and need to be extra careful when traveling.
To protect you and your family, even more, you can plan out how to get medical help during your trip by researching your destination’s healthcare facilities and travel insurance plans. You should also plan for a quick trip back home in case anyone gets seriously ill while traveling.
Choose Your Mode of Travel
Most airlines, train stations, and other modes of transportation now operate at full capacity. While this may be a sign that things are returning to the way they used to be before the pandemic, you should still try to stay safe during your trip regardless of your mode of travel.
Keep It Simple
There’s no denying that the ongoing pandemic has altered our day-to-day lives. Grand and fancy celebrations with large crowds are a thing of the past, at least for now. For the time being, we need to adapt to this new normal and find ways to stay as safe as we possibly can.
Sometimes choosing an outdoor vacation may be your best bet for staying safe without having to worry about the spread of COVID-19.
Schedule an Appointment for COVID-19 Testing in Memphis, Germantown, & Winston-Salem Before You Travel
Before you get on the road or walk into an airport, you should always have a plan. A good plan will keep you safe and also give you the relaxing, hassle-free vacation you deserve during these trying times. At Rapid Care Testing, we provide fast and accurate COVID-19 travel testing services. Our services include same-day COVID-19 testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem, so you can get on the road quicker.
Visit us or contact us today to get your Rapid COVID-19 test before you travel!