Though things may be uncertain, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help you reduce risk.
If you have to travel for business during the pandemic, there are several ways to keep yourself safe. While being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 helps, it’s still understandable if you’re feeling anxious about travel. While it may not be entirely possible to eliminate every risk, there are ways to reduce them.
For one, being prepared by making plans and reading about your destination’s restrictions and situations can help avoid extra stress, and prevent you from falling prey to a travel scam. Hopefully, before you know it, you can get back to earning points and miles without extra worry. Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking a train, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Aim for simplicity and direct routes.
If possible, try to avoid layovers and multiple plane changes to get to your destination if you will be flying. If you stay at a hotel over several nights, look for one near your destination that you might walk or even ride a bike to. Aim to keep your trip simple with as few changes as possible.
Flying mid-afternoon during the middle of the week is usually less crowded than an early morning or early evening flight (though it is likely to be more expensive). You may also consider driving to your destination or flying to a smaller airport that doesn’t see as much travel and driving the rest of the way. However, if driving, note that there has been a shortage of rental cars available, so it’s best to reserve beforehand.
You may also want to simplify your travel by going contactless. Contactless payment methods, hotel services, and airline e-tickets all help avoid contact with frequently touched spaces.
Give yourself extra time.
It’s a good idea to give yourself extra time when traveling, especially when there might be additional delays, limitations, or even canceled flights.
Some airports have limited services and hours. Some airlines are also limiting their food and drink services. If you have dietary requirements, it is good to plan as there may not be any options that meet your needs.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring extra masks, hand sanitizer, and extra clothes in case of exposure. Be aware, though, that some airlines are banning cloth masks. Be sure to check your airline and destination requirements to help you plan accordingly.
If your trip is over several days, check the accommodation safety protocols and cleaning policies. While Covid-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, you may want to bring extra wipes to go over frequently touched surfaces.
Check airline and destination requirements.
You may need to upload vaccination documents or proof of a negative Covid-19 test in order to travel. These tests often need to be done within the past 72 hours. Plan accordingly to make arrangements for your test to arrive on time.
Additionally, some destinations like New York City and San Francisco have apps that allow you to show digital proof of vaccination. More states are requiring proof of vaccination to enter public spaces and are creating apps to upload this data to make it easier to show proof. As this information is frequently updated, it’s best to check your destination and your travel method to learn more about what is required.
Have a backup plan.
Should you get coronavirus while traveling, have a plan for your home and your destination. Have a plan for someone to manage your home while you’re away in case you have any delays, or become ill and have to quarantine.
Pandemic or not, travel can get frustrating when the unexpected happens. A coronavirus variant may require you to unexpectedly adjust plans. While it’s a good idea to have travel insurance, coverage may be limited and varied in regards to the pandemic.
When considering which medium to use when traveling, consider the cancellation and refund policies, especially if you’ll be visiting a place with a high number of cases. If your travel is optional, consider the number of cases and hospitalizations in your destination.
Of course, when possible, getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, employing social distancing, wearing masks, and staying home when ill can help keep you safe.