Before long, we will be in full holiday mode. So right now, as we begin to make holiday travel plans for the season, here are things to keep in mind in order to stay safe and keep your family safe.
Holiday Travel 2021 Planning
Though a holiday trip may be exciting, it is important not to overlook the planning stage of your travels.
In planning, take into consideration the below to help keep your family healthy and safe. And, of course, always check local guidance and sources like the CDC.
Check the Map!
Checking the map on the current spread of COVID-19. This includes your current location as well as your destination. If you are going to or coming from a high-risk area, have a plan in place for dealing with exposure. The CDC also offers an online map with trackers that note COVID-19 risk assessment.
Know the Risk Factor
Determine if you or any of your holiday travel companions are in the high-risk category, as well as those people at your destination. If high-risk people are included in your plans, determine what special precautions you will have in place. People at increased risk for severe illness are:
- Older adults are at a higher risk than younger adults. The risk increases with age. So a person in their 80s is at a higher risk for the need of hospitalization than a person in their 50s or 60s.
- People of any age with underlying medical conditions. Anyone with a compromised or weakened immune system is at higher risk of severe results from COVID-19 contraction.
- Pregnant and recently pregnant adults are more prone to severe illness than non-pregnant people.
Have a Plan
Holiday travel plans are going to depend on a number of things, such as where you are going, how you will be traveling, and who you will be seeing. In order to enjoy your holiday plans optimally, know any specific requirements such as mask mandates, vaccination requirements, and quarantine restrictions. These rules and mandates change frequently, so be sure to check for changes on a regular basis.
Airline and Public Transportation Travel
Currently, all travel by public transportation, including airlines, buses, and trains, require all passengers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, to be masked. This also includes airports and train or bus stations. There are no requirements for masking in outdoor areas. However, if you are in a high-traffic location, you may want to wear a mask as a precautionary measure.
There are no testing requirements for domestic travel for vaccinated travelers. But if you are traveling outside the US, you must check the requirements of your destination if they require testing. You should get tested after you arrive back home after your trip, although quarantine is not required. If you have symptoms, stay home.
The CDC recommends that all unvaccinated persons get tested 1-3 days before their departure. You should socially distance (6 feet) from other persons, continue to wear your mask, and wash your hands often. After returning, you should once again test for the virus and quarantine yourself for seven full days, even if the results are negative.
Traveling by car has advantages during a pandemic. You can control your environment much better than you can on public transportation. You can also control the people that are in your vehicle for the trip. However, you should still remain diligent and practice handwashing and cleanliness inside the car. Use hand sanitizer when gassing up, and either bring food prepared at home or choose drive-thru services to minimize exposure. If your holiday travel requires staying at a hotel, check the website for their sanitation practices and check-in online for less contact.
The holidays are a time of celebration, for connecting with friends and family, or vacationing in beautiful places. Your holiday travel can be both healthy and safe with a bit of careful planning and precaution. If you still have questions, check out our favorite sources for getting the best relevant info on the pandemic and your best options.