Traveling is a summer staple for most Americans, but the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the travel industry on its head. The biggest fears of forgetting a passport or missing a layover have been replaced by fears of contamination from a dangerous virus.
If you still plan to leave town this summer season, be prepared for a unique and unprecedented experience. These tips will help you navigate the “new normal” of travel.
Do Your Homework Before Departing
Airlines, hotels, and ground transportation services all provide comprehensive COVID-19 safety updates online. Before you depart, learn more about your options in order to select the safest accommodations and methods of transportation.
Ask yourself the following questions to identify whether the safety precautions in place are enough to keep you protected:
- Is the airline allowing middle seats to remain open?
- Are hotel/restaurant staff behind Plexiglass shields?
- Are staff members required to wear masks?
- How often and how are common surfaces cleaned?
- Are complimentary masks and hand sanitizers provided?
- What measures are implemented to maintain social distancing?
In the past, “we never thought about everything we touch from the time we leave our home,” says Peter Greenberg, host of the “Travel Detective” series on PBS. But now, in the era of the coronavirus, we must.
Pack a UV Wand and Lysol
Even after you’ve thoroughly researched your travel arrangements and accommodations, experts recommend not leaving anything to chance. Travel with Lysol and your own UV wand to eliminate all sources of lingering bacteria.
UV light is proven to eliminate viruses, making it a popular method of disinfection in hospitals and other high-risk settings. According to the CDC, UV radiation is used in the healthcare environment for the destruction of airborne organisms or inactivation of microorganisms on surfaces.
Cities like New York are adopting UV light technology into their new cleaning strategies, especially on public transportation. As the MTA in NYC explains, “We’re testing UV light on our vehicles and other fixed locations, like break rooms and operations centers. We’re working with Columbia University and a UV technology startup to make mini UV lights we can easily move around.”
You can easily purchase your own UV wand to enjoy these sanitation and disinfectant benefits as you travel. For anything that the UV wand can’t catch, Lysol can do the rest.
Bring Your Own Accessories and Snacks
Pillows, blankets, snacks, and other common air travel perks may not be available this summer. Even if they are, you may not feel comfortable accepting them, so it’s best to pack your own. This is especially important if you’re traveling internationally and risk sitting in a one to two-week quarantine upon arrival.
Even if you’re only traveling domestically, packing your own snacks limits unnecessary interactions with flight attendants and minimizes the potential spread of germs. As an added bonus, you’re sure to enjoy whatever you pack, rather than taking a risk of pre-packaged travel food!