Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hello, world! Welcome to the Traveling With LK section of Noire Life! I am Lindsey Killett (LK), a public health professional and travel addict. My articles will focus mainly on travel and health. I am excited to be a part of the Noire Life team and look forward to engaging with you all!

2020 has been a tough year for everyone! Especially for people who love to travel. With outside opening and airlines increasing flights, you may be wondering, is it safe to travel?

Photo Credit: Lindsey Killett

As an essential worker, I had the experience of flying during the pandemic. I’ll have to admit although I have traveled on airplanes for over 25 years now I was terrified about taking this trip. The fear of catching COVID-19 while flying was real! I also lodged in a hotel during my trip. Thankfully I was able to remain COVID-19 free. However, my personal professional advice at this time would be not to travel on an airplane unless you have no other choice. Below are some tips and resources if you find yourself needing to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LICENSED HEALTH PROVIDER. IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19 OR HAVE SYMPTOMS CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER FOR TESTING RESOURCES.

Pre-Trip Preparation

Before traveling you will want to check if the area you are traveling to has any restrictions for travelers coming from your state or country. For more information go to your destination state’s health department website. Click here for the U.S. state department directory provided by the CDC. 

For international travel US travelers are encouraged not to travel unless you are already out of the US and need to return. Click here for international travel information. I also highly recommend registering in the STEP program. This program will notify you about any travel warnings and help you if there is an emergency while you are abroad. 

Photo Credit: Lindsey Killett

Driving

If you are traveling in the US, consider driving. Make sure to pack plenty of hand sanitizer and extra masks for pit stops. Keep your distance from others when you stop. For those of you without a car, I recommend checking out Zipcar. Demand is high so try to plan ahead!   

Air Plane

If traveling by plane is your only option here are my recommended steps to travel safe:

1.Before booking your flight find out which airlines are keeping passengers one seat apart. 

2.Pack plenty of hand sanitizer and an extra mask. 

3.While in the airport and on the plane some people may not adhere to social distancing. If this is a concern for you try rolling your carry on luggage behind you. You can control the distance in front of you but not behind you. 

4. WEAR YOUR MASK! Yes wearing your mask the entire trip is uncomfortable but you will not only protect yourself but also help protect others. 

Lodging

Lodging has changed a little. Hotels and home rentals have updated their cleaning protocol to include disinfecting everything between guests. The food services that are provided have become contactless and everyone is required to wear a mask in communal spaces. If you would like to take extra precaution here are a few things you can do to make sure your hotel is clean. 

1.Bring your own bed sheets and towels.

2.Bring a travel size can of Lysol, or wipes. (If you can get you hands on some)

3.Wear shower shoes. 

If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 DO NOT TRAVEL! Contact your doctor and get tested. Stay happy and healthy!

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