We’re officially halfway through the year— although, truthfully, these past 6 months have felt more like a decade. Or a very twisted adaptation of Groundhog Day. Most of us are exhausted with being cooped up at home, abiding by the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control so we don’t unknowingly pass on a deadly disease. Yes, it’s that point in the year when people are usually traveling, visiting loved ones, and catching the sights before going back to the humdrum of work and school. This year, most of us have rescheduled or canceled those travel plans (and if you’re an American who was planning a European vacation, well, it’s not like you had any choice in the matter).
However, some of you are determined to plow onwards with the original travel plan.
Before I go any further with this, I need to emphasize that you shouldn’t travel. Really. I know it sucks. No one likes it. But there’s currently a fatal disease plaguing the world so maybe that trip can wait?
To help reduce your risk of contracting COVID or passing it on to others, we’ve put together a brief list of tips and practices for you to use while you travel. Most of these tips have been informed by the CDC, so take note.
The first tip involves practices that we should all be doing anyway, regardless of travel status: “Wash your hands for 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating. If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.”
Avoid touching your face, particularly anywhere near your nose, eyes, or mouth. And, of course, keep a 6ft physical distance from other people and wear a face mask in public. Any face mask will do. A cloth mask, a 3-ply mask, or an N95 will certainly suffice.
Types of Travel: Plane, Bus, Car
According to the CDC: “Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.” Since March, the number of people actually traveling via airplane as plummeted by 90%, but that doesn’t mean air travel doesn’t still entail certain risks.
As for buses and trains, it will be supremely difficult to avoid viral exposure because these methods of travel are intended to cram as many people as possible in one place. We recommend a full coverall, a face shield, and a face mask if you have no other choice but to travel this way. While you’re at it, hand out disposable masks and shame people who refuse to take one. Traveling by car is likely the safest mode of travel at your disposal, but when you stop for gas/food/water, make certain to avoid other daywalkers and wear disposable gloves if you touch anything.
Plan Ahead: Bring What You Need
It goes without saying that you should pack face masks for your trip. Have several reusable cloth masks or several packs of disposable masks that you can wear fresh at a moment’s notice. Also, pack enough hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) keep it within reach. If you take daily medicine, pack enough of it to last your entire trip. And, as the CDC recommends, “Prepare food and water for your trip. Pack non-perishable food in case restaurants and stores are closed.”
It helps to have durable luggage that will protect all of your clothes, electronics, and COVID supplies, so consider getting a hard shell, 3 piece luggage set with a security lock for all your travel needs.
Get cool luggage here: Here