Is it Safe To Travel During The Holiday Season? 7 Questions To Ask 

If you and your loved ones love traveling during the holidays, 2020 might not be the best year for you. 

The pandemic has changed the way we travel. Even if the travel industry is slowly recovering, some people are still hesitant about leaving their homes and pursuing their holiday travel plans. However, there are a few who have been itching to travel for months. There are those who’ve been longing to be reunited with distant family. They have been constantly waiting for the lifting of restrictions, reopening of hotels, airlines, and tours, and basically seeing the green light signal from the health departments. 

So is it safe to travel this holiday season? The answer would be, “it depends.” If you’re one of those folks who still choose to travel this holiday, here are 5 questions you should first ask before booking hotel accommodation and a plane ticket. 

1. Who are you traveling with? 

If you’re traveling alone or with a like-minded adult within your household, traveling wouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re traveling with others outside of your household, you need to make sure they’re on the same page. 

You just need to establish rules when going out and remain vigilant about keeping your distance, sanitizing your hands, wearing masks and face shields, and avoiding crowded places. It would also be recommended to have everyone quarantine for 14 days before gathering. 

2. Are you bringing kids along? 

Due to their natural vigor and spontaneity, curiosity, and innocence, kids are less likely to practice health and safety guidelines, thus can be silent spreaders of the disease. Strict parental guidance is advised when traveling with toddlers and bigger kids. 

The CDC recommends children 2 years of age and older to wear masks. You should also enforce regular hand washing and the use of sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Keep an eye on your children when they’re in public places, and make sure they’re not touching anything unnecessarily. 

Aside from regular hand washing, routinely wipe down any personal items, like toys and electronics. 

3. Who are you visiting?

Are you visiting a friend? A relative’s home? A long-distance family member? No matter how well you know the person, you should always ask if they have the same degree of caution as you. 

Before staying at a friend or family member’s house, experts recommend assessing whether or not the household is at high-risk for COVID-19. The red flags include residents who are lax with their disinfection measures, are traveling more often than usual, and are constantly going to social gatherings. 

It’s also a must to check if someone in that house is vulnerable to COVID-19. These include the elderly, pregnant women, immuno-compromised individuals, and other individuals with pre-existing health conditions. The last thing you want is to unintentionally infect that vulnerable person. 

4. Where are you going to stay? 

Experts agree: staying in a hotel or Airbnb might be safer than staying in someone’s home. 

Hotels have already gone to great lengths to adapt to the pandemic. A couple of changes have been made with regards to housekeeping, food safety, and check-in and check-out procedures. Hotel efforts include cancellation of buffet services and pivoting to packed food, contactless transactions, and round-the-clock disinfecting measures. 

But you’re feeling a bit paranoid even if you’ve booked the best hotel in Oudenaarde Belgium, do your own wiping. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces with wipes that have a 70% alcohol solution. 

5. Where are you heading to?

Okay, so you’ve researched about your target destination and found that it’s open during the holiday. Now, is it safe? If you’re planning to visit a different country or go to a faraway town, check whether or not the place is a hot spot for COVID-19. Is it a crowded destination? Does it have a lot of daily COVID-19 cases? Stay on the safe side and book a trip to somewhere with fewer crowds, lots of open spaces, and little to zero active COVID-19 cases. 

6. What mode of transportation are you going to use? 

Your own car is the safest vehicle you can use — you’re a hundred percent sure it’s sanitized and you know the people who sat there in the recent past. Pack with the pandemic in mind. Stock your car with face masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizers. 

If you’re traveling via public transportation systems, remain vigilant with your hand hygiene, protective equipment, and social distancing. Wipe down your seat, metal railings, airplane trays, and other common items you may get in contact with. Book with transportation companies that have strict health and safety guidelines for your peace of mind. 

7. Are you sure you’re COVID-19-free? 

We always talk about safety protocols that are meant to prevent catching the virus from others. But what if we’re actually the one carrying it? There’s only one way to find out: COVID-19 testing

Protect your loved ones and other people by traveling COVID-19-free. Find a sweet spot for your test, as getting tested too early may nullify your result, and getting tested too late may get your results delayed. Two weeks before your departure is recommended and self-quarantine until you get your results. 

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate content writer who loves traveling, discovering new food, taking photos, and of course, writing. She’s got a lot to say about travel, dining, cultural appreciation and lifestyle. To know more about hotel and tourism tips, you may visit Leopold Hotel Oudenaarde.

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