As states and countries are beginning to open up, many people are wondering about whether it is safe to travel during the time of COVID-19. The rates of newly infected are on the rise where restrictions have been lifted. At the same time, places that rely heavily on tourism are seeking to find ways to begin welcoming travelers again. Here are three tips to help you plan for safe travel at a time when the risks are heightened.
1. Prepare Your Documentation
Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have all your documentation in order. Check your health insurance policy to determine what level of out-of-network coverage you have. If you get sick during your travels, you want to know that you aren’t going to have to pay all healthcare bills out-of-pocket. This is especially important during the pandemic.
Make sure you have copies of your driver’s license, or passport for international travel. Contact your bank and other financial institutions to let them know of your travel plans. Identity theft is a serious issue, and travelers can be at increased risk. It might be helpful to read up on how you can protect your identity, or contact an expert, like Robert Ryerson, who can help you prepare.
2. Research Your Preferred Destinations
Make a list of the places you could feasibly visit for your vacation, and then ascertain exposure risks. Examine the case count and recent trends for confirmed coronavirus infection. Has there been a sharp increase since reopening, or are rates of infection going down? It is also a good idea to find out about the area’s hospital capacity.
Determine what precautions are being taken to reduce risk exposure for tourists. If there aren’t any, steer clear. As a traveler, you are likely especially interested in measures taken at tourist sites, restaurants and accommodations, as well as the general guidelines. Additionally, you should assess your chances of participating in the activities you want to do. For really popular places, waiting until a later time might be your best option.
3. Assess Your Transportation Options
Your travel options might be limited by your access to safe modes of transportation. Getting there is one consideration, but you also need to determine how you will get around once you reach your destination. Driving your own vehicle once you have arrived can be the safest way to go; however, care is required on the drive there. You need to be mindful of where you need to stop for fuel, restrooms, food and overnight stays.
Aside from your own vehicle, travel by air can be relatively safe, but check airline guidelines before you book. Look for those companies who are requiring and providing masks to travelers, as well as implementing alternative seating requirements. These companies would be the ones to book a ticket with. Avoid modes of transportation that put you in close contact with others.
The desire to travel is understandable. However, there are risks involved. In addition to ensuring your own behaviors align with CDC guidelines, it is also a good idea to make sure you have necessary documentation in order and that you research your best destination and transportation options. Taking these steps helps you to have a safe trip, as well as an enjoyable one.