Home for the Holidays: Tips for Traveling Safely

by Mallory Knee

Are you hoping to head home during the holiday season this year? Here are some top tips for traveling safely during the pandemic and taking the proper precautions.

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays—regardless of the global pandemic going on. Many Americans will not be willing to give up their usual holiday plans this coming season after the bleak and weary year we’ve had due to COVID-19. Setting aside popular opinions and the politics of the matter, the importance of safety for those who decide to celebrate the holidays with family and friends is apparent. Read on for how to be home for the holidays: tips for traveling safely.

Consider Where You’re Going

As most countries around the world are restricting Americans from entering their borders, we assume that you’re traveling within the U.S. As the number of reported COVID-19 cases fluctuates daily, keep your eye on the news for local, state, or regional guidelines and ordinances to follow. Know exactly where you’re planning to go, and consider if you should quarantine for the standard two weeks beforehand based on the location. There are certainly risks regardless, but you can reduce these risks with the proper precautions. Many major cities are still hotspots, and different areas of the country have seen recent flare-ups.

Communicate With Those You Will Be Seeing

Only so much contingency is tolerable at a time, especially during the already hectic holiday season. If you’re going home for the holidays, examine these tips for traveling safely. For the sake of those who you will see while you’re in town, make choices weeks beforehand to stay healthy and safe before you arrive for the holidays. People have varying levels of comfort during this time. There is heightened risk with more contact, so evaluate as a group what safety precautions everyone will practice both before and while you meet up, such as wearing masks. Some family members are at a higher risk, and if you traveled the distance to see them, you should go the distance to protect them.

Choose How You Should Travel Wisely

If you have your own car and are able to drive to your destination, then that is the best possible option for traveling during these times. If you don’t have a car, consider renting one. Otherwise, flying is the next best option, and then taking a bus or train should be a last resort. Trains and buses aren’t the safest choices due to the necessary proximity of passengers, so consider all other possibilities first for any pandemic-era travel. Research airlines, and if you can, search for emptier flights.

If you’re traveling outside of your own vehicle with other individuals, you should wear a mask at all times and practice proper social distancing. Yes, that’s six feet apart from others. Wash your hands in the airport or at the station, and keep cautious throughout your journey. When you arrive, consider exposure levels when deciding how you will reach your final destination. If you’re coming from the airport, consider the benefits of utilizing airport transportation services. A private car will most likely be the most sanitary and a wiser choice than ordering a ride through a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. As the holidays get closer, consider all your options with tact and care.

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