Tips for Traveling Safely in the Era of COVID-19 • Tour Travel Hotels
Last year, I switched to lea20 out of 52 weeks traveling in the United States. Most of my trips were for trade shows or short visits to major metropolitan areas.
As COO of CarBrain.com, one of my main goals for 2019 was to expand our partner work nationwide. So, I know a thing or two about traveling light, being efficient and preparing for business trips.
The hardest part of my travels has always been crossing airports: long queues, security gates and spending countless hours on the plane with strangers. For years, travelers like me have learned to take advantage of these necessary disadvantages to get where we are going.
Welcome to 2020: COVID-19
But COVID-19 has arrived. All the old rules have been thrown out the window and we need to find new ways to protect ourselves and the people around us when we travel. Convenience is no longer the priority. Security is.
This year, I have only made two trips so far. Both were in the very early stages of the spread of the coronavirus. My second trip – to Las Vegas for NADA Convention – it was the first time I wore a KN-95 mask on an airplane. In fact, it was the first time I already wore a KN-95 mask in my life.
The only reason I wore it was because I promised my wife that no matter what, I wouldn’t be exposed to the new virus. I did not know that wearing the mask for hours in a tight space was an almost impossible task.
I also didn’t learn before boarding that in the entire Boeing 737, there would only be two people wearing a mask on the plane – myself and the person sitting next to me. I also couldn’t say whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously, as a nation, we had no idea what lay ahead.
Now that we know more about the virus, its effects and how it goes from person to person, there are new rules to keep in mind for anyone traveling by plane. Here are some tips to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19 when traveling by plane this year.
When you pack your carry-on, you’ll need more than just headphones and light entertainment for the flight (even if you absolutely take your own headphones). You should also pack wipes, hand sanitizer, a few pairs of gloves and several masks for your trip. Whether you can, also bring a face shield.
Keep in mind that liquid requirements are still in effect, so you should not bring hand sanitizer in a container larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, and all of your liquids should fit in a bag of size of a liter.
Before boarding the plane, make sure that the masks you have selected are comfortable for you. You don’t want to try them for the first time when you’re in your place. Also, you will likely have to go through multiple masks while you are on the plane, so be sure to bring spare parts.
Pack all of your protective gear in a plastic bag labeled “new” and bring another plastic bag labeled “used”. You can use it to throw away any used wipes, gloves and masks that you go through during your trip so you don’t have to clumsily find ways to throw them on the plane.
Finally, you should take a look at your seat options when purchasing a ticket for your flight. If you are the type of person who is trying to save on airport fees by letting the airline choose a seat for you, it may be time to change that habit.
Instead, choose seats closer to the window when it’s possible. By avoiding aisle seats, you can avoid exposing yourself to flight attendants and passengers going up and down the aisle. In addition, always choose direct flights where possible. Stopovers will expose you to more passengers and more public spaces, increasing your risk of infection.
If you can afford it, it’s also a good idea to pay for priority boarding upgrade. The sooner you can get on the plane, the more time and space you will have to clean up your area. In addition, it often means that you can get off the plane faster when you land.
In the airport
There are a few things you can do during your stay at the airport to prepare for your flight. On the one hand, you have to make sure use the restroom before boarding the plane.
Remember to carefully wipe public surfaces with a disinfectant wipe before using the facilities, and always wash your hands carefully after visiting the bathroom. Wash for at least 20 seconds before drying.
Another good tip is to buy a drink at the airport before boarding the plane. This way you don’t need to have a drink from the flight attendant while you are in flight. Remember to use gloves when handling goods touched by someone else and wipe down everything you buy to avoid contamination.
Before you sit on the plane, it’s a good idea to wipe your area with a disinfectant wipe. Make sure you get the seat belts, trays, armrests and window if you are sitting next to it. You may need several wipes to clean everything. After wiping, throw your wipes in a plastic bag.
Avoid walking in flight as much as possible, as it brings you closer to your traveling companions who may not be following proper safety protocols. The less you come into contact with people, the less you are likely to contract the virus.
If you need activity, focus on easy exercises and stretches that you can do while sitting. It may also be a good idea to wear compression stockings if you are a long distance and worried about deep vein thrombosis.
Keep your mask while you are on the plane, including when you go to the bathroom. Remember to change your mask after using the toilet. If you take off your mask for eating or drinking during the flight, you should take the opportunity to change your mask again. If you have brought a face shield, it is a good idea to wear it in flight to minimize your risk of contact.
Traveling is going to be a different experience for many of us in the future. The coronavirus made us aware of what it means to share neighborhoods so close with a plane full of strangers. This does not necessarily mean that air travel is dead, but it just means that you need to take certain measures to protect yourself before boarding your next flight.
Information note: This message is a message sponsored by Carbrain and is part of our series of paid partnerships.