Summer is fast approaching. After more than a year in quarantine, many of us are eager to escape. Fortunately, many countries are opening previously closed borders and preparing to receive tourists.
While summer vacation may not feel as carefree as it normally does, it can still be enjoyed with safety guidelines in mind.
If you plan to get away in the next few months, the following tips will help you prepare for a healthy, happy, and enjoyable summer.
1. Consider upgrading your flight
If your budget allows, upgrading to business or first class could mean less exposure to others. That extra space could reduce your risk of getting or transmitting SARS-CoV-2.
“If you can afford a first-class seat, go for it. Not only does he have more space during the flight, he can also get off the plane earlier, reducing exposure to others, ”says Steve Swasey, vice president of communications for Healthline.
If that’s not an option, flying economy can be done safely if you stick to the guidelines and follow these tips:
- Wear one or two masks and change your mask (s) every hour.
- Keep your air vent open to help with air circulation.
- Use hand sanitizer after receiving any items from the flight attendant and when using it and returning from the bathroom.
2. Don’t put that sanitizer away yet
Even after your flight, you’ll want to have your hand sanitizer close by.
Taking an airport shuttle, hitting the elevator button at the hotel, or grabbing the handrail at an attraction can increase your risk of exposure.
It is not a given that sanitizer is available wherever you go, so keep it on hand and use it frequently.
Make sure the disinfectant you choose is effective and meets safety standards. The trusted source from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all hand sanitizers contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
Whether you’re vaccinated or not, having a small bottle of hand sanitizer nearby could make the difference between stopping the spread of the virus and transmitting it.
3. Consider private accommodation
If hotels, hostels, or resorts are typically your preferred lodging, now might be the time to consider something different.
Reserving an entire house, cabin, or separate apartment is a safer option for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
There are extensive private accommodation options listed on travel sites such as Airbnb, Vrbo, and FlipKey.
4. Get outside
You can always go for the outdoors too.
Of those surveyed, 28 percent said they would like to go camping this summer. With enclosed spaces posing a greater threat to health, there has never been a better time to explore the great outdoors.
5. Rent a car
Crowded coaches, congested trains, and fully booked flights leave little room for physical distancing. They can even trigger some anxiety after a year of limited contact with others.
If it’s an option, consider renting a car. If you are using public transportation, check local guidelines in advance to see how each service ensures physical distancing.
“Whether you are staying in a conventional hotel or traveling on the airport shuttle, make sure you follow all the best practices to stay safe and protect others, including mask duplication and vaccination as soon as possible,” he says Lieberman.
6. Avoid big crowds when you can
Maintaining physical detachment is key to protecting yourself and others.
Fifty percent of prospective travelers surveyed said they believe physical distancing rules are important.
Organizing tourist activities outside of peak hours is one way to avoid the crowds. Outdoor excursions are also less risky, so consider taking trips to places like beaches and national parks.
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7. Purchase travel insurance
Travel insurance is essential for the holidays, but it is especially important this year. It’s often available through your airline when you book your flight, or you can compare travel insurance options online.
Cancellation policies for any reason are often more expensive, but they can give you peace of mind during this uncertain time. Currently, many airlines offer flexible tickets for an additional fee.
“For some travelers, spending more on their first summer vacation since the onset of the coronavirus crisis may also be to ensure additional peace of mind,” says Lieberman.
If available, opt for a flexible ticket that you can rebook if you need.
- Be prepared with all your safety supplies on hand.
- Bring a folder with your medical documents, PCR test results, and proof of vaccination.
- Download a contact tracing app for the country you are traveling to.