Top 5 tips for safe Covid-19 travel
Spring has sprung, Summer is nearing Fall, and we're experiencing ups & downs with little improvement in the Winter travel forecast. But it's not all gloom and doom! I'm here to share silver linings and possibly a rainbow with perhaps a pot of gold at the end filled with lucky charms.
5 top science-backed travel tips to stay safe for you adventure-seekers ready, wiling and able to travel during this pandemic:
- Make a packing list to include cloth face masks; alcohol-based hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol); disinfectant wipes (>70% alcohol) for surfaces; thermometer.
- Hotels now provide thorough, enhanced cleaning in all areas, contactless payment, and other safety protocols. It's always best to request a room that has been vacant for at least 24 hours.
- Airports have fewer open screening lanes (meaning arrive earlier at the airport) and changes to the process, most significantly each traveler may have one container of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in a carry-on bag, to be removed for screening. Food items should be in a plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. Personal items (keys, wallets, phones) should be placed in carry-on bags instead of bins.
- Airplanes are cleaner than ever. In fact, because of how air circulates and is filtered on planes, most viruses don't spread easily on flights. Intensive cleaning such as electrostatic disinfectants during pre-boarding have become the norm. Crowded flights make social distancing more difficult, so wear your mask and maintain distance from fellow passengers. Some airlines are requiring masks during the entire flights with hefty penalties up to banning and also keeping the middle seats empty.
- Cars if air travel is not for you, plan to make as few car stops as possible. Pack cloth face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in an easily accessible spot. Prepare food, including non-perishable items, and water. When you need to get gas, use a disinfectant wipe (or paper towel at the pump in a pinch) on handles or buttons before you touch them.
Bon voyage & safe travels!
Road trips are "in". They were never really "out" (remember National Lampoon's Vacation?), but with the current Covid-19 pandemic, they're increasingly popular. Given we don't have to wear a mask in our own car if we're driving solo or with quarantine mates, we can stop as needed (though less frequent is advisable minimizing exposure to the Coronavirus), and best of all, those spectacularly scenic views!
It was for these travel advantages that I embarked on a road trip to North Carolina overnighting at Pilot Cove. Another major reason was to hike the Pisgah National Forest and Black Balsam Knob & Tennent Mountain in North Carolina. An easy (3-4 hours) drive from Atlanta, especially pleasing (and slightly longer) if you take the Blue Ridge Parkway route.
My Virtuoso active travel partner Backroads has just launched a new program called Dolce Tempo - what could be sweeter than slowing things down a bit while social distancing?
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it has been to take a step (or several) back, relax the busy body, quiet the racing mind, and relish everything from small to big around us. Truly be grateful for all things that we see, hear, smell, and taste as well as appreciate fully the people in our lives, be they family members, friends, or new acquaintances.
So let's get moving s-l-o-w-l-y... The Backroads Dolce Tempo program consists of 29 new trips that are easygoing by design. These active adventures, designed with a light touch, were created to provide options for travelers who may be new to active travel and looking for an alternative to large resort hotels, all-inclusive resorts and even cruises.