While it is impossible to completely eliminate the chance of getting sick while traveling, I have interviewed doctors, other industry experts and frequent travelers for advice on how to minimize risk on the road. Since the emergence of the coronavirus, I have traveled several times internationally and domestically and believe that following these precautions have helped to keep me—and others—safe and were practical steps we took for our most recent family trip in the U.S.
Test before departure. Many countries require and some states request proof of a negative PCR Covid test on arrival. We chose to test and isolate before traveling, even though no negative PCR tests were required to enter the states where we traveled over the holidays, because we didn’t want to risk traveling in a contagious state or falling sick far from home.
Airline Choice. Not all airlines are handling Covid precautions in the same way. I chose Delta to fly to Las Vegas because it is committed to operating flights with lower occupancy, with middle seats empty, and has extended this policy into March 2021. It requires that passengers wear masks without exhaust valves, ensures the boarding process is well-spaced and orderly, and the airline is committed to ensuring DeltaCare Standard safety protocols.
Avoid lines when you can. Even if you have Global Entry, you cannot be guaranteed to get TSA Pre-check when traveling domestically, but my family is signed up with Clear, to avoid long security lines and spend less time going through security. The only crowds we saw were at check-in, so avoiding checking a bag will allow for the least amount of time around other people at check-in and baggage claim.
Travel with protective gear. We wore KN95 masks at all times in the airport and on the plane, but also wore EagleEye goggle/face shields in the terminal, where it was crowded. While hand-sanitizer stations are widely available, I prefer traveling with antibacterial wipes that can disinfect hands as well as surfaces. With HEPA filters capturing 99 percent of airborne microbes and circulating the cabin air every few minutes, flights have been shown to be less dangerous than originally perceived, but keeping the overhead vent open also helps to create a clean buffer area.
Boost your immunity. I have long traveled with immunity boosters such as Airborne, Vitamin C, D, Zinc and oregano oil. I also use Zicam nasal swabs to coat my nostrils and put Tiger Balm under my nose and behind my ears, both of which some believe may act as barriers to virus or bacterial infections.
Stay at hotels that have adopted safety protocols. We booked at hotels where staff wore masks at all times and sanitized rooms and in some cases, required 24 hours between guests check-out and check-in. We booked free-standing accommodations with contactless check-in so we never had to be in a lobby or hallway with other guests. We could also eat outdoors or in the dining areas of our rooms.
Have a medical plan. These days I travel with a mini pharmacy and my virtual doctors on my app, but I also have a family subscription to Medjet, which will provide medical evacuation within the U.S. in the case of Covid hospitalization.
Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer for more information on coronavirus travel safety, including the destinations that are open to travel, new COVID-19 hotel policies, the safest routes or transportation options available, future trip-planning advice, inspiration and ideas.