Dos and Don’ts on Post-Pandemic Travel – What to Do When You Arrive at a New Destination
Once Gary Belis received his COVID-19 vaccine this winter, he immediately planned several trips.
“I counted 14 days after my second scheduled jab and booked a JetBlue flight to Charleston, where I stayed with a fully vaccinated friend for the week,” said Belis, 69, a public relations executive at retirement living in New York. “A week later I took an Amtrak to Boston and spent Easter with my family. Next week I’m going on a two week vacation to Arizona.
While Belis, who is careful with hand washing and masks, has found a way to travel again, many of us wonder how to do it safely and where to stay once we arrive in an exciting new destination. Here is some help.
Follow CDC guidelines
Cheers increased when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people can resume their domestic travel. They don’t need to be tested before or after travel or quarantined when they arrive at their destination.
What else do you want to know: You should follow the two week rule: “You shouldn’t travel until at least two weeks after your second Moderna or Pfizer vaccine,” says Alan Taege, MD, an infectious disease physician at the Cleveland Clinic. This same two week rule should be followed for the Johnson & Johnson single injection vaccine.
Since not everyone in the country is vaccinated, travelers should continue to follow CDC guidelines that have been in place since the start of the pandemic, Taege says. “This includes wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowds even if you are fully immunized.”
Related: Debunking The 10 Biggest Myths About COVID Vaccines
How to rent a car safely
Even though we now know there is a low risk of catching COVID-19 from surfaces, tap into your interior germophobe and wipe every high-contact surface with antibacterial wipes as soon as you get into a rental car. . “Plus, for the first few minutes you’re in the car, keep the windows open and circulate the air the same way you would in a taxi,” he explains. Molly fergus, travel expert and Managing Director of TripSavvy, a travel news site.
What else do you want to know: Rental car prices are expected to be steep in the coming months as more Americans plan to travel to another part of the country and then hit the road from there, Fergus said. With cars in high demand, she recommends “booking online and prepaying to make sure the rental company doesn’t give your vehicle away while you wait.”
How to have a stress-free flight
Expect contactless ticketing and improved cleaning protocols to remain a priority on every flight. On board, ease your worries by wiping your armrests and trays with antibacterial wipes, use hand sanitizer, and prepare to wear a comfortable face cover for the duration of the flight, says Konrad Waliszewski, CEO and co-founder of TripScout, a trip planning app. The good news? Airlines should continue with the current (relaxed) cancellation and rebooking policies.
What else do you want to know: “Consider flying during the week when it is less crowded, especially if you are traveling with children or someone who has not yet been vaccinated,” says Waliszewski. “Book non-stop flights to limit travel at airports and, if you can, avoid the crowds by flying to a smaller regional airport instead of a busy metro airport – for example, fly to Portland, Maine, instead of Boston. “
Related: Here’s A Complete List Of Countries Open To American Tourists
How to sleep away from home, worry-free
When booking a hotel room, Airbnb, or Vrbo rental, make sure the accommodation adheres to strict social distancing and cleaning protocols. “What you will continue to see is that hotels are focusing on upgrading technology, like smartphone apps for contactless check-in,” Fergus said. “It’s a victory for customers and hotels.
What else do you want to know: Expect Airbnb and Vrbo rentals to be in high demand, so plan ahead. If you are staying at a hotel, ask questions before you arrive. “If you are concerned about the presence of lingering germs, ask to stay in a room that has not been occupied for 72 hours,” says Fergus. “If you’re nervous about elevators or lobbies, ask for a ground floor room or search for a motel where you park and walk straight into your room.”
How to enjoy the great outdoors
While crowded festivals, water parks, and events like state fairs should always be avoided, this is a great time to plan an outdoor adventure. And there is nowhere more attractive than the more than 400 national parks across the country.
What else do you want to know: Before you go, remember that masks are mandatory for all visitors and always check park conditions and weather on nps.gov first. If you’re worried about crowds, consider visiting a lesser-known park that may attract fewer visitors and provide more room to roam. Visit the Find Your Park site to locate a destination that matches your location and interests.
Is it safe to go to a family reunion or a wedding?
Many of us look forward to multigenerational family reunions, whether it’s a reunion or a wedding. Even though the event is held outdoors, “large gatherings are not recommended,” says Taege. If you go, make sure social distancing precautions are followed, especially during meals. And wear a mask, even on the dance floor.
Then, these are the 50 best road trips not to be missed in the United States.