Remember the days when travel seemed intuitive? Not these days, especially with the added hustle and bustle of holiday travel. This year, there are a lot of new factors to consider on how to keep you and your family safe while traveling during Covid-19. No matter the method – car, plane, or overnight hotel stay, I have compiled some tips to help you and your families stay safe this year.
Start by asking questions and setting the framework for what you and your family are comfortable with. There is no right or wrong answer, as every family is different. Is it better for your situation to stay home this holiday
season? If you do plan to visit relatives, what precautions will help you and your family stay safe during the visit? Talk about these expectations –including number of guests, social distancing logistics, mask wearing, food setup and more. These details may seem like a lot to gather in advance, but having a plan and setting boundaries will allow you to minimize stress and maximize a joyful experience if you choose to venture out. Only you know the best route for your family.
While many airlines, hotels, and travel facilities are taking additional precautions to keep customers safe, it is also each family’s responsibility to invest time beforehand researching the best practices within each industry and the safety measures to expect along the way.
I have seen fantastic procedures by American Airlines during my own travel experiences in recent months. When you board the plane, there are ‘We just cleaned your plane’ messages to help travelers feel assured and safe. They also use an incredible, new chemical called Z-71, which
protects against Covid-19 for seven days! It’s great to see this proactive approach to safe, sanitary travel from airlines, with routine cleaning and disinfection, as well as exceptional air filtration.
In addition, you will want to call ahead to any rental car facilities you may be using, or hotels you may be staying in. Ask about their measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Understand their policies toward social distancing, maximum capacities, dining and mask wearing. Gathering this knowledge in advance will keep travel smoother for everyone involved.
We know that mask wearing, hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing are essential practices to protect against Covid-19. There will be some creative thinking required to travel while keeping these steps in place. For car travel – plan out your stops ahead of time, minimizing potential exposures as much as possible. Can you pack snacks or meals in advance to reduce stops? Are there opportunities to eat outdoors rather than inside restaurants?
Bring along extra masks in case a few get lost along the way. Make sure you have enough FDA-approved hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes to clean hands and surfaces like phones, tablets and seatbelts along the way. I am known for wiping down my seat, seatbelt, tray
table and screen each time I hop on a plane – even before Covid-19! Be sure if you are boarding a plane, that your hand sanitizer fits within liquid limits.
We are all learning as we go, even eight months into this pandemic. Remember to give yourself extra time and extra grace if you and your family decide to do traveling this holiday season. There will be extra stops, starts and hurdles, but remembering that we are ‘all in this together’ will help keep perspective in the right place. I urge you to continue taking this virus and the necessary precautions very seriously, but also take time to enjoy this season of gratitude, love and reflection. We have overcome so much this year and I know brighter days are just around the corner!
Jill Frey, President & CEO
Cummins Facility Services, LLC