Like so much of our lives, travel has been severely impacted by COVID-19. For many months, it was simply impossible to travel as global communities instituted lockdowns and closed borders to keep their citizens safe. As we learn to live with the pandemic, and as travel slowly resumes in some places, it can be helpful to have a travel toolkit for the COVID-19 era. Ensuring that we keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy is the top priority, and a proper travel toolkit helps to achieve that goal. Respecting science and the advice of medical professionals should be at the forefront of our minds as we make plans to resume travel.
Many of the tools at our disposal as we begin to travel again are common sense actions that we should be taking during a pandemic: wearing a mask, washing our hands often (either with soap and water or hand sanitizer), practicing social distancing, and staying six feet away from others, and sanitizing areas that are often touched. These are proven ways of staying safer in the COVID-19 era, and it is possible to implement them during travel by plane, train, or bus. We can take precautions to keep everyone safe.
If traveling by plane, we need to take masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes with us, and we need to diligently use all those things. We should try to fly on airlines that keep the middle seats empty for distancing. Aiming the air nozzle vent at our faces during the flight may help keep viruses away from our faces. Avoiding using the bathroom on the airplane, as it is not necessarily sanitized between uses, is another key way of maintaining safety.
Train and bus travel must also be approached with care. Sanitize all surfaces that you might encounter: seats, handrails, overhead bins, windows, etc. Use your bag as a buffer in the seat next to you, so that a stranger does not occupy it. Wash your hands often and thoroughly, especially after touching a common surface. Try to use touchless payment options when possible to purchase tickets or snacks. Wear your mask continuously during your journey. By being prepared and attentive to our actions, it is possible to travel safely during a pandemic.