Tips for Traveling in the U.S. During 2020

It’s Summer! We’re all sick of being stuck in our homes from the Covid-19 shut down. But our vacation options have dwindled down due to this pandemic issue. While you can still travel to some countries outside of the United States, it can end up being a real hassle.

My just cousin flew back home to Japan after staying in Texas for the past year. But she was only allowed to land in Tokyo, so her dad had to drive 9 hours to go get her from the airport.

Situations like that are why many American families are opting to play it safe and travel inside the US.

I just got back from flying to Los Angeles. Except I didn’t fly home…I drove half way across the country back to Texas.

So I got to experience all the flying and driving inconveniences during the pandemic while many places were still on “lock down”. And I learned some things along the way that you need to know if you’re planning on traveling by air or a road trip.

First and foremost, the main thing about traveling during this pandemic is that it makes a lot of things very inconvenient.

If you’re hesitant to travel this Summer, hopefully these tips will help reassure you that you can have a great trip while minimizing risk.

GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Double check to make sure any scheduled activities and reservations are still available. Just because something was “open” whenever you made plans for your trip doesn’t mean it will be by the time your travel date comes around.
  • Check your state’s current travel advisories and check your destination state’s current travel advisories. You won’t want to get stuck out of state because of a quarantine requirement.
  • Know the local mask ordinances and be prepared.

TIPS FOR FLYING:

  • Bring a mask and be prepared to wear it inside the terminal, along with the entire flight
  • Bring hand sanitizer in your carry on and enough sanitizer in your checked luggage to last during your entire trip out of town. While we may know exactly which stores in our local town have hand sanitizer, it’s tough trying to find some in a location you’re not familiar with.
  • Find out ahead of time if the location you’re flying to has any travel restrictions. Travel restrictions could change, so keep on top of it. You don’t want to get stuck out of town having to quarantine.
  • Boarding is a little bit slower because everyone is expected to practice physical distancing.
  • Restaurants inside the terminal may not all be open, or they may have limited hours or seating options. This means you may not get to have your first choice of where to eat. As more travelers embark on their journeys into the skies, more restaurants will open over time. The problem is that everything during a pandemic is slower and really inconvenient.
  • You probably already do this anyway, but if you have access to a private lounge provided by your airline, go there to wait for your plane to board.

TIPS FOR ROAD TRIPPING:

  • Organize a “sanitation station” inside your vehicle for items such as wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and a baggy for each individual face mask. Keep it in a handy spot.
  • Hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer. Bring plenty of it with you. If you run out, you’ll be searching for it inside random stores a town you’re not familiar with. Just avoid the hassle and bring enough for your whole trip.
  • Bring masks even if you’re not used to wearing one in your hometown. Some cities or states have mask requirements, as do some businesses and stores.
  • If you’re uncomfortable eating in a restaurant, go ahead and bring your own snacks, food and drinks. Maybe bring a blanket and have a picnic.
  • If you’re renting a vehicle, wipe down all the touch points inside the car: steering wheel, gear shift, dashboard, buttons, etc.
  • In case you don’t have gloves, you can carry some sandwich baggies with you for pumping gas.
  • Know where urgent care locations or hospitals are located in the destination you’re visiting. Of course you don’t plan on anyone becoming ill, but you’ll want to know a little bit about the hospital options just in case.
  • Finding a pit stop at a gas station for a restroom shouldn’t be much of a problem unless a certain location is in total lockdown.
  • Staying on the first floor of a hotel will help you avoid having to share the elevator, AND AIR, with strangers.
  • Know the hours of operation for local restaurants and businesses. Some of them may still be operating under limited hours, so don’t trust the hours listed on their website. Websites don’t always get updated in real time.

Hope you have a safe trip and stay well this summer!

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