I know, we’re all itching to travel. Me, too. While where you live may be opening up, other places may not be open or may have special restrictions, getting there may pose its own challenges and staying there may be different in the "new norm". Here are a bunch of things to think about before you pack your bags!
Mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors is not uncommon. We’ve seen the news that Hawaii is actively enforcing its quarantine restrictions. I'm sure none of us wants to spend our hard earned vacation in quarantine as opposed to hanging out at the beach!
If you think it’s better to hit the road instead of flying, what will that look like? Will rest stops be open? If so, are public restrooms safe? Will restaurants be open for sit down or take out? What if I rent a car? How safe is that?
Do you need a medical certificate?
Thinking about traveling out of the country? What are the requirements for your destination country? For example, some countries may be open, but not to Americans. As a continent, Europe is opening up, it’s largely restricted to other European countries. Hey, Greece is open, but according to the U.S. State Department if you're an American, you may be subject to COVID-19 testing or quarantine. I've seen one article indicating that the Greek government requires a statement from a doctor showing that you have been tested and are negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in the country. Check the State Department website and the World Health Organization website for the most up to date information
Most airlines are requiring masks, but what else are they requiring? Will the airline take my temperature before I board? Will I need the airlines mobile app to scan my own boarding pass? Will the middle seat be empty? Some of the answers to these questions may depend on the airline and/or the airport, but it’s best to check your individual airline for up to date information.
And of course, what are the airlines refund and cancellation policies?
What about airport security?
Am I supposed to put my stuff those gross bins? How will I social distance in security? Will it be marked out? What about checking IDs? I have to separate my food now, too? Many of those answers are addressed on the TSA website under Latest News.
Other Public Transportation
If you're taking the train or the bus for travel, you may have some flexibility to travel during non peak times. Remember to wash your hands, wear a mask, you know the drill.
Apart from the airlines, what other places will require you to where a mask? You’ll probably need more than one if you’re heading out of town overnight.
What’s actually open?
Just because things are open where you live, doesn’t necessarily mean that everywhere is open. Check the tourism website of your destination.
Is your travel insurance up to date? Will it cover your trip should you have to cancel? Check your policy to find out. A pandemic may not be covered.
Like with the airlines, what are the cancellation and refund policies? What about cleaning/disinfecting procedures? Hey, are your accommodations even accepting reservations at the moment?
Were you planning on taking a tour?
What safety guidelines are organized tours adhering to? And like with airlines and accommodations, what are the refund/cancellation policies?
What about the crowds?
Bars, restaurants, museums, amusement parks may have strict capacity requirements. What about places without capacity requirements? What steps will you need to take to ensure you’re not exposed to or bring any illness back to your loved ones?
I’m sure I haven’t hit every point, but holy cow, planning a trip takes a lot more, well, planning than it used to. While all of this is just a list of things to think about more than anything else, my advice would be to use common sense and do your research before heading out. You can also check out the CDC website for additional information.
As of July 2020, Traveleidoscope will be moving to a once a month format. What’s that mean? Well, it means that you’ll still get great travel related info on the second Sunday of each month, so stay tuned! second Sunday of each month, so stay tuned!