The Holiday season is typically the time of year we spend with our family. We enjoy a thanksgiving meal, open presents under a Christmas tree, or countdown the minutes until the new year.
With the coronavirus pandemic, plans have changed. It may have been months since we’ve been in the presence of extended family. Understandably, the holiday season might increase the urge to spend time with loved ones.
I think it's clear that the safest way to see your extended family and friends this holiday season is over Zoom. I'm also sure some people have already decided to travel and see their family and friends in person. If that describes you and you're looking for ways to do this safely, here are some tips:
• Check Destination Requirements
Before you pack a bag, check the requirements you will need to travel to and from your destination. Some places will require a negative COVID test to enter, or you might have to quarantine immediately after arriving from a restricted area. Get tested for COVID for peace of mind. Many states are now offering testing for free with options for convenient drive-up sites.
• Quarantine before Getting together
Before the big day, be sure to quarantine for two weeks. This way, you can be sure you will not spread Covid to any of your loved ones. If this is not possible, consider getting tested for COVID before you travel. At the very least, conduct daily temperature checks, and follow all recommended safety measures.
• Wear a mask
To minimize the spread of COVID, wherever you go and however you get there, wear a mask. Wearing the mask is especially important when you are indoors and gathering in groups. Be sure to have extras on hand. Rember, all major airlines REQUIRE masks during your flight.
• Stock up on Safety Essentials
Pack a sanitation kit, and keep it in your carry on. In your sanitation kit, you should have gloves, sanitizer wipes, hand sanitizer. Wipe down any shared space or touchpoint (door handles, airline trays, even your phone). Remember: TSA now allows hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in your carry on as well as jumbo containers of disinfecting wipes.
• Avoid Layovers when possible
More stops increase your risk of exposure. Opt for direct flights if possible. The less time in the airport, the better.
• Be selective of the airline Some airlines have stricter practices than others. Right now, only Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines are blocking the middle seat to maintain social distancing. Most major airlines have discontinued change fees. If you change your mind about traveling, you should be able to get credit for a future flight. The choice is ultimately yours. Stay home or Travel? Have a gathering or a teleconference? Whatever you decide, take precautions, be safe, and enjoy the Holidays the best you can.