The holidays are almost here! Are you curious about how to stay healthy while traveling? While many people have changed their travel plans due to COVID-19, there are still those who plan to hit the road (and skies) this winter. If you have a trip on the horizon, here are five tips to help you and your family stay healthy while on vacation.
Can travel increase your risk for COVID-19?
According to the CDC, travel can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Your chance of getting the virus while traveling also depends on if you and those around you take simple precautions to stay safe.
Airports, rest stops and train stations are just a few places travelers can be exposed to COVID-19. These are also places where it can often be hard to keep your distance from others. Typically, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
Experts recommend that before traveling, you should research COVID-19 related news at the destination you are going to. Keep in mind that the more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to contract the virus during travel and risk spreading it to others when you return.
Additionally, some local governments have requirements for travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine. Check local public health websites for information before booking your trip. If you are traveling internationally, visit the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, for detailed information about entry requirements or recommended travel vaccines.
Healthy travel tips
If you plan to travel this holiday season, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Social distance. Avoid close contact by staying at least six feet from anyone who is not from your household. You should also avoid large social gatherings like a funeral, wedding, sporting event or party where you cannot social distance.
- Wear a mask. Keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings or around people who don’t live in your household when it may be difficult to stay six feet apart. Select a mask with two or more layers and fits snugly against the sides of your face.
- Wash your hands often. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, handling your mask, blowing your nose or preparing food. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Additionally, you can use disinfecting wipes on high-touch surfaces, such as the gas pump, airplane seats and more.
- Avoid touching your face. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Touching your face with dirty hands allows the germs that cause respiratory infections to enter the body.
Avoid contact with anyone who is sick. This will limit the risk of spreading the illness to other healthy people.
Should you delay your travel?
During the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have wondered if they should delay their travel plans. People who are sick or have recently been exposed to a person with COVID-19 may pose a risk to others during travel. You should not travel if you or your travel companions:
- Are sick
- Have been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
- Have suspected or diagnosed COVID-19
- Live with someone who might be at increased risk for COVID-19
Trip cancellation insurance may be helpful if you need to make a last-minute cancellation or change your itinerary without losing money on pre-paid hotels or plane tickets.
If you have questions about how to stay healthy while traveling, find a nearby Valleywise Community Health Center or call 1 (833) VLLYWSE to schedule an appointment.