Complete Guide to Safe, Holiday Travel in a Pandemic
Lexi Cook | 2 min read
It is hard to believe that it is already November and the holiday season is approaching quickly. If you have a big family you probably travel to go see them, wherever that may be. However this holiday season, the world is working to stay in touch with family while also adjusting to the new normal that is COVID-19. Some of you may opt out of travel this holiday season due to COVID-19 and stick to Zoom calls, FaceTime and many other virtual get togethers, but if you are considering traveling, here are some things to keep in mind while you’re making your holiday travel itinerary.
Ticket prices to flights are currently down 41% compared to what they were last year at this time. The number of holiday travelers is also half of what it was. This information is enticing a considerable amount of people to get out and finally share some quality time with their loved ones. Though prices are cheaper and less people are traveling, one cardinal rule remains the same: book early and book now. Although COVID is still among us, people are tired of being home and want to go out and travel so don’t regard the falling number of travelers to mean that there will only be a handful of people in the airport! Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, and Southwest Airlines do not book their middle seat on their planes. This takes down the amount of people able to travel on the plane. Southwest will be lifting their middle seat ban by Dec.1st and Delta Airlines will be as well on January 5th. Book early to secure the best pricing and a seat on the plane!
Mask Regulations on Flights
Another important thing to remember when traveling this holiday season is to bring plenty of masks with you, whether disposable or cloth. Read up on airline mask policies because they might differ depending on who you fly with. Most airlines will not let you wear a mask with a valve on it or just a face shield. Your mask should either be a disposable one or one that is reusable and made from a cloth-like material. There have been many incidents where customers have been denied boarding for not wearing proper “airline approved masks”. Some airlines might provide a regulated mask for you, but don’t take the chance and be prepared before you step on the plane!
Researching Your Destination
A big thing that is new this year due to COVID-19 is researching your destination as well as the protocols for your own state before you make plans. Depending on where you want to travel, you may be subjected to taking a COVID test and a mandatory quarantine period. Places such as Hawaii and Jamaica require you get tested and proof of your testing before you go. When you come back depending on where you live might also require you to self quarantine.
If you’re not travelling to visit family for the holidays but instead are going for leisure and some time off, you need to take into consideration the restrictions and the activities that are available to you. For example, in PA there are still heavy regulations in place such as dining capacity limits and early closing hours of stores. However, in places such as Arizona, the regulations are more lax. The state parks remain open, there are no capacity limits set in place, and visitors in some places can even go to the bars. In places like Las Vegas, Nevada minimal locations and hotels remain open, and the mask requirements are extremely strict.
No matter your plans for the rest of the year, make sure you think ahead, book smart, and be safe and conscious wherever the holiday season takes you!
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