Tips for Safe Travel During The Holidays

Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, it’s tempting to see things as finally winding down. But the truth is, there’s no knowing what a global crisis could bring next, or when. While it’s great to hope it’s over, it’s still important to remain cautious and wise – especially when traveling.

airport, lounges, travelers, vacationers, trip, flights, holiday season, (Airport Travel Photo by riciardus from Pexels)

Many travel options have reopened recently, both at home and abroad. On November 1st 2021, the U.S. reopened travel permissions to a lengthy list of international locations, including popular tourist destinations like Mexico and Europe.

While borders are opening and travel restrictions are easing, though, it behooves anyone traveling for the holidays – domestically or internationally – to stay safe. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying to a resort, driving to see family, or anything in between, here are a few suggestions for ways to stay safe as you travel from place to the next this holiday season.

Follow Pandemic Protocols

Just because it feels like the pandemic is slowing down, doesn’t mean pandemic protocols have gone away. Even if requirements and mandates are eased, remember it’s regular flu season too. There are smart ways to do things, so your safe travel plans could include getting vaccines / boosters, wearing a mask, or social distancing where possible. Consider what protocols you should prioritize as you move from point A to point B.

Rather than letting these restrictions dampen your fun, look for ways to steer into them. For instance, you can look for socially distanced sports that you can do as a family or while you’re on vacation.

By finding ways to incorporate social distancing into your activities, you can keep things fun while also being safe.

Don’t Forget Mental Health

It’s easy to become so wrapped up in physical safety that you forget to watch your mental health. However, if you’re going to add the stress of traveling to your activities this holiday season, you should also give some attention to your stress and anxiety levels, as well.

This starts with maintaining a calm, cool, and collected mindset toward traveling during a pandemic. If you let the stress get to you, it will only make things worse. Go into your activities with a plan in place and stay confident.

In addition, watch out for mental strain from excessive interactions with loved ones. it’s important to maintain healthy personal space – for both you and your family or friends – when visiting for the holidays. 

You can do this by setting and communicating boundaries. You can also make sure to create some distance by making personal plans at times during your visit to give everyone a chance to breathe. 

Review Basic Travel Safety

Along with your physical and mental health, remember to take all necessary precautions for your actual traveling activity. When it comes to something like air travel, pack light, give yourself plenty of time, and make sure to follow all airport protocols.

If you’re heading out on the road, take ground-based precautions. Put an emergency safety kit in the car with things like jumper cables and flashlights. Include a first aid kit, a blanket, water, and some packaged healthy snacks just in case. Roads can be icy or snow-covered in many regions during the holiday season, so make sure you have appropriate tires on your vehicle. As well, ensure sure you have clear directions to get to your destination.

Stay Connected

We live in a digital age. Make sure to take advantage of technology to enhance your travels

This starts with communication. If you’re heading out on a flight, let your loved ones know if your plane will be on time and when they can expect you to land. If you’re leaving home in your car, call your destination and let them know when you’ll be arriving.

In addition, use things like a GPS to make directions smooth and easy. Take the time to hook things up to your car beforehand so that you can use voice commands to stay safe while you’re behind the wheel, too.

Extra-Curricular Concerns

Finally, make sure to consider any smaller, extra-curricular concerns that can impact the safety of your travel. This includes a wide variety of items, such as:

  • Time off: Safeguard your job by providing ample lead time for any time off you may need to take. Factor in a buffer for compliance to health regulations at your destination, and upon return home; and if traveling by air, the increased risk of last-minute flight changes.
  • Pets: If you have an animal, have pet-sitters lined up – or if you’re traveling with them, double-check that your pet insurance is customized for travel and your policy is current ,just in case anything goes wrong.
  • House: If you’re leaving home for a bit, have a house-sitter lined up, or at least a solid safety system.

There are many safety factors that can impact a holiday trip. Do your due diligence beforehand so that you aren’t left fretting or scrambling at the last minute.

Traveling Safely This Holiday  Season

The holidays are upon us for a second time during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After last year’s unorthodox at-home festivities, it’s understandable if you’re planning on traveling now.

However, remember that safety – for yourself and others you come into contact with – should still be a priority. From pandemic protocols to mental health, road safety to connectivity, plan out how you can make your holiday adventures as safe as possible this year. 

Frankie Wallace

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. With an English degree from the University of Montana, Frankie writes about a variety of topics around health and lifestyle. In her spare time, she can be found gardening or cuddling with her cat Casper.

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