While it is not recommended to travel this year to visit family and friends over the holidays, there are ways we can leave the home safely to see loved ones. It may feel stressful to think about traveling, getting last-minute gifts, and making sure you have everything you need, but we have a few ideas to help you stay safe and healthy wherever you are going.
Traveling by car
Many people have opted to travel by car this year to visit family members. It is one of the safest ways to go from one place to the other as you are not being exposed to other people in the vehicle. Driving between one and five hours can be done in a single day without needing to stop somewhere overnight, so this is a great option for visiting people within a shorter distance. If the drive is more than five hours, it is best to stop overnight as you risk being fatigued, and accident rates go up the more tired you are.
A few key things to remember no matter how far you are driving:
- Have your car inspected or serviced before the drive
- Prepare your home before you leave so make sure it is secure and monitored
- Plan to leave very early in case of accidents along the way
- Make frequent stops to move your body and hydrate to stay alert
- Tell someone about your itinerary and when they should be expecting you
- Put valuables in the trunk or a covered storage area
If you are staying somewhere overnight, make sure that the accommodations promote healthy sanitation practices. It is also important to be aware of the surfaces you touch and making sure not to touch your face. The less time you spend at a hotel, the better as it can be risky to use the amenities.
Traveling by plane
Airplane travel is not recommended, especially for older adults. There are plenty of people who are traveling anyway and need to do so in order to see family members. We don’t encourage air travel while the COVID-19 pandemic is still a factor, but if you do plan to do it anyway, make sure you are extremely careful.
- Wash your hands frequently and bring antibacterial wipes for when you are not near a sink with soap
- Wear a KN95 mask as well as a shield for your eyes to make sure particles do not get in your eyes and you are not tempted to touch any part of your face
- Make sure to wipe down your seat and any areas that you may touch before you sit down
- Try to eat before or after you travel so you do not need to take your mask off
- When you get to your destination, change your clothes and wipe down your luggage to make sure you do not bring any germs with you
This holiday is looking very different than previous ones, but that does not mean you need to be afraid of seeing others. As long as you stay safe, socially distance, and sanitize frequently, you should be able to enjoy yourself.