The holidays are some of the busiest and most dangerous times for families to travel. From increased crime rates to catching a cold or the flu, there’s a lot to safeguard yourself against. This year, however, the coronavirus presents another problem. While you can’t control everything that could happen while traveling this holiday season, there are precautions you can take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your loved ones. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Leave High-Risk Family Members Home
It might be a tradition for grandma and grandpa to take that trip to the west coast to visit your extended family for the holidays, but it may not be safe. As senior citizens are high-risk during the coronavirus pandemic, they should stay home. Should an elderly loved one or someone with an existing medical condition contract the virus, they’re likely to suffer severely.
2. Choose Your Destination Wisely
Whether you have a set destination, you travel every year, or you like to mix things up by choosing a different location for your holiday travels, make your choice wisely. The coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging certain parts of the world. Visiting these destinations when travel is most prevalent can increase your chances of contracting the virus and spreading it to loved ones. Check official government and news websites to get the latest updates to ensure you’re not visiting a hard-hit destination.
3. Protect Yourself
The risk of contracting a virus this holiday season are higher than ever. While you can’t see a virus, you can protect yourself and your family by ensuring you wear the right gear. Pack plenty of cloth, surgical, or N95 face masks for everyone to wear while traveling and in public places. You should also bring along some hand sanitizer when accessing soap and water aren’t an option. Lastly, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others.
4. Steer Clear of Crowds
Steering clear of crowds during the holiday travel season may seem impossible, but it’s a necessary practice. Being in large groups makes it easier to have something stolen, lose a member of your family, and contract the coronavirus. You can reduce the likelihood of ending up in a crowd by booking early morning or late night flights, avoiding popular tourist attractions, and only visiting establishments that adhere to strict capacity regulations to slow the coronavirus spread.
5. Be Mindful of Valuables
Criminals know that travelers likely have gifts on hand during their journey. It’s also not uncommon for travelers to want to pull out their best clothes, shoes, and jewelry when attending holiday functions. These things, unfortunately, make you a target for theft. If you’re going to keep your family safe during the holidays, you must be mindful of your valuables. Gifts and expensive tech gadgets should be left in the hotel room or tucked deep inside your luggage. Keep jewelry to a minimum or mask it by wearing a coat, scarf, and gloves, so it’s not visible to outsiders.
6. Sign up for Travel Notifications
The best way to protect your family while traveling this holiday season is to be aware of dangers as they arise. Should an area you’re traveling to suddenly see a spike in coronavirus cases, break out in civil unrest, or have an extreme weather emergency, you want to know immediately. You can subscribe to government sites, news channels, and travel websites to get the latest information sent directly to your smartphone or mobile device.
It’s a shame that when you should be focused on togetherness, family, and the joy of the holiday season that you have to worry about things like crime and life-threatening illnesses. Unfortunately, this is the reality we live in. The best thing you can do is protect yourself and those you love by following each of the safety travel tips provided above. These simple steps can ease stress, safeguard your health, and allow you to enjoy this special time with those closest to you.