The world's "new normal" still seems very strange; there are numerous things we're still trying to get accustomed to in our daily lives. Now, more planning is required for practically any public activity. Therefore, traveling, especially out of the country, can be much more stressful than usual if you don't take some extra time to adequately prepare. The best plan for staying safe is to wait until the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped dramatically. However, if you must travel, take these tips to do so as safely as possible.
Maintain Your Overall Health
Now, more than ever, it's essential to take care of your overall health. Keep fit with aerobic and strength exercises several days a week. Maintain a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Consider adding some nutritional supplements, such as BCAAs to fuel your muscles during workouts, probiotics to have a healthier gut and zinc to boost your immune system.
Make sure that you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can negatively affect all the systems of your body, including your immune system. If you're experiencing insomnia, there are several techniques for getting more restful sleep.
Maintaining your mental health can also benefit your physical health and vice versa (i.e., the mind/body continuum). A global pandemic can be stressful, for sure, but do what you can to keep your anxiety at bay as much as possible. Try to participate in at least one activity you enjoy each day, if only for a few minutes. This is a challenging time for most people, so try to be easy on yourself.
Inquire About Your Destination's COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Several countries have closed their borders, so check to make sure your destination accepts visitors from the U.S. Also, make sure you know of all the restrictions they have. For example, some places require a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival.
Wear a Face Mask in Public
Whenever you're in public, you should wear a face-covering that covers your nose and mouth. Since viral particles are transmitted through the air from person to person, you need to avoid breathing in unfiltered air as much as possible. It is crucial to wear a mask in smaller public indoor areas or areas with more people, such as on public transportation or in waiting rooms. Always keep an extra face covering with you in case yours gets lost or damaged. Be careful when removing your mask to avoid touching the inside of the mask. Ideally, you'll wash or sanitize your hands before you remove any face covering. If it's a reusable mask, store it in a clean location until you're ready to wear it again. Wash it in hot water regularly to keep it clean.
Maintain an Appropriate Distance
Six feet is the minimum distance you should stay away from other people. The more physical space you can put between yourself and other people, the better. Unfortunately, there are some places where it's impossible to put the ideal enough distance between you and others (e.g., an airplane). In these cases, wear your mask and do your best.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Thoroughly wash your hands whenever you can. Soap up your hands, rub the soap all over your hands for 20 seconds, rinse and then dry on a clean cloth. If you're unable to wash your hands, especially after touching items in public, the next best option is spreading hand sanitizer all over your hands. Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times. There are several different hand sanitizer types (e.g., gel, foaming, spray), so choose what you prefer and use it regularly.
Pack Everything You'll Need
Some people throw everything in their luggage on the day they're heading out on their travels. During a pandemic, you need to plan much more than you would during ordinary times. Take an adequate amount of essential items such as masks, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, medicine and non-perishable food. Take enough of each item so you can avoid having to go to stores, if at all possible. Making a list of everything you need to pack a few days beforehand can be very helpful.
Do Extra Planning
You can avoid some obstacles by planning every aspect of your trip as much as possible. Some gas stations and restaurants may not be open due to the pandemic or operating on limited hours. Call ahead to any destination to make sure that they'll be available, and check into any requirements they may have for visitors. There's a good chance that some hotels have closed or are operating at reduced capacity. Make reservations ahead of time to ensure that you can get lodging and make plans for any COVID-19 restrictions they may enforce. Be careful about spending time in common areas in hotels, such as in the lobby or pool.
A global pandemic creates some challenges, to say the least. Ensure you stay as safe as possible by being well prepared for your travels before you leave.