Ever since the weather started to warm up, all I can think about is traveling and finally leaving this little bubble of suburban Pennsylvania I’ve been stuck in since March 2020. Many of us are now vaccinated against COVID-19, communities are developing immunity and certain regions are seeing a decrease in cases. However, we must still do our part to keep ourselves and others safe. I’ve compiled a quick list of tips and tricks to ensure that you are able to satisfy your wanderlust while following COVID-19 guidelines.
The CDC continues to push for diligent mask-wearing and staying six feet apart in social settings which is always important to keep in mind, whether you’re traveling or just meeting up with friends outside of your home. Double masking is also advised, specifically when you know you are going to enter a crowded area or take public transportation. Many people found it most comfortable to wear a surgical mask under a cloth mask for extra protection. As always washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap is vital, and avoid touching railings, buttons, and other surfaces if possible. By now most of these guidelines have become second nature to us after living life during a pandemic for over year, but a reminder never hurts!
One of the biggest tips I can pass to all of you would be to travel on slower days! Try to plan your travel for weekdays to limit the crowd you would otherwise encounter on weekend trips. Obviously, this is not always possible, but while classes are still remote, this may be the best time to plan a trip for a random Tuesday in the middle of the term.
I’ve always done this, but I have found it helpful to pack my own food and drinks when I’m away to save time and money. Now, it’s become even more helpful so I don’t have to worry about waiting in line with dozens of other people or entering a busy restaurant or store. Remember to always carry hand sanitizer and wipes to clean off tray tables, seats, hand rests and other surfaces you know have been used by people before you. While these areas are usually cleaned and maintained by staff, it’s okay to be extra cautious in these scenarios.
As the world slowly opens up with the positive data reported from vaccines, it’s our job to continue following the guidelines outlined for us and take the extra precautions. Hopefully you keep these suggestions and tips in mind when planning your upcoming trip!