Everyone is probably wondering the same thing: should I be traveling right now? Summer is undoubtedly the season for travel—it is immediately associated with vacations, resorts, long days under the bristling sun with access to a pool. For us urban dwellers, summers are the best times for us to escape the city and go to areas with more open space and freedom. As we all know, 2020 is not like other years, and these wishful fantasies have grind to a halt.
We looked into the possibility of travel during COVID-19 and here is what we found:
Road travel & rental cars
For car travel, the greatest risk is being in the car with someone who is carrying the virus but is asymptomatic. A good tip is to get tested before deciding to do the trip, and to go to one place rather than several. Make sure that you are respecting social distancing rules and wearing your PPE whenever you are interacting with someone outside of your immediate travel group. If you’re renting a car, do research on the cleaning policies of the company and also bring your own cleaning equipment just to be safe.
Hotels vs. Airbnbs
No matter what type of lodging you choose, the main risk factors to consider lie in the likelihood of encountering other people, the number and length of such encounters, and whether the location and region are experiencing high rates of infection. There is no definitive rule as to which is safer, but with either choice, be wary of high-touch areas, make sure you are disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and try your best to limit your interactions with other people. While hotels are making sure they are doing their due diligence in cleaning, Airbnbs have less occupancy frequency, so they may pose a smaller risk.
Air travel is by far the larger gamble right now. If it is not urgent, it is best to avoid it and to work around it. Airports suffer from low ventilation, long lines, and high occupancy, and though airlines are working to do their best, it is still risky. If you have to fly, make sure you are wearing protective gear, not touching common surfaces, disinfecting your hands often, and keeping space between other people.
Travel right now is difficult, even though some states and countries have eased their restrictions. With new waves in certain parts of the country and quarantines being implemented from inter-state travel, it’s not worth the risk. We are still going through a pandemic and one should not be travelling unnecessarily.