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November 1, 2020

Traveling During a Pandemic: What You Need to Know Before You Go

By Laura Byrne

There’s no doubt that most of us have pondered traveling and if we should we venture out this holiday season. We’re asking ourselves, is it safe to plan a an out of town trip? Know that you’re not alone. Most of us are feeling the urge to get out and go somewhere. We’re also feeling the pits in our stomachs of the unknowns.

Related: Flying During a Pandemic: What to Expect if You Fly Out of TPA

But, here’s the real deal and something we all need to understand before we pack the bags: Traveling WILL increase your chances of getting sick or spreading COVID-19. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s reality.

However, many families are still cautiously choosing to travel. Their plans just look a little different. If this is you, there ARE steps the CDC says you can take to help minimize the risk.

*Learn more and stay up to date: cdc.gov

STEP ONE: Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Go

Before you even pack that suitcase, make sure NO ONE who is traveling with you is sick. Not even a little sniffle.

While this is obvious, it still needs to be said. Also consider whether COVID is spreading in the area where you will be visiting. If cases are sharply increasing, it’s best to change your plans.

Finally, if anyone in your traveling group is high risk or around those who are high risk, they should not travel.

STEP TWO: If You Decide to Go

Stay up to date on travel restrictions on the state and local level. As you know, things change fast. Check with the local health departments of the area where you will be visiting.

It’s possible you will have to quarantine when you arrive.


How and what you pack is going to change. Make sure you have enough medicine. Pack plenty of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and bring enough face coverings for everyone in your group to wear when out and about.

It’s also a good idea to pack enough water, food and even utensils to minimize stops along the way.

You may even want to pack your own cleaning supplies and disinfectant to clean the hotel room or rental property where you will be staying.

Also consider picking up food in drive-throughs or opt for curbside pick-up at restaurants and stores. Again, the goal is to minimize your exposure to others.

Read more articles related to COVID.

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