As we continue to maneuver through the coronavirus pandemic, there are steps we should all be taking to ensure travel safety for everyone.
Is it Safe to Travel?
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that just 25 million tourists traveled internationally in 1950. 68 years later that number is now 1.4 billion. Obviously, that’s a lot more travel. And a lot more germs on planes and in airports.
In 2017 findings from CDC reports, an estimated 4.8 million US residents alone, traveled overseas for business. The ease and affordability of traveling around the world means more and more people have the ability to go wherever they want.
Because of so many concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, many people are asking these questions: What about travel safety? Is it safe to fly? Is it safe to travel internationally? The answer is: we’re not the experts. But there are a ton of resources available to make an educated decision for yourself.
The most practical first step is to avoid traveling if you’re feeling sick. It’s not worth it.
Press the green “Animate Spread” button on the interactive map below and watch how the virus has spread around the world. This is not an attempt to spread panic. It’s to show how quickly it spreads. The travel safety of those around you should also be taken into consideration before you decide to head out.
How to Avoid Getting Sick While Flying
Again, the first and foremost rule is if you’re sick…just don’t travel – you’ll most likely spread whatever you have. The normal flu can be contagious 1-7 days after you’re infected. Common cold… up to 10 days.
Stay hydrated. Drinking water doesn’t create immunity to coronavirus, but healthy hydration levels can help your nose by maintaining the mucous membrane and decreasing irritation when coughing, sneezing and even just breathing. When your nose gets dry you are much more susceptible to viruses.
Stop touching your face. You’re never truly aware of how much you touch your face until you’re told you could spread a pandemic by touching your face. Wow, is it difficult. It’s a habit many of us will have to work on to break. But try. It’s the easiest way to spread germs to yourself.
Carry your own hand sanitizer. I know, I know. The stores are out and other people are trying to sell it to you on Amazon for $100 a bottle. And where the ridiculous toilet paper shortage can easily be solved by using extra clothing or towels lying around your house, the hand sanitizer may seem a bit more problematic. Before the coronavirus outbreak was even a thing, I had started carrying these PURELL individually wrapped, Sanitizing Hand Wipes with me on flights. I would provide a link, but good luck finding any, anywhere these days.
I used these to wipe my tray table (have you watched people sneeze into their tray tables while laying their heads on them??? ugh), armrests, pockets on the back of the seat in front of me, and seat belt. Recently, I’ve upgraded to multi-packs – to both cover more real estate, and to share with my neighbors (you’re welcome).
Where Has all the Hand Sanitizer Gone?
If you can’t find liquid hand sanitizer there’s some recipes out there that you can make at home. You’ll need at least 180 proof Vodka (hello, Everclear), and some pure Aloe Vera Gel, as well as some optional essential oils.
Try not to touch doors, table tops, railings and handles with your bare hands. Wear gloves if you have to be in contact with any of these items consistently. Use automatic doors, when possible, and push doors open with your sleeve.
The last precaution is to wipe your phone down as often as possible. You know where your phone has been. And every time you touch something and then touch your phone without washing your hands in between, you’ve just spread those germs to your phone. Give it a kind cleaning every time you wash your hands!
Safe travels, everyone! And just remember, if you have to cancel a trip or vacation you can still get outside and enjoy all that mother nature has to offer. There may be an incredible local hike in your area that you’ve just never gotten around to experiencing.