If you’re planning to book a flight or rent a car to visit your loved ones at the end of the year, take note of these Christmas holiday travel tips to avoid any possible mishaps along the way.
First, before we get to the tips, here’s the million-dollar question you have probably asked yourself: Should you even be traveling over Christmas and New Years?
Last year, it was unanimous: Most health experts said no. This year may be different since more than half of Americans are vaccinated, and cases have been going down — of course, you still need to practice safety.
If you must travel for Christmas and New Years, take all the precautions and know the restrictions — as well as risks involved — to keep yourself and everyone around you safe, whether on a plane or at home with your family and friends. Be sure to social distance and wear masks in public places indoors and/or where it’s required, and definitely take a Covid-19 test before you leave.
If you do plan on traveling over Christmas and New Year, here are 4 mistakes you can make (and our recommendations to avoid them).
Traveling while you are sick or test positive for Covid-19
Last year, a Hawaii couple was charged by police and banned by United Airlines for flying while knowing they tested positive for Covid-19. It not only endangered passengers around them (and people at the airport), it defied all the rules travel companies are implementing to promote safety.
If you’re traveling during the Christmas holiday, common sense should be practiced (if you are Covid-19 positive, you can infect others) but also travelers must keep a sense of responsibility and morality.
If you are not feeling well, get a Covid-19 test. If you test positive, cancel your plans.
The longer we continue to travel during a pandemic, the longer it will take for the pandemic to end.
Also: get vaccinated. The science is there.
2. Flying when you could have easily rented a car
Flying has been known to increase your risk for getting Covid-19 or spread the virus (if you’re not vaccinated), according to health experts, but airports can be public hot spots for transmission. Masks are required at all U.S. airports, which helps, but you want to practice caution either way, especially since there are always some people who don’t like to oblige with rules.
Driving has been known to reduce risks.
If you can visit your family or friends via driving, car travel is a safe option right now. Whether you own a car or need to rent one, getting home for Christmas can be an adventure if you turn it into a fun road trip with great music and scenic drives.
Just remember, there are some things you don’t want to do on a road trip. Here’s our story on 10 things you should never do on a road trip.
3. If you do fly, choose your airline wisely
Not all airlines are created equal, so if you’re flying home for Christmas, be sure to choose an airline that’s taking the pandemic and your safety seriously. Delta has been praised as the safest airline to fly right now and even most of the pandemic.
If safety is a concern for you, see what kind of measures all airlines are taking before you choose one to fly with.
If you do plan on traveling over Christmas, definitely do research on your airline. The good news is that most U.S. carriers have flexible cancellation and no change-fee policies during Covid-19, so you can save your trip for later if you plan to cancel.
4. Don’t forget – you have to travel all over again on the return
If you think about traveling over Christmas, just remember: you will have to do it all over again for the return portion of your trip!
Traveling right now can be incredibly stressful, and your responsibility to keep those around you safe by wearing a mask and staying line with airline Covid-19 regulations.
Also, travel shaming is on the rise, as well as passenger shaming. Even if you’re a great traveler, you could be surrounded by people who are not.
Be sure to measure the pros and cons for flying now to visit family. If you can, you could possibly wait it out until the pandemic restrictions ease and it’s safer to get on a plane. If you do absolutely need to go home, do it safely.
If you plan on driving, remember to get plenty of rest for your drive back. Be prepared to stop for gas and food along the way, so you could be around people who you’re not sure have been vaccinated or not.
Be sure to plan safety first in all your travels.
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