During the pandemic, I’ve travelled 2x: 1st SEA-TAC to NYC to visit my family at the very start of the crisis. Then a few months later after the peak but before the 2nd wave SEA-TAC to LA. I was able to get through both trips safely without contracting anything. Partly due to luck, but also definitely due to some precautions I was careful to take. Here are my top 5 tips.
- Choose airlines known for their customer care.
- aka NOT United Airlines or Spirit. I would recommend JetBlue or Delta if possible.
- Choose the days/times least likely to be crowded.
- aka NOT Saturday afternoon. Ideally during the week, in the early mornings
- Choose a mask that is comfortable and effective.
- aka DO NOT re-use the same mask you’ve been donning for the past week. If it’s a reusable mask, wash it throughly prior to the trip.
- Carry hand sanitizer and/or alcohol wipes for frequent use during the trip.
- aka NOT fake hand sanitizer (<60% alcohol). Find the real deal!
- Wipes are convenient so that you can wipe down surfaces (ie. seat belt, the seat desk etc) and your luggage handles.
- Avoid contact with the air, people and surfaces.
- Do not take off your mask for any reason. Not to eat, drink or have a lovely conversation.
- Do not talk to people without face masks on
- Avoid going to the bathroom or other high contact areas unless critical. Try to plan ahead to empty your bladder prior or use menstrual items that can last the duration of your trip.
- If you do use the bathroom for whatever reason, wash your hands thoroughly. Then use hand sanitizer afterwards. Keep your mask on. And do not take it off for any reason.
Of course, once you reach your destination, you should immediately remove all your travel clothes and throw it in the wash. Then dry on high heat, separate from other clothes ideally. Take a hot shower, and then self-quarantine or continue using a mask as you go about the house to avoid spreading anything you may have caught to others.
TL;DR: Take all the necessary precautions, and you will be okay!