Although the best way to stay safe during a pandemic is to stay home, life still occasionally demands travel. That's why we've put together these safe travel tips to make sure you get to your destination without putting yourself or others in danger.
Wearing Your Mask
Masks are the most effective way to protect against COVID-19. A good mask filters the air that you breathe, ensuring that you don't spread COVID-19 and that no one can spread COVID-19 to you.
You should always wear a mask when you're indoors and around other people. Step outside if you need fresh air. Never take your mask off while in a store or on a plane.
Remember to change your mask at least once a day. The best regimen is to change your mask whenever you pass between locations; you don't want to carry particles from one indoor environment to another. This is why disposable masks are incredibly effective, especially when you're trying to travel safely.
Disposable masks and cloth masks are both great choices for travel. Disposable masks are incredibly flexible and can be changed easily, which is important if you want to avoid spreading particles to other environments. However, well-made cloth masks have more filtration and are a better choice if you have to spend a long time in the same room with other people. Choose a thick mask with high filtration for long plane rides, corporate meetings, and other large gatherings. Just remember to change your mask at least once a day.
At Happy Living, we sell both disposable 3-ply and reusable cloth masks. Our 3-ply disposable masks are a classic shade of blue and offer more than 95% bacterial filtration efficiency. Meanwhile, our reusable cloth masks are made from 100% cotton and come with an optional PM 2.5 filter.
Hand Sanitizer or Gloves?
Many people are wearing gloves to protect against COVID. When used correctly, gloves can be an incredibly effective tool, but they shouldn't be used to replace hand sanitizer.
The goal of wearing gloves is to prevent particles from touching your skin. As anyone who has worked in food service knows, wearing gloves is all about touching the right things - and not touching the wrong things - until the situation is over.
Try putting gloves on as soon as you enter the airport and changing them once you get off the plane. Take the gloves off and wash your hands as soon as you get to the place where you're staying.
Of course, gloves aren't always effective or available. Out of all the safe travel tips, one of the most important to remember is that hand sanitizer can neutralize COVID particles. Use hand sanitizer immediately after touching any surface that may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You should also use hand sanitizer whenever you take off your gloves and don't have the ability to wash your hands.
If you're about to travel, remember to pack a bottle of hand sanitizer that fits within TSA guidelines. The CDC recommends using sanitizer with a minimum alcohol content of at least 60%. Happy Living offers sanitizers with strengths of 70%, 75%, and even 80%.
Avoiding Unnecessary Stops
While you're traveling, you should assume that you're already carrying trace amounts of the coronavirus. Even if you don't become infected, you could still get someone else sick by carrying particles from one surface to another.
This means that in order to keep the community safe, you should drastically limit the locations you visit and the interactions you have. Don't go into a convenience store on your way to the train station, and don't dine-in at a restaurant until after you have your negative test.
If you want to avoid unnecessary stops, you should pack everything you'll need in advance. Bring snacks, water, extra masks, a phone charger, and everything else that you might purchase at an airport gift shop. One less transaction means one less chance to either catch or spread COVID-19.
When to Take a COVID-19 Test
If you travel, you should always get tested for COVID-19. It's the only way to make sure that you're not spreading the disease to your friends, family, coworkers, and community.
Getting tested before you travel makes sure that you're not bringing the coronavirus out of your home town. Try to visit an outdoor testing site, and stay quarantined while you're waiting for your results.
Once you're off the plane, train, or bus, it's time to get tested again. Don't wait to get tested until after you've already attended that large corporate event. Try to schedule a buffer between your date of arrival and the actual meeting so that you have time to wait for results. If the event is the very next day, at least you'll be able to notify the other attendees if your test is suddenly positive.
Finally, remember to get tested when you get home. As tough as it may be, you shouldn't see your family until you have a negative result. Find a hotel where you can quarantine for a few days, and remember to stay in touch over social media.
In order to travel safely in the modern environment, you'll need access to disposable masks, disposable gloves, and portable hand sanitizer. You can buy these items individually, or you can purchase an Essential Travel Kit to make sure you have everything you need. Remember to change masks and gloves often to make sure you're not re-exposing yourself to the virus.