Traveling For the Holidays During A Pandemic
Traveling for the holidays has always had unique issues, but this year, with the virus affecting us to an even greater degree than it did in the spring, everyone must make a risk management decision. Although we have been advised to stay at home not to risk the spread of COVID-19, many of us will be traveling to see family. Many college campuses are closing after Thanksgiving, which will necessitate students traveling home to their families. All of this raises serious concerns.
If you are considering flying, masks are imperative. You will not be permitted on a plane without one, but you must also wear a mask while in the airports. Be sure to bring extras. Bring some alcohol wipes with you, and wipe down anything you are going to touch. The TSA is asking that passengers put personal items, such as cell phones, wallets, and keys in their carry on bag, rather than in the plastic bins, and that passengers maintain a distance of 6 feet part when going through the screening.
Passengers are now permitted to bring up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer. Passengers can also board with an expired driver’s license that has expired after March 1, 2020.
Once you board the plane, wipe down the area you will be sitting, including the armrests and the tray table. If there’s a touch screen or control that you will be touching, be sure to wipe that down, as well. It’s a good idea to have some alcohol wipes in a zip lock bag in your pocket so that you can easily access them once you board the plane. Some passengers purchase disposable liners for the seats or even a fitted crib sheet to cover the seat before sitting down.
The major airlines have a range of policies. If an airline cancels or delays your flight, you may be entitled to a refund.
If you are traveling by car, plan ahead. Take as few rest stops as possible, and bring plenty of alcohol wipes so that you can clean restroom door handles and anything that you will need to touch. Take plenty of snacks and water, and if you are traveling with children, take books, games, and screens to keep them engaged.
Amtrak is waiving change fees for ES rations made before December 31. Check with 800-USA-RAIL for information regarding cancellations or refunds.
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