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Thinking Of Traveling? Take A Peek At These CDC Safety Tips First

Abby Moore
June 19, 2020
Abby Moore
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Abby Moore
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Thinking Of Traveling? Take A Peek At These Safety Tips First
Image by Ivan Gener / Stocksy
June 19, 2020
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Planning the details of a vacation can be stressful during an ordinary summer. Planning a vacation in the middle of a pandemic, however, raises far more serious concerns. How many people can go? Are hotels safe? Is it even smart to travel right now? Though it's mostly up to personal discretion, there are some critical recommendations to keep in mind amid COVID-19. Here's what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has to say about traveling and staying in a hotel1.

Is it safe to travel now?

While businesses, including hotels, are beginning to open, COVID-19 still exists and is continuing to infect people. Consider these factors for travel2, listed by the CDC, before planning a trip: 

  • The type of travel: The CDC notes that one type of travel isn't necessarily safer than others. It's important to consider airports, bus stations, and train stations may be crowded and, therefore, will increase the risk of infection. Personal cars and RVs are less risky than public transportation but still require certain degrees of caution, especially at rest stops. 
  • The place of travel: Check to see if the coronavirus is spreading to the vacation destination and what kind of health and safety guidelines the state and local government3 is implementing. 
  • The other people involved: Travelers thinking about visiting friends, family, or loved ones should consider the health status of those individuals, especially if they're at an increased risk of severe illness4

As for during travel, the CDC says travelers should keep these safety tips in mind, to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Clean your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. This is especially important if you've been in a public place, touched a frequently touched surface, or before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance with other travelers.
  • Wear a cloth mask or face covering in public.

Once all of those factors have been considered and travelers feel comfortable planning their vacation, there are also a few guidelines when it comes to staying in hotels.

Can I stay in a hotel? 

All 50 states in the U.S. have slowly begun to reopen but at different paces. Whether or not hotels are open will depend on where a person is traveling. To find out, either call the hotel or refer to this list on each state's reopening status

Checking in 

The CDC recommends reserving a room and checking in online and opting for contactless payment and mobile room keys. This will limit the amount of in-person contact between travelers and hotel staff.  

If mobile check-in is not available, they recommend finding a hotel that's equipped with plexiglass barriers at check-in counters. Also, call ahead of time to ask if the hotel staff is required to wear masks during work.  

To make sure the hotel is sanitary, ask to see their updated policies on cleaning and disinfecting, especially with frequently touched surfaces (light switches, elevator buttons, remote controls, etc.).

During the stay 

Travelers should wear masks anytime they're in proximity to other guests and staff or in shared spaces like the lobby or dining rooms. The CDC also recommends avoiding common spaces when possible.

Instead of visiting the hotel gym (which may not even be open), try finding an outdoor running trail, doing a virtual workout, or simply take the stairs instead of a crowded elevator. 

When it comes to dining, opt for contactless room service delivery (if available), and try to avoid shared serving stations, like the breakfast buffet.

Bottom line.

While travel options are becoming more available with time, it's important to continue taking safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Keeping the above considerations in mind, continuing to wear masks, washing hands frequently, and social distancing are still critical. For those who don't feel safe or comfortable traveling out of the home, plan these equally fun staycations.

Abby Moore author page.
Abby Moore
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.