How to Travel Safely in the Age of COVID-19 (and beyond)

6 Safety Tips for Air Travel in the Age of COVID-19

It’s no secret that the world of travel has been completely flipped upside down this year. You might be itching to get out and travel again, but it’s completely understandable to feel intimidated by jumping on a plane with all that has transpired in 2020. Whenever you decide to travel again, we’ve done the digging so you don’t have to. Based on hours of research and readings, these preventative measures will support your health on the road.

air travel safety

From security to seat belts, keep these 6 safety tips in mind when you start prepping for your next flight:

Arrive at the airport earlier than you normally would

Since the CDC recommends keeping a distance of 6 feet from others, arrive earlier than ever for your flight to ensure you don’t get stuck in a congested security line. By minimizing your exposure to large crowds, you’ll be at a much lower risk for exposure. Beginning with check-in and ending with waiting at the boarding gate, the airport process can make social distancing a bit tricky. Be the first one to get through the process.

Better yet — facilitate your check-in online to reduce contact altogether. We love this comprehensive list of online check-in links for airlines around the world. Find your airline on the list and enter your information; getting your boarding pass digitally is a breeze. Most airlines offer pass delivery via both SMS and email, making your life easier.

While passing through security, Use Ziploc bags to minimize contact with conveyor belts

To reduce contamination of your valuable and loose items, before security, stick them in a Ziploc bag to prevent exposure to the conveyor belt. Ditch the bag after — and make sure you have a small bottle of hand sanitizer to use after removing your items from the bags. It’s a great way to avoid germs; not to mention, it’ll make your packing efforts even more organized.

Skip the food court for now; try to eat before traveling or buy packaged snacks

Although experts say there’s no evidence of COVID-19 being transmitted through food, it’s wise to avoid crowded food courts in airports while the virus still poses a risk. Hydrate yourself, prepare food before departure, and get a few snacks for the road. You’ll thank us later.

airport checkin

Keep your hand sanitizer and face masks on deck

According to TSA and the Mayo Clinic, “each traveler may have one container of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces (about 350 milliliters) in a carry-on bag. These containers will need to be taken out for screening.” Also, travelers are allowed to wear masks during security screening — however, they may be asked to temporarily adjust them to confirm their identity. Be sure to keep 2-3 on hand in case you lose one or the strap breaks. Lastly, keep washing your hands!

Know which areas on the plane to wipe down from your seat

Some travelers already did this, but if you haven’t already — now’s the time to learn. Stash some antibacterial wipes in your carry-on bag, and give the following areas a wipe down as soon as you board the plane: the seat itself, armrest, headrest, tray table, air vents, seat belt, and the exterior of the overhead compartment before you use the buttons.

airline and passenger seats

Prep your luggage by using a bag wrap and wiping it down afterward

For extra peace of mind, consider keeping your luggage clean by wrapping it in plastic and giving it a wipe down before you reach your final destination. Do note: While you can certainly do it yourself at home, there’s a chance that security might remove it during their inspection. Most airports have the service readily available near check-in.

Not to mention, some covers fit over the entire suitcase — preventing scuffs and scratches in the process. Check out this list from Travel & Leisure for a few different product options.

Bon (and safe) voyage!