Financial Fundamentals Blog

How to Travel Safely during the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic lingers on, many Americans are trying to decide if they should keep or cancel their scheduled summer vacations. Guidance on non-essential travel from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not relaxed, and they caution that travel can increase your chances of contracting and spreading the virus. While there’s no way to completely eliminate your risks of contracting COVID-19 while traveling, there are precautions that you can take.


  1. If you’re sick, stay home. Never travel if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Similarly, you shouldn’t travel with anyone who is sick or who has been exposed to the virus. If you’re coming from a high-transmission area, there is a chance you might be an asymptomatic carrier. Take extra precautions to avoid spreading the virus to an area that hasn’t seen many cases yet.
  2. Plan ahead. Bring a face mask to wear in public places. Plan ahead by packing food and water, and have enough hand sanitizer and medicine to last for your entire trip. Be sure to check the guidance of the state and local health departments in your planned destination and along your route. Be sure to check for stay-at-home orders, mandated quarantines or checkpoint at state borders and follow instructions accordingly.
  3. Stay outside. Since the virus is harder to transmit outdoors, outside spaces like beaches and parks are good options. Remember that it is still important to stay six feet away from others. Wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. If you’re going to the pool, be sure to keep a mask on when you’re not in the water and avoid gathering in groups. There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through water and public pools are chlorinated.
  4. Do your research. If you’re going to rent a car, boat, hotel room or AirBnB, be sure to do your research to see what precautions they are taking and how they are sanitizing between each use. Don’t be afraid to ask about COVID-19 specific changes to the company’s cleaning practices, or to wipe down surfaces yourself once you have your rental.
  5. Look for open spaces and wash your hands. When looking for a rest stop, choose one with larger, open bathrooms with plenty of airflow as opposed to an often-used gas station with a single toilet. Be sure to wear a face mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands. If you’re flying, wash your hands often, practice social distancing at the airport, and if possible, wipe down your tray and seat.

Be sure to abide by state and local health departments’ guidance for visitors. Some states are instructing visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. If you, a loved one or travel partner is in the high-risk category, it’s best not to travel at the moment.
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