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Safety Tips for Holiday Travel

The CDC recommendation is not to travel during Covid, but for many that recommendation is just not realistic. There are ways to protect yourself both from potential illness and also from criminal types who are taking advantage of mask-wearing mandates to hide in plain sight.

Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. And don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Before You Travel:

Before you choose to travel, consider the following:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination?
    The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return.

If You Travel:

During your trip, the CDC recommends you take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

Travel Safety Tips:

The following tips are for any travel regardless of whether or not there are Covid related restrictions in place.

1. Do your research ahead of time

Get to know your destination in depth before you arrive. (See above for links where to find out COVID restrictions and checkpoints ahead of time) Read traveler reviews and consult with locals for information about the safest neighborhoods, places to stay and incidences of crime. Check the State Department’s website for country updates and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Another important travel security precaution is to know whom to call in an emergency. Get the contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate, police station, and other local emergency departments.

2. Don’t draw attention

People who look like they’re from out of town are especially vulnerable to crime, so try to blend in as much as you can. Choose inconspicuous clothing that won’t attract attention. Be discreet when looking at maps and approach people carefully if you need to ask for directions. Also, consider investing in protective clothing and gear that will make it more difficult for pickpockets to steal money and other personal items.

3. Make copies of important documents

You never know when you might need a copy of your passport, driver’s license or another form of identification. Scan these documents to save online and print out several hard copies. That way, you won’t be scrambling to find proper documentation if you need to get home.

4. Keep your friends and family updated

No matter whether you’re going, on an overnight jaunt or a month-long international journey, it’s always a good idea to let friends or family back home know. Before you leave, send a copy of your itinerary to a few trusted people who can keep tabs on your whereabouts. Check in regularly with your contacts so they know you’re where you’re supposed to be.

5. Be wary of public Wi-Fi

Don’t let the convenience of Internet access cloud your judgment. When you use public Wi-Fi, hackers looking to steal valuable information can access your data including credit card or Social Security numbers. If you do need wireless Internet service, set up a virtual private network (VPN) that will allow you to access the Internet securely while traveling.

6. Consider staying in a hotel room rather than with family.

If you are going to visit family it is most likely that you plan to stay with them, however, studies show that people are only cautious about following Covid recommendations for the first couple of hours of a visit. Staying in separate accommodations is one recommended way to control the amount of exposure.

7. Double check all reservations 24-48 hours before departure

Given the constant state of flux when it comes to Covid-19 restrictions it is important that you confirm any reservations you made before your departure regardless of the type of transportation you are using. This includes, flights, hotel, car and event or restaurant reservations. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to find alternates if any of these should be unable to accommodate your prior reservation.

8. Safeguard your hotel room

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