1. Complete a health screening to determine personal risk
Travelers who are 65 and older and travelers of all ages with underlying medical conditions are considered most at risk for becoming severely ill if contracting COVID-19. If you fall into either category, it’s advised that you talk to your doctor prior to traveling. It’s recommended for all adults over 18 to get an annual physical, so it’s a good idea for any traveler who hasn’t been to the doctor in the last 6-8 months to make an appointment. It’s a good idea to make note of anyone you live with or see frequently who might be in an at-risk category and plan not to see them for at least two weeks upon your return. Outside of a physical health check, it’s never a bad idea to assess your mental health when it comes to the pandemic. If the idea of traveling stresses you out, talk to your doctor about possible coping strategies.
2. Pack for longer than you are booked
Expect the unexpected could be the unofficial motto of 2020, and that goes for traveling too. Be prepared for unforeseen issues that cause your travel to take longer than expected. Have an exit strategy should there be a need for immediate evacuation. But also be prepared for travel delays. When packing, be sure you have at least two days of extra clothes and medications should your trip be extended. Communicate with child and pet care to make sure you have a contingency plan if you get delayed. If you are delayed, it’s always a good idea to refrain from posting about it on social media until you get back.
3. Prepare an emergency document travel kit
This is never a bad idea when it comes to traveling. It’s smart to make extra copies of your IDs, an extra form of payment, and proof of medical insurance. Keep an extra set with you, or in your carry-on for easy access. Check to see if your medical insurance has a mobile app you could download prior to your trip, or consider storing photocopies of important documents in a secure folder in the cloud that you can easily access from your phone or laptop.
4. Review and understand company policies
It’s never a bad idea to understand your company’s travel policy, but now more than ever it’s a good idea to confirm that you have the latest updates before heading to the airport. For example, should direct non-stop flights be booked instead of connections to avoid additional exposures? Will you be expected to self-quarantine upon your return?
Our goal is to keep travel easy. Be sure to stay mindful while traveling to mitigate exposure, follow best practices (wash your hands, and wear a mask!) and seek appropriate guidance in the event of an incident. Plan ahead, and stay safe!