Typically, the holiday season is the busiest travel time of the year. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, millions of travelers are on the move to visit friends and family. Things may look a bit different this year, as many AAA travelers are still unsure about their plans.
Travel conditions continue to evolve, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises that traveling right now increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. However, for members who wish to travel during the holiday season, AAA has gathered some information to help you and your travel companions get to your destination as safely as possible.
HOW ARE YOU TRAVELING?
No matter how you are traveling for the holidays, there are many ways to keep yourself safe along the way. Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that air and rail lines as well as car rental companies are doing a great job to keep you safe.
Rental car companies are committed to going the extra mile for you today and always. If you plan to travel for the holidays, know that the focus remains on getting you where you need to go safely and confidently. Here is what Hertz has implemented to keep you and your travel companions safe when you’re ready to hit the road.
Passenger numbers are beginning to rise each week, and airports and airlines are doing everything they can to make sure the airport is a safe and welcoming place for all when travel picks up again. For all airport updates please visit www.tsa.gov . In addition, always check your airline’s website prior to your flight for possible changes in procedures. If you’re flying with luggage during the pandemic, health experts recommend carrying on instead of checking a bag. Not only are you able to better control who touches the bag, but you will bypass potentially crowded luggage carousels. More details here.
All rail lines have been following government guidelines and industry best practices as they continue to evolve around the prevention of COVID-19 and will continue to update and enhance health and safety procedures onboard the trains to ensure a safe travel experience for all. More details here.
Once onboard either the plane or train, please follow the same coronavirus safety measures you would in other parts of your life. That means practicing good hand hygiene, choosing a seat away from other passengers (if you don’t have a seat assignment) and wearing a mask throughout the trip, which is mandatory.
WHERE ARE YOU STAYING?
Friend or Family Member Home
Be aware that some friends or family members may be at higher risk of serious health complications should they contract COVID-19. If you determine that a friend or family member is at high risk, consider a hotel for your trip to minimize the risk of potential exposure. If you’re not sure, the CDC has a resource online that explains who may be particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Hotels have gone to great lengths to make sure that guests are safe while they travel. Based upon guidance provided by the CDC the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hotels have introduced new programs to address everything from guest room and common area cleanliness, to streamlined processes that minimize contact between guests and associates.
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN
If you’re traveling with children and young adults, become familiar with CDC guidelines and airline policies pertaining to children prior to your trip. The CDC recommends masks for children 2 years of age and older.
Additionally, the CDC has created some recommendations to help adults have conversations with children about to what to expect, especially if this is their first trip during the pandemic, and what they can do to keep themselves and others safe while traveling.
TIPS TO TRAVELING SAFE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
- Keep in mind that pandemic restrictions vary by state. Do your homework to make sure your destination is open, what rules are in place for visitors and residents, and what quarantine measures may be mandatory. The CDC recommends checking with state and local authorities in the state you are in and the states you are passing through.
- While traveling, you may encounter some crowded situations, such as airports, stores and markets, along your journey. Make sure to keep your distance from others when possible and always wear a mask in those situations. Don’t forget that hand sanitizer! The AAA Travel Storehas many personal protective items available to keep you safe and comfortable during your trip.
- AAA’s Travel and Packing Expert, Anne McAlpin has shared lots of great ideas on how to keep yourself organized and safe as you start planning your adventure. View Recording: “Traveling Safe in Today’s World”
- For more information on air, car, or hotel reservations, please visit aaa.com/travel