Traveling this year for the holidays looks a lot different from most years. If you can, it’s best to stay put in your own home and celebrate with your family virtually. If you’ve opted to fly somewhere this winter, here are some guidelines to help you reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 while you’re traveling.
The United States State Department recently lifted its worldwide “Do Not Travel” advisory, but before you go ahead and book your tickets to the Bahamas, you’ve got to assess the current international situation for American passport holders.
As the U.S. continues to break records in COVID-19 cases, countries around the world are implementing restrictions for American tourists who are ready to travel internationally. One of the biggest decisions occurred when the European Union excluded the U.S. from the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to travel within the EU. The 27 nations that make up the EU are not alone in their hesitation. In fact, most countries have some kind of restriction for U.S. citizens.
This isn’t the case for all countries, and American citizens who want to travel despite the pandemic do have some options. The following countries are currently open to American tourists. If you’re considering a trip to one of these countries, check for their most recent coronavirus travel updates as well as the CDC’s updates
If you have decided to take a non-essential international trip while the pandemic is still ongoing, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has additional guidelines before, during, and after your trip to ensure you’re traveling as safe as possible.
If you are not feeling well, please refrain from traveling. Additionally, each country’s handling of COVID-19 can change rapidly. There is no guarantee that any of the listed countries will stay open to American travelers. Check with your travel insurance and agents to see what your options are in the case that restrictions are put in place.
Whether you’re taking a flight next week or next year, air travel has changed, and we may never see it the way it used to be. It’s completely normal to have a sense of anxiety or dread when it comes to getting on your next airplane, but a few essentials can help create a sense of calm and make your journey as safe as possible.
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Having an extra face mask can give you a backup option in case you want to switch masks halfway through your trip or if your mask breaks. While some airlines do offer free masks to travelers who need one, many airlines charge extra if you end up needing another mask. Face shields are an alternative option to help contain air droplets while traveling. Some travelers even combine the two when traveling.
Airlines across the United States are taking their cleanings to the next level, but sometimes travelers need a little personal reassurance. When buying wipes, make sure that they are for disinfecting, not just for cleaning. These wipes come in handy for the headrest, armrests, and tray table in any airplane. You can also use the wipes to clean the bathroom latches and other heavily-touched parts of the airplane.
Food and drink options are extremely limited on most flights due to COVID-19. Airlines are trying to restrict person-to-person contact as much as possible. If you get hungry easily or if your flight is long, you’ll definitely want to pack your own snacks. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also reduce your risk of spreading germs with others. TSA regulations still restrict liquids on flights, so bring a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport water fountain. When picking out a water bottle, an insulated one can keep your drinks hot or cold for those long flights.
In an attempt to keep airplane air circulating as much as possible, airlines are asking passengers to open up their air vents as much as possible. This can create an even chillier environment than the normal frigid airplane temperatures. Many airlines are no longer offering travel blankets for use while onboard, but you can offset the cold temps by bringing a big coat or a light travel blanket.
Industry guidelines are changing at a rapid pace at this time, so be sure to check your airport and airline’s requirements before setting off on your next flight. We hope that with accurate information and a few lightweight essentials, your journey will be a bit more enjoyable. To see the most recent airline guidelines, you can read our article about it here.
Live sports have been put on hold since mid-March, but just recently the Major League Baseball (MLB) season has begun. Sports fans all over the United States are looking forward to the cautious return of live sports broadcasts. While it’ll be some time before fans can return to stadiums, most are grateful for the progress. Following the MLB’s example, the National Football League is gearing up for their season by starting their training camps as well. It’s yet to be known whether the NFL season will proceed as planned in September.
Knowing what to expect is one of the components that can make travel more comfortable for those who have to travel during the pandemic. Each airline within the U.S. has slightly different guidelines for travel. We hope that this blog post will help you make an informed decision about which airline to fly.
We have listed below the most updated airline policy information for major United States airlines, from airline social distancing restrictions to whether or not a face mask is required.
Social distancing: There is no guaranteed social distancing on flights, though agents may reassign seats to group families together.
Mask requirement: Passengers over 12 years old are required to wear masks (those who have trouble breathing, those who have disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks, and those who cannot remove a mask without assistance are the exceptions). It may only be removed for eating or drinking.
Cancellation policy: no change fees for flights booked before July 31, 2020
Other details: individual hand-sanitizer wipes will be offered to passengers, and guests will be boarding back to front.
Social distancing: The middle seats are blocked, and there is a capacity cap for each cabin. First class is capped at 50%, Main Cabin, Delta Premium Select and Delta Comfort+ are capped at 60% capacity. Delta One cabins with two aisles are capped at 75% while Delta One cabins with one aisle are capped at 50%.
Mask requirement: All passengers are required to wear a face mask except for those who cannot keep a face mask in place.
Cancellation policy: Tickets purchased between March 1 and July 31, 2020 will not be charged a change fee for any changes up to a year from the date of purchase.
Other details: All boarding will be done from back to front to reduce exposure.
Social distancing: Middle seats are blocked from being booked, though adjustments may need to be made for weight and balance restrictions.
Mask requirement: Face masks are required throughout the travel journey except when eating or drinking.
Cancellation policy: There are no change fees for flights booked before July 31, 2020.
Other details: Those flying into Hawaii will have to go through a mandatory 14-day self-isolation quarantine. Boarding will be done row by row from the back to the front of the airplane. First-class passengers will be able to board at any time.