No one could have anticipated how the pandemic would impact travel and the ability to conduct business in person, causing even the most seasoned road warriors to miss the days of traveling to attend industry events and meet with customers.
The efficacy and availability of the vaccines have made it safer to resume travel and international restrictions are beginning to lift. Many are finally taking that long-postponed vacation, restarting customer visits, or attending events that are shifting from virtual to in-person.
As a health and wellness company committed to the health of its employees and members – and with travel plans of our own to attend upcoming conferences – we’ve pulled together a few tips to keep in mind to travel safely.
Before you go
- Get vaccinated! You are less likely to become infected or spread COVID-19 if fully vaccinated.
- Check local requirements and restrictions. Safety protocols and mandates vary not only by country, but in the US this even differs between cities, counties and states. It’s important to do your research to determine what’s required – be it mask wearing, testing, proof of vaccination, quarantines, etc.
- Don’t forget about hosts or event venues. You’ll also want to take into consideration the policies for where you plan to travel. If calling on a customer, find out if they require proof of vaccination or a negative test for visitors. Many events are now limiting attendees to those that are vaccinated and require you to provide a QR code through a vendor such as Clear to offer proof of vaccination to register or enter an event. If planning a customer dinner or event, you’ll also want to know if there are local policies in place such as the requirement in New York City of proof of vaccination at restaurants.
- For air travel you are still required to wear a mask throughout the trip – while going through security screening, in the airport and on the plane. This is the time to ensure that your mask offers layers of protection, is comfortable and fits properly.
- It’s also a good idea to think about ways to minimize contact with others such as using electronic boarding passes that you can scan on your own when going through security screening or boarding the plane.
- While there will often be queues or lines, do your best to maintain distance from others when sitting or standing.
- Keep in mind the guidance we’ve been told since the start of the pandemic – thoroughly wash hands for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and keep handy disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
Even the best-laid plans can still go awry. When booking travel, be sure to take advantage of insurance or flexible options whenever possible. That way, if you or a traveling companion may not be feeling well, don’t just chalk it up to allergies or a cold – do the right thing for everyone and reschedule.