Cabin fever is one of the chief side effects of the ongoing COVID pandemic and it can easily trigger a sudden wanderlust, especially during the summer months. And the urge to roam in the aftermath of strict lockdowns and social distancing procedures can be overwhelming. The question is: if I do take a vacation, how can I protect myself and my family?
The number one requirement, if you want to stay safe while traveling this summer, is to make sure that you and those traveling with you are fully vaccinated. Obviously, it would be wise to also pick a destination that is safe.
Those who took the double doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are considered fully vaccinated two weeks later, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But it would be wise to consult your physician before booking your trip, especially if you or a member of your travel group suffers from a condition that weakens your immune system.
As for selecting a destination, do your homework by researching to find the safest places to visit in America or abroad. Your travel agent should be able to help with this task or you can search the Internet for CDC advice and/or do a search for “COVID safe travel destinations.” And if the purpose of your trip is to visit far away friends and family that you haven’t seen in the past year or so during the height of the pandemic, you may want to check with local authorities as regards the status of that particular locale.
You may also wish to consider additional trip protection. In addition to making sure that your health insurance will cover you no matter where you travel in the U.S. and abroad, you might want to purchase travel insurance just in case you need to cancel your trip. It may also be wise to look into purchasing a travel assistance plan as well. There is a difference. Travel assistance plans help pay for things such as an emergency medical evacuation and travel arrangements, a nurse escort, a traveling companion and other emergency costs you might encounter if you get sick or hurt while traveling. It can even provide emergency cash advances.
Wherever you go, whatever you do “continue taking precautions to protect yourself and others if you must travel,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The fact is that restrictions and conditions can change rapidly and so it is important to keep abreast of developments as they occur as your travel date nears. Meanwhile, pay attention to details. For example, the TSA now allows passengers to carry with them hand sanitizer containers as large as 12 ounces. But since such containers are larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids, it will require a separate screening, which will add time when checking in.
Rebecca Weber is the Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Mature American Citizens. The 2 million member AMAC is a senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. They act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Opinions expressed are those of the author.