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Travel Tips During the Pandemic from an ER Doctor

    Prior to the pandemic, I used to travel at least twice a month! I am sharing some of the travel tips I learned over the years and how to optimize traveling during the pandemic.

    Booking the Flight

    • Pick a non-stop flight: This will limit the number of people you come into close contact with. Changing flights means boarding on and off along with potential interactions with more people at the airport. Moreover, non-stop flights are usually a faster way to get to your destination as well.
    • Travel on less busy days: In general, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are less traveled day. Most business travelers travel on Monday and Friday. Saturday is also less preferred as it wastes a vacation day for many. Flights are less expensive during these off days! .
    • Pick an airline that blocks the middle seat: During the pandemic, I prefer being as far away as possible from someone outside my household. Having an empty middle seat allows some space between you and others on the flight.
    • Travel during off peak hours: Off peak hours for travel is between 5-7am and after 8pm.

    Before the Flight

    • Check-in before you get to the airport
    • Get TSA pre-check
    • CLEAR is touch-less check-in
    • Eat before you get to airport
    • Use bathroom before you get to the airport

    Packing for the Flight

    • To take in your carry on: Wipes, gloves, extra mask, hand sanitizers, empty water bottle, small bag with all this stuff that can go under your seat.

    At the airport

    • Try not to remove mask
    • Double mask
    • Wash your hands after touching surfaces
    • Keep at least 6 ft distance from everyone around you!

    Boarding

    • Wipe down seat, tv, and all commonly touched surfaces if airline has not done so
    • Use hand sanitizer especially after opening overhead bins, which are often touched by many people. 
    • During the flight – double mask, limit mask removal, especially during boarding on and off the flight. If you do need to take off your mask to drink or eat, do it when the flight is in air. While the flight is in air there is less movement of people compared to boarding on and off. 
    • Sanitize your hands after touching the bathroom door and all common surfaces.

    Getting off the flight

    • Stay seated until it is your turn to get off as this limits being in close proximity to others. Try to stay as far as possible from other passengers, let the person in front of you walk 6ft away before you follow.

    I hope you found this useful! Safe Travels!