02 JUN 2022

Time for Travel? Maybe!

A woman packing her suitcase as it sits on her bed.
If you are hitting the road, skies or seas this summer, you can take some precautions to help protect you and your family from COVID-19.

As pandemic restrictions have started to lift worldwide, we asked our readers if it was time for an excursion.

The results, as you might guess, were a mixed bag.A graph showing the breakdown of people's responses to our travel survey.

Nearly half of Pulse readers surveyed indicated they are ready to book a trip, with nearly a quarter indicating that they’d be willing to fly, but not outside of the United States.

About 12 percent indicated they’d opt for day trips, while another 12 percent said they’d prefer to continue hunkering down.

One reader admitted to not being a travel fan even before the pandemic. Another said it is “no longer fun to travel.” And yet another said they were still very worried about getting on a plane.

On the issue of masking, one said they would continue wearing masks while traveling. Another said travelers on planes and cruises should be required to show proof of current vaccine and booster and have a negative COVID test.

But not everyone was so cautious.

“We just went on a 14-day cruise, and everything is fine,” said one survey participant. Another stated that they’d been traveling since late 2020.

“It has been necessary to maintain what is left of my mental health. California had the most burdensome, nonsensical response to SARs-CoV2 of any state in the union,” they wrote. “It was very important that I go elsewhere to get a reprieve from the hysteria here.”

One respondent called it a Catch 22: “When you are fully vaccinated traveling internationally, you have to test negative 24 hours before your return to the United States. If positive, you have to pay for up to 10 more days in that country, then pay airline change fees and flight fare difference. Also, you miss work, your pet is in the kennel longer, newspapers are piling up, etc. There are no insurance plans for this, and if you do find one, it will be equal to or more than your roundtrip ticket.”

According to TripAdvisor, more than two-thirds of Americans are planning to travel this summer. If you’re on that side of the equation, here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

  • Get fully vaccinated. Boosters, too! It’s your best bet.
  • Bring a copy of your vaccination card with you, too. You might have to show it to gain entrance into restaurants or venues.
  • Pay attention to the COVID-19-related protocols for your destination.
  • Bring a mask, just in case, for indoor activity. You never know when you might want to enter a business that requires them. And it could be beneficial if you’re using public transportation or attending an event.
  • Uncrowded, outdoor activities are safest! Beach, anyone?
  • Pack some sanitary wipes because it never hurts to wipe down your space.
  • Be patient. Now that traveling is picking up again, you might find long lines at airports and at tourist spots.

Questions about COVID-19? Learn more about the virus and vaccines from NorthBay Health physicians.

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