Five Tips for Travel, Vaccines, and the Pandemic

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Considering travel during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are five tips to help. 

Traveling today is very different than it was just 18 months ago. Even with so much uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be some advantages – fewer tourists, lower travel expenses in many places, and enhanced safety measures. Here’s a checklist that will help you plan for a less stressful trip. 

Pandemic Travel Tips

  • If you’re eligible, get your COVID-19 vaccine.
    This is one of the most effective ways to make sure you are safe from getting infected with COVID-19. In fact, vaccination is one of the primary requirements for traveling to many places around the globe these days. With COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you avoid travel until you’ve been fully vaccinated, if possible. Depending on your destination, you may need to use a vaccine passport app to show proof of vaccination.

  • Check the COVID-19 status at your destination.
    Even if you are vaccinated, it’s wise to pay attention to the current COVID-19 infection rates where you are headed. Try to avoid visiting a place where COVID rates are high because you can still carry the virus home to friends and family even if you’ve been vaccinated. Choose your destination wisely, keeping the latest COVID trends in mind.

  • Plan ahead.
    Every country has its own set of COVID regulations. Depending on your destination, you will want to plan your vaccine or COVID tests early. Check the local public health websites for specific information. If you are traveling outside the US, CDC says you don’t need to get tested before your trip unless it’s required at your destination. You will, however, need a negative COVID test within the last three days before traveling back home.

  • Wear a face mask.
    They’re required by all airlines, trains and busses. Even if you are vaccinated, it is always a good idea to use a face mask when you venture out of your hotel room. Even vaccinated people can become infected, but the chances of getting severely ill are low. Be a responsible traveler and help stop the spread of COVID by always wearing your mask.

  • Make sure you have ALL the vaccines you need.
    Immunization requirements vary by country. For the most up-to-date recommendations, go to CDC’s Travelers’ Health website and search by country. It’s also a good idea to be up to date on routine shots, like your annual flu vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are up to date.

The key to travel today is flexibility. And pack your patience – things are not as easy as they once were. Make sure to have a positive attitude and be able to accept changes that will happen more than ever before. Yes, travel is very different now than it was in 2019, but it is definitely possible and worth it to get back out and see the world again. Happy trails!

Crystal Bruce, Health Communications Specialist IV

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