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Travel Safety Tips for COVID-19

Medically reviewed by Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD · Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 05, 2021

Travel Safety Tips for COVID-19

Are you looking forward to traveling? Before you buy a ticket, take note of the following travel safety tips for the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures can help keep you safe as you enjoy your trip.  

How does COVID-19 spread outdoors?

Before we discuss the travel safety tips for COVID-19, let’s answer this question: does COVID-19 spread differently outdoors and indoors?

Safety from COVID-19 doesn’t simply depend on whether you’re inside or outside,  since a lot of factors come into play. Some of these factors include:

  • Ventilation or how the air circulates in the area
  • The number of people you come into contact with
  • The duration of your interaction with other people 
  • The activity in the area

Because of these factors, medical experts reiterate that there are times when you’re safer outdoors than indoors. For instance, sightseeing in a fairly isolated place with few people is less risky than being in a poorly ventilated room with a group of singing or chattering patrons.

Now, you might be asking: if that’s the case, then why does our government discourage us from going out? The primary reason is that going outdoors increases the chances of exposure to more people. This, in turn, raises the risk of contracting COVID-19.

However, being cooped up at home for months on end can take a toll on our mental health. So, it’s not surprising if you’ve been thinking about going out to unwind–especially now that many establishments and travel destinations are opening their doors. 

What are some travel safety tips for COVID-19?

Please remember that crowded places without adequate ventilation increases the possibility of airborne transmission. If you are traveling with an individual who is at higher risk for severe COVID-19, talk to your healthcare provider first before planning the trip.

In case you decide to travel, keep the following safety tips in mind:

Choose your destination and activity wisely

As much as possible, choose a destination that has no crowds and low-risk outdoor activities that at most require limited contact with other people. Examples include:

  • Hiking in the mountain
  • Fishing
  • Cycling
  • Kayaking or boating
  • Another important thing to remember is to do one activity or visit one destination at a time. That way, you are less likely to commute and come into close proximity with other people.

    Check travel guidelines for out-of-town trips

    If your travel destination is outside your municipality, search online for the area’s travel guidelines. Some of the things you need to research are:

    The COVID-19 cases in the area. If there are a lot of active cases, it might be a good idea to choose another destination.

    Their community quarantine guidelines. Is it under GCQ or MGCQ? This is important because it will tell you about their travel and activity restrictions.

    Area-specific requirements. Some areas in the country require visitors to have a negative COVID-19 test before entering. 

    Enforced quarantine. Some areas require visitors to observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. 

    If you need to go on a trip abroad, you must also review your destination country’s visitor/tourist guidelines.

    Coronavirus on Public Transportation – Guidelines to Follow

    Pack things that will protect you from COVID-19

    One of the best travel safety tips for COVID-19 is to pack the health essentials, which include:

    • Enough face masks for the duration of your trip; please note that the CDC recommends surgical masks instead of cloth masks for people who are at a higher risk of COVID-19, such as senior citizens and those with heart conditions.
    • Sealed container for your masks
    • A face shield
    • Disposable tissue to disinfect surfaces with alcohol
    • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
    • Digital thermometer

    travel safety tips for COVID-19

    Take preventive measures

     You should take measures to prevent coronavirus transmission, even for low-risk outdoor activities: 

    • Plan your itinerary beforehand; avoid crowded places and areas with poor ventilation
    • Decide where you’ll have your meals. Remember that randomly removing your mask is risky – it’s better to eat in your hotel room or in a restaurant with an outdoor set-up.
    • Maintain physical distancing from other people at all times
    • Wear a face mask and face shield
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, hand sanitizer, or rubbing alcohol, especially before and after touching your mask, before meals, and after interacting with people. 
    • Don’t your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Avoid surfaces that could be contaminated
    • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze

    Furthermore, while experts say that the virus will not easily spread in an airplane because of how the air is filtered and circulated, there is still a risk of catching COVID-19 because you need to spend a significant amount of time in the airport for security checks. If possible choose an airline with distance seating. 

    Bring your own food

    While there’s no evidence that you can contract COVID-19 from food,  packing your meals is still helpful because it minimizes contact with other people. One of the best travel safety tips for COVID-19 is to cook your own food if it is allowed by the management of the establishment. In case you cannot prepare your own meals, consider ordering online or doing a drive-through.

    Safety Tips: Can You Get COVID-19 in Restaurants?

    Rent a car

    Public transportation poses a higher risk of getting COVID-19. In order to minimize contact with other people, check for car rental options.

    Even though car rental companies will most likely provide you with a disinfected car, take your own measures as well by disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as the steering wheel and gear shift.

    Make cashless payments

    Cashless payments can also limit contact with other people and reduce the risk of touching contaminated bills and coins.

    If going cashless is not an option in your destination, prepare as many small bills and coins as possible. That way, you don’t need to wait  for change.

    Key takeaways

    The travel safety tips for COVID-19 listed above will help reduce the risk of transmission. However, remember that staying at home is still the safest course of action for everyone. Hence, don’t go on trips frequently, and if you do decide to travel, plan it carefully.

    Learn more about COVID-19 here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD

    Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 05, 2021

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