The holiday season is here, and with it comes holiday shopping, family dinners, and parties. 2020 has been a distressing year for everyone. With an international pandemic, months of quarantine, a grueling presidential election, and many precious lives lost, it’s understandable to want to spend time with the people that matter in life. It’s important to remember that the Coronavirus pandemic is still at large and every precaution should be taken when assuming the responsibility of traveling this year, including bringing your own travel toiletries and restroom essentials. Whether your chosen mode of transportation is train, plane, or automobile, be sure to follow our health and safety travel tips.
The Risks of Travel During Coronavirus
Many of us haven’t seen our loved ones all year, and we may be traveling far to do it. Most people are trying to avoid major public transportation such as airports, bus stations, train stations. It’s nearly impossible to socially distance yourself in these areas, and even more so when you’re on a plane, bus, or train. Since Coronavirus can be contracted from the air or on contact surfaces, travel increases your chances of coming into contact with and spreading the virus unknowingly.
Think about all of the things you touch when traveling on an airliner. You get your ticket from the check-in counter, you grab a bin at the security checkpoint, you may grab a beverage or snack from a concession stand, once onboard you open the overhead bin to place your luggage, once seated you have to buckle your seatbelt, adjust your seatback, and maybe adjust your window cover or tray table. This is all before the plane even takes off.
Many people recognize this elevated risk and are opting for car, SUV, and RV rentals for their mode of travel. While this decreases most of the exposure to public areas, it doesn’t eliminate it completely. Most rest stops along highways and routes can be contaminated with coronavirus and other health impacts. This is especially true in public restrooms. The provisioned toilet paper, soap dispensers, and hand drying stations can be riddled with bacteria. Microscopic particles of human feces, urine, influenza, and even Coronavirus can all be found on these surfaces. Even the soap itself can be contaminated from improper storage, refilling, and sitting stagnant in an airy, wet environment.
Hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and fast food places also pose a risk, since it’s almost impossible to know if surfaces have been properly cleaned and sterilized recently. In general, the more areas and surfaces you come into contact with, the more you increase your risk of contracting the virus. Regardless of how you travel, your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 increase when you leave your home.
Important Health and Safety Measures to Follow
To best protect yourself and your loved ones, the CDC and many other health officials are promoting teleconferencing services for connecting with families and friends during the holidays. Most of us have the technology to do this, and it could help prevent the contraction and spread of Coronavirus from unessential travel. However, if you’re going to travel, you can take precautionary measures to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Before You Go: Check Travel Restrictions
There are various state, local, and territorial travel restrictions in place due to Coronavirus. Some of these include testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements once you arrive at your destination. It may not be an issue for you to get into the area, but you may not be allowed to leave for a couple of weeks. If you’re unsure about the current travel restrictions, you can find up-to-date information and travel guidance by checking out the state, territorial, tribal, and local health departments. Be sure to look at your local region, your destination, and the areas along your route (if you’re traveling by car). Travel restrictions and policies may change during your visit, so prepare to be flexible with your vacation time.
If you’re planning on traveling across international borders, you must review the details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers. You can do this by visiting the website or contacting your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health, You can also get information from the US Department of State Country Information page. Other countries may require mandatory testing before and after arrival, as well as quarantine. If you test positive upon arrival, you may have mandatory isolation and potentially be prevented from returning to the United States at your scheduled time.
Amidst Coronavirus Pack Travel Toiletries and Restroom Essentials
The excitement and anticipation of vacation can often cause travelers to forget essential items. This is especially true for road-trippers. Many times they don’t realize or remember to bring their travel toiletries such as toilet paper, sanitizer, shampoo, etc. Before you leave, make sure you have plenty of:
- Face masks (disposable or reusable)
- Hand sanitizer (be sure it’s travel size if you’re going on an airplane)
- Disinfecting wipes
- Travel toilet paper, such as The Restroom Kit or The Restroom Kit Plus
- Food and water (Bringing your own food is the safest option, but delivery, curbside pick-up, and drive-thrus are other safe options.
Best Health and Safety Practices for Traveling
While on the road or in the air, be sure to follow these health and safety recommendations from the CDC:
- Wear a mask in public settings: this includes public transportation vehicles and stations.)
- Practice social distancing: stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not from your household.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and clean soap. Wash regularly, especially after using the bathroom and being in a public place.
- If you can’t find a wash station, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- When getting gas, use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pumps before using them.
- After refueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds once you arrive at your destination.
- If you’re staying overnight at a place of lodging, use disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces such as door handles, remotes, faucets, etc.
- Continue these practices throughout your stay in your vacation destination.
Continue with Safety Precautions When You Return Home
Even with taking these safety measures, it is possible you were exposed to COVID-19 during your travels. While you may not feel ill, and not exhibit any symptoms, you can still be contagious and unknowingly spread the virus to others. If you were exposed to the virus, you and your travel companions pose a risk to others. Symptoms may not be noticeable for up to 14 days. When traveling and arriving back home, be sure to take measures to prevent unintentionally spreading the virus to others.
- Follow state, territorial, tribal, and local recommendations or requirements after traveling.
- Socially -distance: Maintain 6 feet distance from people who are not in your household.
- Whenever you are outside of your home, be sure to wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered.
- Wash your hands regularly, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Monitor your health; be aware of Coronavirus symptoms and if you experience any.
- If you feel sick, take your temperature and make note of the day it started.
- If you do notice symptoms, make an appointment to be tested for Coronavirus.
Increase Your Safety Measures: Bring Your Travel Toiletries Everywhere
While the holidays are indeed a time for celebration, giving thanks, and spending quality time with quality people, it’s imperative to consider the health risks to yourself and others before, during, and after traveling. In general, travel increases your risk of contraction and spread of Coronavirus. But by following these safety measures and avoiding contact with unclean surfaces you can reduce your risk. The Restroom Kit helps to reduce your contact with unclean surfaces and contaminated substances. With The Restroom Kit, you can ensure that you and your family are using safe, clean materials when going into public restrooms. Rather than packing rolls of toilet paper, just bring the toilet paper to go with the Restroom Kit. Each plastic-sealed Restroom Kit is made for one-time use for maximum safeguarding. All kits include 3 feet of toilet paper, a large, disposable toilet seat cover, a tush wipe for extra rear cleaning, and an antibacterial hand wipe to ensure you don’t encounter contaminated soap or hand dryers. The Restroom Kit does not prevent COVID-19 but it can help prevent contraction and the spread of bacteria and viruses from contact.
When traveling this holiday season, remember to stay healthy and safe, and encourage your friends and family to do so too. Stock up on the Restroom Kit before your travels, and do your part to help keep Coronavirus rates low. Shop all our kits on our website and get yours today.