- Written by Chris Holbert Chris Holbert
After months and months of not traveling to visit family and friends and to see destinations that have been on a wish list for years, more people have been booking flights and cruises and hitting the open highway.
However, COVID variants continue to cause an increase in case numbers, which is complicating things.
Some countries have put expiration dates on vaccinations, requiring people to have booster shots before they can visit and enjoy the perks of being considered fully vaccinated. States are red-flagging each other, requiring people from certain regions to isolate upon arrival.
And certain venues will only allow people who are fully vaccinated to attend events from concerts to sports games.
While a lot of the details of traveling are the same, some have also changed permanently. More preparation and planning are now required to plan a successful trip, particularly for anyone who has health conditions that make them vulnerable to any illness, let alone COVID.
While making travel reservations and packing bags, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
Have a Healthcare Plan – We know now that just because you’ve been vaccinated does not mean you are 100% protected against COVID.
If you’re traveling a long way from home or even overseas and have to quarantine due to a positive COVID test, you’ll want to have a plan in place about where and how you’ll be able to receive medical care and where you’ll be able to stay.
Overpack Medicine, Vital Supplies – It seems like a different product or industry is still facing shortages every day. While you don’t walk into a grocery store and see bare shelves anymore, that does not mean you will not have trouble getting certain supplies while you’re traveling.
Planning ahead and bringing extra medication and other items you need to maintain your health on a daily basis is a necessary precaution, as shipping delays and sourcing continue to be a challenge.
Keep Friends and Family Informed – Everyone has a cellphone, but you never know if you might get caught in a situation where you have no signal or the battery dies.
It is best to provide friends and family with your travel itinerary before you leave home. And then, if you have to make any changes, update them along the way.
A check-in every few hours with an updated location is a good idea when driving so that if anything does go wrong, people know a general area of where to look for you.
Rely on Technology – Portable power is a must for the road or air travel to ensure your phone is always powered. And keep any mobile personal emergency-response devices you may have in an accessible garment pocket. This way, if you have an emergency and cannot dial your phone, it is within easy reach to call for help.
Consider downloading helpful weather, route guidance, gas station finders, and other relevant travel apps to your phone. These can give you alerts about bad weather, where to find gas, traffic delays, and other local news alerts.
There is always a lot to get done when planning and packing for a trip. Now the planning may take extra steps and require extra gear, but after months of staying at home, the investment in a well-planned trip may be well worth it.
Chris Holbert is the CEO of SecuraTrac (www.securatrac.com), leading the company’s vision of developing, marketing, and selling a suite of mobile health and safety solutions that brings families closer together and improves employee safety through state-of-the-art, location-based services and mobile health technology.