Whether you’re traveling across town for a staycation or across the world to a dream destination, being informed and taking precautions are essential. Seasoned travelers know this. They also know that in most cases, the risks pale in comparison to all there is to gain from getting out and seeing the wide world. Here are four tips to follow when planning your vacation.
1. Get the facts. Before any trip make sure you are up to date on the latest regional information. Consult reputable sources to get scientifically backed and up-to-date information. Here are the three sources I check before traveling:
U.S. State Department: https://www.state.gov/travelers/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/
2. Get vaccinated and bring medications. Check the sources above for required vaccinations. Some vaccines are part of a series that must be taken over weeks or months. If you take medications, make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip. And if you need any special accommodations — wheelchair access, for example — be sure to tell your travel agent so he or she can alert the staff at your destination(s) to ensure you get the best care possible.
3. Get insurance. Check your health insurance policy for what is covered while you are traveling. Travel insurance might be necessary to cover any emergencies or unexpected medical expenses, especially if a medical visit is required abroad or transportation is necessary from the trip location to back home.
4. Get healthy habits. Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially before eating. If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Try to avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room unless you need medical care.
Many travelers have been concerned about recent reports of the novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. While we don’t know everything there is to know about this virus, your best defense is the best information. Here’s a brief summary of information from the CDC website. Check it for any updates while planning your trip. www.cdc.gov
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are within 6 feet with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often. There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
As of 8 March 2020, the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should also consider postponing nonessential travel to Japan.
I travel frequently and am constantly staying abreast of the latest updates from the CDC, WHO, and U.S. State Department. As a travel agent, I am also in close contact with travel suppliers and checking websites of various worldwide destinations.
My husband and I just got back from a Disney Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay last month. Check out my blog post below for a full report.
I’ll be blogging and sharing Facebook posts to give you an insider’s perspective of these fantastic locations:
31 March – 3 April: Willamette Valley wine tasting – Portland, OR
31 May – 4 June: Uniglobe Travel Center Conference – Orlando, FL
13-20 July: Biltmore Estate wedding – Asheville, NC
2-12 September: Irish Discovery tour – Ireland
20-27 December: Royal Caribbean cruise – Eastern Caribbean
Let’s get started on your next vacation. Book your 30 minute over-the-phone Vacation Planning Session and receive your free Busy Family’s Guide to Vacation Planning