Did you ever think we would still be dealing with COVID at this point? Me either. I remember asking friends back in March if they thought everything would be back to normal by June. Well, June is long gone and we’re now at Thanksgiving. CRAZINESS!
We’re all flying by the seat of our pants every day, trying to figure it all out, keeping ourselves and our families safe, all while still attempting to live our lives. Speaking of flying, it’s a scary thought nowadays, however, as an important mode of transportation, it’s hard to be avoided at times.
The key to flying during COVID is to be smart, prepared, and overly-cautious, yet not unhinged, especially if you’re traveling with kids. I know that’s a funny statement because kids are usually a large part of what makes us unhinged.
There’s no denying flying isn’t ideal right now. Hospital, Houston Methodist says, “There’s no getting around the fact that any upcoming air travel will bring you into close contact with many other people and a variety of commonly touched surfaces — both in the airport and on the plane.”
If you plan on flying, you need the latest information and of course, a boatload or in this case, a planeload of hand sanitizer. (Insert chuckle or eye-roll here.) While flying right now is rather frightening, panicking is not the answer. Here are some tips to keep you as sane and prepared as possible.
Put Yourself in the Right State of Mind
This is a confusing, scary, and downright bizarre time in our lives. You’re not expected to hide your feelings, act like everything is normal, and go on your merry way. Putting yourself in an enclosed metal capsule with a whole bunch of strangers for a long period of time, knowing the person next to you could have a deadly virus, is extremely stressful.
- Give yourself the opportunity to feel the way you feel, however, don’t let your COVID anxieties cause you to lose control and freak out.
- Stay on high-alert.
- Be aware of your surroundings, including dangers for germs that you may not have paid attention to before.
- Follow the rules.
- Talk to your friends and share your concerns and best practices.
You’re not alone. A very high percentage of people in the airport and on your plane are all thinking what you’re thinking. Someone sneezes on the security line and everyone cringes, turns the other way, and tightens their masks. You sneeze on the plane and before anyone can judge you, you let everyone know it’s just allergies. You’re now labeled as someone to avoid.
Think about the airline staff who have to show up every day. They’re a perfect example of setting aside fears. If you don’t want to drive 15 hours to your destination, you’re going to have to find a way to calm your nerves.
When you’re armed with all the right tools, you can fix anything. While you won’t cure COVID with a mask and a prayer, what you will do is protect yourself as best as you can, along with others. Here are just a few items you don’t want to leave home without for your upcoming flight.
1. Hand sanitizer
- If you think one little bottle of sanitizer is going to get you through your trip, think again.
- You should have multiple bottles, sprays, and wipes that are stored in various areas of your purse and carry-on luggage for easy access.
- Check online or call the airlines if necessary to ensure your sanitizer follows the appropriate guidelines as you would hate to have yours confiscated.
- Forgetting this is not an option on airplanes so to avoid losing yours and ultimately freaking out, bring multiple masks with you.
- You may want to even consider wearing more than one mask at a time for extra protection on your flight.
- Purchasing disposable masks that you can toss as soon as you deplane is a great way to stay protected.
- If your mask is reusable but you can’t wash it pretty soon after you get to your destination, trash it as you don’t want to bring those germs home with you.
- The bottom of your bare feet should never ever come in contact with the airport floor.
- If you need to remove your flip flops or flats at security, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
- Throw a simple pair of socks that you can wear through security and make sure you wash them as soon as possible or throw them away.
When in Doubt, Wipe It Down
This isn’t the time to worry that people will think you’re a nutty germ freak. This is the time to be a nutty germ freak and go overboard. When you find your seat on the plane, use your sanitizer wipes like they’re going out of style.
Experts suggest wiping down your personal area on the plane.
- Seat belt
- Filtration nozzle and light buttons above your head
- Video monitor
- Back of the seat in front of you including tray
Keep Yourself Busy on the Flight
Staring at the seat in front of you while flying will give you way too many opportunities to think about all the people who could have COVID around you. You’ll pay way too much attention to the coughers, throat clearers, booger pickers, and kids who are licking their seat belts.
Distracting yourself is the perfect way to make time fly (insert chuckle or eye-roll here once again) and make your trip seem faster.
- Bring a book
- Take a nap
- Eat the snack you packed for yourself (make sure you wiped down the tray)
- Catch up on some work
- Bring earphones and download a movie on your phone before you board
When it comes to the airport and airline you’ll be using, ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel informed, comfortable, and prepared.
- What COVID precautions and alterations is your airline taking?
- Will the middle seat be empty?
- How does the airline handle passengers who refuse to wear masks?
- What is the airport doing to keep you safe?
- Is the airline staff getting mandatory testing?
- What about the people who are handling your luggage?
- Have you investigated the airport where you’ll be landing?
If you’re concerned about the air quality on your flight, a little education should put you at ease. Did you know that “HEPA filters used in commercial aviation can filter out 99.97% of virus-sized particles?” If you’re a half glass full gal, that statistic will put you at ease. If you’re a glass half empty believer, you’re wondering what happens to the other .03%. Good feeling is gone.
According to MIT, the air quality on a commercial airliner is actually quite high, with the air volume in the cabin completely refreshed every two to four minutes. Good feeling back.
Travel is stressful enough without COVID. The virus has added a level of stress that many travelers aren’t equipped to handle. With the proper preparation and education, along with a positive attitude, and of course a gallon of hand sanitizer, you’re not going to be one of those travelers.
Hope You Enjoyed the Read!