2020. This has been a wild mask-wearing year like no other. Normally we are packing and getting ready to fly to see family for Thanksgiving and planning our ski trip to Utah for Christmas. We decided this year that we would drive to see family for Thanksgiving, and last week we canceled our trip due to Covid-19 spiking. This will be our first year not seeing Great GrandDad and our hearts are missing family. Missing friends. Missing celebration. We know you are missing many of your loved ones too. State officials are urging Californians not to travel outside of the state for the holidays and if you do, they recommend that you quarantine upon returning.

However, we understand that travel may be essential for some. What is essential travel? This is travel for “work and study, infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety, and security.” We also know that some people will inevitably be traveling during the holidays whether their travel is essential or not. Therefore, we have decided to compile a list of travel tips.

Here are our top safety tips if you plan to travel for the holidays by plane.

  1. Buy a face shield and wear a mask. All airlines will require a face cover to board, but we recommend also wearing a face shield. We found some great ones at WETShield that will work for the whole family. Please note children under the age of 2 years old should not wear a mask as it is not safe. Be sure to check your airline to see what the rules are when it comes to masks.
  2. Bring a comfortable pair of headphones from home. Pass on the airlines that are handing them out and travel with your own. This way you have control over who has touched them and you can feel safe about sharing them with your kids.
  3. Pack cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer. Toddlers love to touch EVERYTHING. Even lick things sometimes. Have a kind, but firm talk with your children about what the rules are when traveling so that they understand that touching things may result in them getting the virus or “yucky germy” as my kids refer to it. Wipe down the seat, seat belt, arms, and tray table.

Here are our top safety tips if you plan to travel for the holidays by car. We did a three-week road trip this summer and traveled through 12 states.  We thankfully managed to stay healthy while building incredible family memories and checking off a few beautiful landmarks from our celebration list.

  1. When you stop for gas, always wear gloves and a face mask. Try to pay by credit card so you don’t have to go inside and can socially distance.
  2. Bring toilet paper with you, as well as, a toddler potty. Believe it or not, there are plenty of empty side roads to pull off on while road-tripping and it is helpful in case there is not a restroom nearby.
  3. Buy snacks, food and drinks to fill your cooler on this trip. The less places you need to go indoors, the better.
  4. If you stay in a hotel, try to stop in cities with low Covid rates as well as stay at hotels that are at a low capacity. Call ahead to inquire about their cleaning and sanitation policies. Request a room that no one has occupied in the last 48 hours.
  5. Open your windows a few inches and let air flow through your car.

Whether you’re traveling by airplane or automobile, it is always wise to keep extra disposable gloves, face masks and a first-aid kit with you. Wash your hands, a lot. Clean off your cell phone. Change your clothes and shower right away when you reach your destination.

We wish you and your families a safe and happy holidays…. preferably in your own homes!