In years past, many families would have travel plans in place to see their family and friends for the holidays. After all, travel during Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas is by far the most popular time of the year to travel. AAA estimated that a whopping 112.5 million Americans traveled last holiday season. Though 2019 holiday travel numbers were at an all time high, this holiday season is going to look significantly different due to the global pandemic. Many families that usually go away for Thanksgiving and Christmas are feeling uncertain about what to do this holiday season, and frankly, aren’t sure if it’s even safe to travel right now. If you and your family are considering going to visit your loved ones this holiday season, but find yourself having more questions than answers, don’t fret!
Here’s everything you should know about traveling during the 2020 holiday season:
Is it Risky to Travel This Holiday Season?
In short, it depends where you’re going, who you plan to see, and what you plan to do while away. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fall and winter celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Christmas typically include large gatherings and travel plans that may end up putting people at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Furthermore, the CDC has released a list of the people who they say should not attend any in-person holiday celebrations this year.
This list includes:
- Anyone with COVID-19
- Anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19
- People who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- Anyone who lives with or works with someone who is at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
How Can My Family and I Stay Safe?
Possibly the best thing that you can do to keep you and your family safe is to wear a mask and wash your hands, as these two things can help to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Other precautions that you and your family can take to stay safe is to bring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, keep your distance from others, try to partake in activities outside if possible, and avoid attending gatherings when you know that a large number of people will be present.
What Precautions Are Major Airlines Taking?
Many airlines have been taking precautions throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and are continuing to do so, today. For example, Delta is keeping all of their middle seats open, requiring that all customers wear masks, and are boarding each flight starting at the rear so that fliers don’t have to pass one another while finding their seat. Another major player in the airline industry, Southwest Airlines, is also requesting that all passengers wear a mask throughout the duration of their flight, and are too, keeping their middle seats open.
Will My Family and I Have to Quarantine During or After Our Trip?
American Airlines has released this tool to help you understand travel restrictions around the country. All you have to do is put in where you’re departing from, as well as where you’re traveling to, then, the results will come back with all of the travel and health restrictions you’ll need to follow based on your destination.
You can use the American Airlines Travel Restriction Tool, here.
How Many People Are Planning to Travel This Holiday Season?
It seems that Americans are split on whether or not they’ll cancel their holiday plans this year. In a survey conducted by Morning Consult of 2,212 people, 53% said that their family holiday get together will happen as normal, while 47% said that their family holiday plans will be canceled. Though, some of the families who are canceling their in-person holiday plans, said that they’ll try to get together virtually with their family members.
If you are planning on traveling this year, please do your best to stay safe and healthy. Though things may look a little different this holiday season than in years past, our hope is that you can still find a way to celebrate with your loved ones – safely in-person, or virtually. Happy holidays!