Governments all around the world put a pause on life as we knew it. In an effort to limit citizens’ exposure to a pandemic that very few saw coming, shelter-in-place orders were strictly imposed. Travel ceased, businesses closed, and a new normal replaced former customs. Some countries locked down their streets for months. Others, for weeks. Now, many cities are cautiously reopening. But now that we can explore the world, how do we do so without putting our health at risk? Here are three ways to resume travel with safety in mind.

  1. Be Vigilant Researching Airline Safety Standards

We are entering a new era of travel. COVID-19 has changed the world’s view of what it means to be safe. Prior to the pandemic, most airlines were concerned about security threats. Now, companies must also account for the invisible dangers. Before booking your flight, spend time researching newly imposed safety measures. Here are some questions to consider:

  • How is the airline handling social (physical) distancing?
  • How often is the plane sanitized, and to what degree?
  • Will my airline require travelers to wear a mask before boarding?
  • Are flight attendants being screened before their shifts?

Only patronize the companies that align with your standards of precaution, even if that means limiting your airline options. 

  1. Sanitize Your Space

As the CDC has reported, one of the most common ways to contract the virus is through high-touch surfaces. With an increasing number of travelers using the same kiosks, waiting areas and plane seats, many common surfaces are a hotspot for germs. To counter the risk, make sure to sanitize your space. Use an alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach-based disinfectant to thoroughly wipe down all areas that you may touch. Once you land, maintain the same hygiene practices for public transportation, hotel rooms, restaurants, and tourist attractions. As always, wash your hands frequently and refrain from touching your face.

  1. Consider Traveling to Low Population Areas

Without a vaccine, coronavirus is projected to continue to wreak havoc in densely populated areas. With social distancing being a key factor in staying healthy, tourist areas that have little room to maintain personal space only serve to increase your exposure to illness. This summer, instead of frequenting the country’s most popular destinations, consider traveling to areas where you can be isolated. Infectious disease expert, Cora Neuman, recommends that people find adventure as close to home as possible to avoid overwhelming remote communities with an influx of COVID-19 cases. Still, local national parks, campsites and hidden gems are secluded locations worth exploring.

Everyone has a different timeline when it comes to returning to normal. While some people prefer to wait inside a bit longer, others are itching to beat their quarantine fatigue. No matter which route you choose, you don’t have to let coronavirus control your life. So, when you feel safe to pursue your next vacation, take these three precautions to help you stay healthy.