What It’s Like To Travel In the US Right Now

Starting to travel again and wondering what it’s like to get back on the road (or in the air!) again?

As someone who works in the event and tradeshow industry, I used to travel a fair amount. My travel, like many others, halted during the beginning of the pandemic.

However, since COVID started I’ve taken a few trips for work. While I have a trip to Florida coming up, the traveling I’ve done so far has been in California and Washington. I fully realize that travel to other areas of the country are very different. You may not encounter all of these if going to other parts of the country.

No matter where you’re going, please be safe! I am fully vaccinated and took all precautions like mask-wearing, and I took 2 tests (once before I left and another during my trip) to make sure that I wasn’t spreading anything.

The TSA Line at Seattle International

Flying

Airports are pretty packed, and for those of you who don’t like people (literally) breathing down your back, be aware that social distancing doesn’t appear to be a thing. If you’re standing in line, someone is sure to be close behind!

Masks in airports and planes are a federal mandate, and other than the occasional person not covering their nose, I found that people are following that rule pretty well.

Those Flights Are Full

Every flight that I’ve taken has been full. That means that it’s very likely you’ll be sitting very close to someone you don’t know. No 6′ there. On these seats, you may not even be getting 6″.

While sitting right next to strangers and being packed on a small space may sound really icky to people, research shows that “the risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during air travel is lower than from an office building, classroom, supermarket, or commuter train.”

Dr Pombal, co-author of the research, says “The airflow in today’s aircrafts have been measured at three times the amount mandated for infection control rooms in hospitals,” said Drs. Shoor and Ortega. “It takes the ventilation system of a plane about six minutes to reduce the number of viral particulates in the air by 99.9%.”

Really, what you need to be careful about is the crowded airports before and after getting on that plane! Wear that mask and sanitize!

Service May Be Cut Back

A lot of airlines have pared down their menus. Southwest has 4-5 drink options, none of them being alcohol, which they’re still now serving. Many airlines that stopped serving alcohol or cut down their in-flight service have been ramping back up again. Last week I took a flight on Delta, and they did offer alcohol as an option.

If you’re needing that drink (I hear you), grab one “to go” and drink it at the gate- totally allowed.

My fave travel companion for 8 days straight

By the way, I picked up this fanny pack right before the trip. I know, it’s a fanny pack. But, isn’t it cute?! I’d so many people ask me where I got it. I wore it the entire 8 days I was in Seattle. It was amazing. I always travel with this backpack (again, that everyone asks me about) and as much as I love, it, I hate having to take it off to get my ID and boarding pass or ATM. It was so easy to get to my boarding pass, ID, and ATM card instead of rummaging through my backpack that was on my back.

Mask Up!

Hotels

Housekeeping

Is one of your favorite things about staying in a hotel that it’s cleaned up for you? Well, you may have to wait until the end of your stay for that and say goodbye to your daily clean sheets.

Most hotels (and all of the ones that I have stayed in have cut out housekeeping. While this is done under the guise of “reduced contact”, I now have a sneaking suspicion it’s more due to a lack of ability to staff up.

So, are you going to pay less for giving up the housekeeping? Nope.

FYI- you CAN ask for housekeeping service, so if it’s important to you, ask away!

Room Service/ Dining Options Closed

Ok, this is a big one. Many places don’t have room service. For those of you who travel for work and just want to get food delivered to your room after a long day, this is huge.

I recently stayed at a hotel that said they didn’t have room service but when I called down to the restaurant, they said they’d deliver up. So, do your research!

Many restaurants are closed, especially those around downtown areas that have been hit hard by working from home due to the pandemic. Your options may be a bit limited.

Safety

Out and About

Bring your vaccine card. More and more places (including Los Angeles and San Francisco) are requiring it in order to access certain indoor places like indoor events and indoor dining.

QR Codes

Get your phone out and your camera or QR code scanner ready. Many places are offering QR codes instead of menus

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Where have you been recently and what was your experience? Please share in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *