As we’re all aware, the coronavirus pandemic is surely going to change our lives in many ways. “The new normal” has become a very familiar term, especially when talking about the future of travel.
Air travel is one of the most popular methods of travel and has been hit extremely hard during this ongoing global crisis. Moving forward, air travel is going to keep changing to become safer and better for all passengers.
There are already several things being done by airlines in response to the pandemic. You can read my post about our experience while flying home to New York from Madrid.
It’s important to keep some tips in mind to make air travel smoother, whether it’s due to the virus or just to make yourself more comfortable.
If you’re looking for ways to prepare for future travel, you may find my post about that helpful. If you are planning a flight anytime in the future, keep reading for my top tips to be safe and comfortable.
1. Wear a face mask at all times
If you’re worried about the virus or just want to be as safe as possible, wear your mask at all times. This is not only required on all planes now, but also strictly enforced by flight staff.
The best way to protect yourself and those around you is for everyone to wear a mask. Try not to take it off as long as you can help it. Any kind of face covering is better than nothing, so find yourself a mask that is comfortable and keep that baby on!
2. Make a sanitization kit
Whipping up a quick little kit with hand sanitizer, wipes, soap and tissues can be very helpful while in the airport or on the plane. Use the hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands and the soap if the bathroom has run out.
The wipes are very important so you can wipe down your seat area before you sit down and throughout the flight. In case the airline doesn’t provide these things, or you want to have extra, it’s a great idea to bring your own. See my list for making your own kit in my post about preparing for future travel.
3. Stay seated as much as possible
Social distancing is obviously not easy on a flight when you’re sitting inches away from someone, but there are still somethings you can do to protect yourself. Try not to get up from your seat and walk through the narrow isles of the plane. Go to the bathroom before you board to ensure you won’t need to get up.
This will prevent you from coming in contact with dozens of additional people if you don’t walk around on the plane.
4. Always check in online before arriving at the airport
This is a great idea for two reasons. The first is that you can skip the check in process at the airport and go straight to security, saving you valuable time.
The second is that you won’t have to wait in another line, near a bunch of people and come in contact with another person working at the desk. You cam limit your exposure to others and wasted time. A win-win in my book!
5. Only pack a carry on
If you can, try to only pack bags that you can carry onto the plane. This will save you the hassle of waiting to pick up your bags when you land or the highly dreaded lost bag scenario.
It also makes traveling a lot easier when you don’t have to drag around huge suitcases between the airport and the hotel.
6. Be prepared for security
It makes a world of difference when going through security if you packed well. Make sure all of your liquids are in the appropriate sized zip-lock bag and in an easy location to remove from your luggage.
Any electronics will have to be removed as well, so be sure you can easily access them. You don’t want to be that person holding up the line and panicking because you’re not organized, or having to go back through because you didn’t take out your laptop. Nobody likes that person. Check out the TSA website to be sure you’re prepared before you go.
7. Download shows and movies
Netflix and most online streaming services now allow you to download shows and movies onto your devices to watch later when you don’t have internet access.
This had been a life-saver for us when we’re on shorter flights that don’t have movies. Keep in mind that you can only download movies and shows on a phone or tablet, though.
8. BYOS (snacks)
Nothing is worse than getting on your flight with no food or drinks packed only to find out that the airline doesn’t serve snacks. Okay, obviously there are much worse things, but it’s happened to me many times and it’s pretty disappointing.
Bring snacks from home so you have a back up when you get hungry on your flight.
9. Have a refillable water bottle
It’s very easy to get dehydrated while traveling. You’re usually moving fast and worrying about catching your flight, so drinking water can fall on the back burner.
Although it may seem like you’re not doing much when sitting on a plane, studies show that you lose a lot of water during traveling. Bring a refillable water bottle and use the drinking fountains at the airport to ensure you can stay hydrated all day.