There’s an illness going around the world right now called “Coronavirus”. Maybe you’ve heard of it?? Has it affected our travel plans yet? Nope.
I honestly wasn’t sure when, or even if, I would write about this. Because I’m not a medical expert. And while I have no problem showing you the travel car seats we use and allowing you to make the choice whether or not to use them for your own kids—basically removing that responsibility from my shoulders since you have opted for those choices yourself—giving medical advice does. Because, again, 1. I’m not a medical expert. and 2. We’re still learning so much about this illness and how to prevent it. In fact, on the day I publish this post, it seems every morning I wake up to a new fact or discovery about it. And it’s scary, yet at the same time it leaves me hopeful that we might just learn enough to possibly diminish it.
Therefore all I can do is simply tell you what I’m doing for my own family and what I plan to do in the upcoming travel season. Again, I’m not a medical expert and thus I’m treating it the same as any other flu virus as this is what I’ve been told to do by actual medical experts. So today, on the day I publish this post, I have yet to abolish any of our travel plans (as they are not to countries where Coronavirus is widespread) and still plan to move forward with them, with the following precautions:
- Monitor travel warnings to any destinations. The CDC website has travel advisories listed for places that are considered “higher risk” than others, and warn against travel to any of them. Check their website often for information on your own intended travel destinations. I’ve been keeping close tabs on destinations we plan to travel to and making sure the virus isn’t widespread to those areas. Obviously it goes without saying that if there is a travel warning somewhere don’t travel to that area. However, this does also hold true to certain crowded destinations as well, like cruise ships and theme parks. I check their sites daily for any new developments, and plan to contact certain ones to check what their current policies are. For example, while Walt Disney World hasn’t listed cancellation procedures, they have noted they are aiming to keep things even more clean than usual, increasing staff training in sanitation procedures and such. I encourage you to do the same and contact your own intended destinations. Find out what the cancellation procedures are, any extra sanitation procedures currently being carried out, and if refunds are available in case of widespread illness breakouts.
- As for cruise travel, keep in mind the actual cruise ship may be more controlled and sanitary than ports-of-call as the industry can control the germs on their ship, but not on an island where hundreds of different travelers flock daily. Keep this in mind when considering debarking in a certain area. Also check the procedures of your cruise-liner and website for information regarding illness updates and embarkation procedures. As one example, Disney Cruise Line has made temporary changes to their travel procedures, allowing guests to temporarily cancel and rebook a future cruise if sailing before May 30, 2020 due to Coronavirus threats, up to 24 hours in advance of their sailing. There are also new procedures in place upon embarkation where passengers will have their temperature taken by a nurse in order to embark the ship, something that was never done before. Check your individual cruise liner website for any embarkation/rebooking updates often.
- Around here we’ve been treating the germ-at-bay precautions similarly to the flu: My kids know the minute they walk in the door from anywhere they wash their hands, and even before we’ve arrived home we’ve already sanitized in the car. I wipe down all surfaces when we’re out using Clorox and/or sanitizing wipes. I can’t stress this enough for airplane and restaurant surfaces: they are germ city. The next section has a link to the post I wrote about our Sanitary Kits I always carry and travel with, which also has a link to a video showcasing sanitation procedures on airplanes—heads up—they’re not as good as you might think.
- Before I used to carry one sanitary kit in my car and one in my stroller, but now I’ve actually doubled the amount I use and put one in every passenger door, so there’s never an excuse not to have one for easy access. That’s right, Purell company, I’m partially responsible for the sudden increase in your stocks and growth. And I can’t stress this part enough as it might be overlooked, but your sanitary kit shouldn’t just consist of hand sanitizer and wipes, but should also include toilet seat covers and garbage bags. I’ve found over time that these items are a great way to contain germs we may catch from others, as well as our own germs others may catch from us. In the linked post above I also have easy purchase links to any of these items.
- Some airlines are already offering travel vouchers and/or have made statements of credits being given in case of widespread travel bans. Find out where your airlines stands on this.
- Increase your germ precautions in hotels as well. In a previous post here I discussed some germ-at-bay procedures we take in hotels, as well as listed some other experts take. Remember, you weren’t there to watch them clean the room, and you have no idea who stayed there before you or where they came from. Let that marinate a bit. Maybe it will remind you to lay a towel over the hotel pillowcase.
- Travel Health Insurance: We never travel to a foreign country without purchasing travel health insurance first. The one we used recently and liked was by GeoBlue, if interested. Read the policy procedures for your plan (the fine print) for information on Coronavirus treatment procedures, etc. I guarantee you the insurance company you have chosen will have something listed amidst the current events.
- Upon our return from our trip we don’t plan to visit any elderly, newborn, or pregnant relatives for about two weeks. This is a precaution just in case any of us are carrying and/or come down with anything that can be contagious and/or dangerous to them as it is this group who is the most susceptible to the heightened dangers of illnesses.
And lastly, for now, I plan to continue to enjoy planning our trip and hoping this all dies down. Maybe that’s wishful thinking on my part, or maybe that’s just me being realistic. As of today there aren’t strict travel bans within the United States, so I’m going with that.