5 tips for traveling smart this winter
Baby, it’s all kinds of weather outside.
Cold, hot, or humid—it all depends on your winter travel destination. With vaccine numbers and Covid counts on the rise, traveling this winter may look the same as last year (staycation, anyone?) or extremely different (white-sand beaches, here I come!).
Whether you’re living it up locally or heading out of state, we have a list of five tips and tricks for making the most of your vacation.
Tip no. 1: Have a plan B, C, or maybe even D
Even when you plan ahead, book reservations in advance, and check visitor prerequisites way before you go, things can change. Airlines cancel flights, tourist activities adjust hours, and Covid-related requirements fluctuate. When you make your original plans, create a backup plan or two so you can quickly and easily shift gears.
Maybe you skip the amusement park and take a guided bike tour instead. Or maybe that beachy getaway turns into a local staycay. Either way, you’ll already have plans and won’t end up sitting on the couch, binge-watching your favorite series—something you can do anytime.
Tip no. 2: Think about travel insurance
You may not be a fan of travel insurance, but with the continued unpredictability of things, now’s the time to seriously consider it. The cost is minimal in relation to your travel expenses, and it can be especially worth it if you’re booking flights, hotels, and vacation rentals.
That extra coverage may get you out of some sticky, travel-during-a-pandemic situations.
Always read the fine print on your bookings and your insurance policy so you know exactly what’s covered in case you must change plans. If you’re auto or medical insurance doesn’t cover your travel (international travel can get iffy), you may also want to purchase an independent travel insurance policy to up the coverage and travel assistance.
Forbes.com has compiled a list of the best travel insurance companies plus a few handy guides, including Best “Cancel for Any Reason” Travel Insurance.
Tip no. 3: Pack the right gear
If you’re doing the staycation thing, you have most of the gear you need right at home. What you might not have—and totally need—is a powerful, portable UV-C germ fighter like SurfaceSoap UV.
Our UV wand kills 99.99% of germs in seconds*, which means you can quickly and easily zap germs while you’re out and about checking “try new Thai restaurant” and “watch a box office hit” off your staycay list.
Traveling far and wide during the winter holidays? You’ll for sure want a SurfaceSoap UV wand to tackle bacteria and viruses on seats, arm rests, and tray tables. You can also swipe away germs on doorknobs, light switches, and other surfaces in hotels and vacation rentals.
It also comes in handy for pathogen-packed public transportation, like buses, taxis, subways, and ride shares.
Your packing list should also include the following:
- Hand sanitizer (don’t leave home without it)
- Reusable water bottle (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate)
- Two types of headphones (Bluetooth for your device, wired for in-flight entertainment)
- PhoneSoap Go (disinfect and charge wherever you are)
PhoneSoap Go is our travel-friendly version of our bestselling UV-C disinfection tool. It disinfects and charges your phone—a lifesaver when flights are delayed or your hitting multiple rest stops on your road trip.
Tip no. 4: Plan a staycation
We’ve sprinkled “staycation” throughout this winter travel post, so it should be no surprise we’re fans of the idea. While some people can totally handle the unpredictability of travel in today’s world, it’s not for everyone. And that’s where the stay-at-home winter vacation comes in.
You can make your winter staycation one day or multiple days, as simple or involved as you’d like. Here are a few ideas to get your started:
- Try a new restaurant (or three)
- Visit a local museum, art gallery, or science center
- Hit all the tourist stops downtown
- Go ice skating (classic winter activity)
- Book a day at the spa
- Stay at a local bed and breakfast
- Plan a hike in your state’s national park
- Have an indoor picnic
- Go offline for an entire day (emergency calls or texts only!)
- See a live performance
- Take a class (salsa dancing, cooking, painting)
- Order takeout and enjoy a game or movie night with friends
Tip no. 5: Be patient
Last but definitely not least, be patient. From airlines to retail shops, companies have seen a serious shift in staff. Fewer employees, combined with new employees mid training, means things are going to run a bit differently—and a bit more slowly.
Being kind and considerate goes a long way, especially with overworked employees. Embracing an easy-going attitude will get you far in the current “everything’s taking longer than I’d like” climate.
*SurfaceSoap UV was tested by BIOSCIENCE LABORATORIES, LLC against Salmonella enterica (ATCC # 10708), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC # 6538), and Human Coronavirus strain OC43 (Zeptometrix #0810024CF). SurfaceSoap UV was tested by scanning glass slides containing these microbes and shown to kill up to 99.99% of the previously specified bacteria, and 99.9% of the specified coronavirus strain. Tests were performed with the SurfaceSoap UV moving at 3 inches per second and held 1 inch from the exposed surface.