We will travel again but who can people turn to for reliable advice regarding new safety standards? Peter Wells, CEO of boutique travel platform DragonSlayer, is here to help. His travel concierge service, where discerning travelers enjoy journeys tailored to their interests, features daily updates regarding Covid-19 and travel. With his eye always on the horizon, travel master Peter Wells shares his 5 most important tips for safe travels. Americans love to travel because it’s an ingrained part of our culture! We love every aspect of it, from the planning, taking, and then of course sharing our trip to social media. As the shelter-in-place rules loosen, people want to know when and how to travel safely. Since so many of us will travel again, and a vaccine is some time away, it’s important to be ready to stay safe on your journey. Here are my five simple tips for safety when traveling.
1. Wear a mask. All domestic airlines now require flight crews and passengers to wear masks. If you buy the right mask and wear it consistently, that is the most important thing you can do for safe travel. Homemade masks won’t protect you like an N-95 mask will. For years, cyclists have worn washable N-95 masks to protect themselves from air pollution and dust. (Bear with me here, because it gets technical) The key component is a disposable charcoal filter rated for “PM 2.5”, which stands for “particulate matter 2.5 microns.” This means that the filter blocks any particulate matter bigger than 2.5 microns in diameter, which include many pollutants and the COVID-19 virus. N95 is an indication that the mask blocks 95% of particulate matter, which goes down to 2.5 microns, so N95 and PM 2.5 are essentially the same. Just search for “outdoor anti-dust mask PM 2.5” (Please do not purchase a mask that has a CO2 outlet which vents your breath as these don’t protect others around you.) Order now for June delivery but that should be in time for summer. Rest assured that reusable masks are appropriate for purchase. Healthcare workers use disposable masks so you aren’t interfering with their supplies.
2. Pick safe ways to travel. Drive, especially if it doesn’t require an overnight stay to get to your destination. If you must fly, select airlines with the strictest safety standards when it comes to your health. As of May 5, only Delta and Alaska Air are blocking all middle seats on mainline flights. As health and safety regulations rapidly evolve, you can get the latest information at DRAGONSLAYER.COM
3. Rent a car instead of Uber/Lyft. It’s old school, but safer than using a ride sharing service where previous passengers and driver create opportunities for infection. It’s also wise to pre-sanitize the steering wheel, in the very least. Suddenly the video of Naomi Campbell disinfecting her first class seat is very “of -the-moment”!
4. Choose where you stay carefully. The largest hotel chains have launched new cleanliness initiatives. Hilton has partnered with the maker of Lysol and the Mayo clinic on a new standard of cleanliness that starts in June. Marriott is looking at the entire guest experience with a new Global Cleanliness Council. Hyatt recently announced an entire revamp of their cleanliness policy, with an on site “hygiene manager” at all properties by September 2020. In addition, both Airbnb and VRBO are implementing stringent new standards for cleanliness and safety. But what about one of the most best parts of travel, where will you eat? Until restaurants open back up to capacity, hotels with room service might be the wiser option.
5. Support my Safe Skies Initiative. The safest solution for air travel will be when comprehensive testing for COVID-19 is available for all passengers, air crews, and airport employees. This is possible within the next 60 days at major U.S. airports if we build a public-private partnership with the CDC, TSA, local medical communities and airport authorities. The shortest test times are delivered in five minutes, but the quality of testing continues to improve. The Safe Skies Initiative will make us dramatically safer and bring consumer confidence back to the travel industry. Support air travel safety measures to protect your health and please consider signing the petition, thank you.