Let’s be real- we all miss travelling. There's literally no better feeling than shopping your way through the duty-free mall or chugging the last of your Starbucks before security. The pandemic and various lockdowns had put a stop to most people’s travel plans and have pretty much altered the way travel works worldwide. Now, as both domestic and international travel start up again, many people are rightly hesitant to travel, but, for those of you who do choose to, I thought I would collate a few bits and pieces from my most recent experiences. So, here are a few tips on how to survive those long haul COVID flights, the ever-changing protocols, and minimize the COVID risk as much as you can.
Number 1- Keep your mask up.
There’s really no way around this one. I know how much having to wear a mask for long periods of time can suck. Trust me, after giving the SAT, doing ballet lessons and school and sitting on a 17-hour flight in a mask, I can personally attest to the havoc that it recks on your skin, your - and just your general sanity. Especially for me as a person who wears glasses, the loss of vision from the fog really isn’t fun. However, it’s definitely kept me COVID free after flights and on holiday. (Personally, I feel like it’s even more important to stay hyper-vigilant about your mask in the actual airports as compared to the flight itself.)
Despite all the benefits, I know it’s quite ridiculous to expect someone to keep their mask up for around 24 hours continuously. A great place to take your mask off and just breathe for a bit is the toilet stall.
Besides taking off your mask and changing the filters/masks through the flight, it’s definitely prudent to keep a face moisturiser on hand through the flight. Masks dry up your skin really quickly, and we also tend to get dehydrated on flights, since we aren’t as vigilant with our liquid intake.
Additionally, you could buy a couple of the half-face masks from Sephora or Boots or even a pharmacy. They’ll keep your skin hydrated, and also keep the actual mask off your skin whilst keeping it tight on your nose and mouth.
Number 2- Keep up with the policy of both the country of departure and arrival!
This is definitely the most important aspect of COVID time travel. The policies are ever-changing, and there have been times where policy has changed while flights are midair! Keep up with the requirements of both sides, whether you need to be tested, or if a vaccine certificate is enough to enter. This is pretty much the most important thing for you to do.
Number 3- You need a variety of sanitisers and wipes.
At the very least, you need two- a gel/liquid for your hands and a spray sanitiser and surface wipes for the tray table, TV controls and door handles. Plus, even in non-pandemic times, it’s still important to stay hygienic on flights. You didn’t hear this from me, but some people use tray tables for the grossest imagable reasons. Another object to spray or wipe down is the flight pillow if you use it.
To combat dry hands, keep a sample size lotion on you- you could even pick it up in the duty-free cosmetics area.
Number 4- Keep Snacks Ready!
In some flights, especially shorter domestic flights, the variety of food and snacks available on flights has reduced considerably over the pandemic. It’s always smart to stock up either at home or at the airport. Keep something full of ready sugar, like a chocolate bar, ready to eat at all times, because it’s so easy to get caught up in everything and forget to eat. Plus, wearing your mask for that long definitely makes you quite dizzy.
Number 5- Carry extra disposable masks
You’d be surprised how often masks can fall off and touch the floor or another seat on the flight. If it does, please don’t put it back on your face- you’d be introducing so much bacteria to your skin and system! Keep a bunch of backup masks near you and ready to go at all times.
Bonus- Drink plenty of water and liquids! Keep those fizzy vitamin C tablets or water flavourings on you if you’re not a big water drinker.
Just a reminder, I’m not in any way replacing or claiming to be a medical professional or a travel agent, I’m just sharing what worked for me!