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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Lutheran chapter.

As things begin to get better with the pandemic and more things are opening up, people are beginning to travel again. I myself went on a trip a month ago despite the restrictions (which I know was kind of selfish), but I took multiple precautions and everything worked out just fine. Especially now that I’m vaccinated, things are even easier. For those who are not vaccinated, though, here a few tips for traveling during the pandemic.

1. Get tested

If you are planning on traveling anywhere, it’s important to get tested multiple times before leaving since many places require proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the flight. I got tested once a week for 4 weeks before I left and the final time before my flight was two days prior. Lately, many testing sites are giving people their results within 24 hours, so there’s plenty of time to get tested before leaving. 

2. Wear your mask everywhere

Masks really are not that bad. In my opinion, people complain about them just to complain. Yes, you can breathe, and no, they are not harmful. If you’re traveling, you have to wear them everywhere and for the entire time, so just deal with it. Aggressiveness aside, wearing a mask really is essential for traveling; you have no idea what you could come in contact with. Personally, I felt so safe wearing my mask, especially when other people were too. Don’t screw over other people. 

mask on a pink letterboard with the words "don't panic" written
Photo by Tonik from Unsplash

3. Schedule extra time for things

Since everything everywhere is working at lowered capacities, there is a lot of waiting. Plan for that because things aren’t how they used to be. A 20-minute wait before could be an hour and a half long wait now. Yes, it is going to be a pain because you only have so much time for the trip, but be ready; things take a lot longer now. If you specifically plan for that, though, you can still fit so many fun things into your day.

4. Be prepared for things to be closed

Right now, there is still a lot of uncertainty in many places. Their website might say that they’re open when they really aren’t, their hours might read differently, and sometimes the place might no longer exist. Double-check everything before you leave or right when you get there and be prepared with a backup plan. Maybe even a backup plan for your backup plan. I like it when things like that happen because it may lead to an experience you weren’t originally going to have. Those kinds of surprises are pretty fun. 

Photo by Edwin Hooper from Unsplash

5. Be ready for change

Things are pretty strict in some places, so your plans might have to change multiple times a day to accommodate everything. On my own trip, our itinerary changed about 7 times each day because of closures, hours, etc. Don’t be too dead set on doing anything, because you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.

6. Have fun and be safe!

Yes, things are scary right now, but that doesn’t mean we have to continue to put our lives on hold. Before my trip, I was so scared of the what-ifs, but getting away for a while was so nice. It is okay to have fun and to live your life, just remember to take the precautions and to be safe. 

7. Get tested twice when you get home!

I got tested as soon as I got home and then again two weeks later, just to make sure that I was okay. I tested negative both times and then went back to my life as usual. It’s not required, but I did it to keep my family safe and so I could go back to work as soon as I could.

Things right now are still so up in the air, but I truly believe that there is no reason for us to not live our lives. So long as everyone is safe and we stay smart about it, we can still experience life. So if you plan on traveling anytime soon, just make sure to check out your destination’s rules and restrictions and be ready to get tested a lot. Have fun!

Alexia Lee

Cal Lutheran '21

Alexia Lee is the Social Media Director for Her Campus at Cal Lutheran. She is a senior majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. She absolutely loves reading and writing, which she finds herself doing a lot in her free time. If she isn’t doing either, she can be found waltzing around Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World in her Ravenclaw robe, at the beach working on her tan, or daydreaming about where her travels will take her next.
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