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10 Tips to Know for Safe Holiday Shopping

It is no secret that the holiday season will have to be reimagined with safety measures to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it is the season of giving and we want to find the best gifts for our loved ones while also being safe. In order to minimize your risk of exposure, it is important to follow the posted safety measures in the shopping centers and stay up to date on local and CDC guidelines. Here are 10 precautions you can take to have a safer holiday shopping experience.

There is no such thing as too early!

This pandemic has brought about a lot of unexpected changes and the sooner you get your shopping done the better. It is important to limit your exposure to large crowds and beat the holiday rush by getting your shopping done in a timely manner. Try to shop in shop in increments or bring a list so that you stay organized and find all the gifts you need before the holiday scramble.

Wear a mask/facial covering 

A mask or facial covering is essential for stopping the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season and should be worn any time you will be around people who are outside of your household. The most important part of this tip is to make sure you are wearing your mask correctly, it should completely cover your nose and mouth without any gaps!

Bring personal hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes 

Many of the stores require bulk hand sanitizer upon entry use or provide sanitizing stations, however, it is important to carry a personal hand sanitizer to avoid transmission with high touch areas. Disinfectant wipes are not provided at every establishment or may not be readily restocked and you must be prepared to wipe down your cart or basket before checking items off your holiday shopping list. 

Contactless payment 

In an effort to avoid contact with store associates, consider different contactless payment options. If possible try to use card payments instead of cash. Newer cards have chips that offer the tap payment option which avoids swiping all together. Consider adding your credit or debit cards to your Apple or Samsung wallet to reduce the use of contaminated surfaces. 

Maintain a six foot distance from others

When browsing the aisles during the holidays, a good rule of thumb is to maintain two arms' length from other shoppers, this measures about six feet.

Curbside delivery 

Curbside delivery allows you to order your items online and pick them up without the long line. Every store has a slightly different process, though this option significantly lowers your chance of being exposed. 

Avoid peak times

This holiday season is anything but traditional and large crowds are not something you want to encounter. A helpful tip is to look up the establishment you are visiting ahead of time on Google search and view the most popular times so you can plan your day accordingly. In addition, you can shop during work hours, early in the morning or before closing. 

Avoid shopping in large groups

It is important to remember that CDC guidelines state that in order to protect those in your household you should avoid mixing with other extended family members and friends when you cannot maintain the proper distance. Stores have limited capacity and although you may want to share the holiday season shopping experience with your loved ones, the safest way to do that is by shopping alone. 

Online shopping 

Order as many gifts online as you can! This method doesn't completely eliminate the risk of transmission of the virus however it is very low. You should discard any packaging after your package arrives and wash your hands immediately; then you can enjoy your giving season.

Wash your hands 

Remember that hand sanitizer doesn't replace hand washing. When you return home it is important to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds in warm water. 

We want to have a safe holiday season and with that comes personal responsibility. It is up to all of us to stop the spread of COVID-19 and practice the proper safety measures so that we protect ourselves and others from getting sick. 

Alori Council

Hofstra '22

I am a Hofstra University student working to earn a dual degree in Community Health and a Master's in Health Administration. I love volunteering and being the change that I wish to see in the world. I am a proud member of HerCampus Hofstra and I wholeheartedly stand by the quote "HerCampus, Our Canvas".
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