What You Need to Know for Holiday Travel

By Lindsey Johnson

COVID kept us all home for awhile. Then we may have started some road tripping. As states lighten the restrictions and people feel more comfortable traveling (and flying) again, here are some things you need to know when packing your bags for some holiday travel.

Regardless of current local mandates, airports and airplanes are mask-required zones.

In airports and on planes, makes are mandatory, regardless of your vaccination status. Fines can reach many thousands of dollars. Just the past weekend, I was traveling and the gate attendants threatened to kick people off the flight and report to authorities if their mask was not covering both their nose and mouth. They stated that they had just turned someone in from the last flight and the fine was $10,000! (that would be an expensive trip!) Throughout the flight, attendants repeatedly reminded passengers to pull their masks over their nose and mouth if they were not actively eating or drinking. These employees have been fighting for safer skies while still getting passengers to their final destination. Respect the rules and enjoy the trip, even if it comes with a few extra steps. Everyone is just trying to travel safely.

Masks are still mandatory in many places.

Florida has loosened restrictions in most establishments, making some of us forgetful to take a mask EVERY time we head out the door, regardless of whether we think we’re going inside or not. I found myself denied entry to some establishments as I forgot a mask (because I hadn’t intended to go indoors). Best to just keep a mask in your pocket in case! A last minute change of plans could leave you left behind!

In some places, like New York City, vaccine cards are required for indoor dining.

If you’ve been vaccinated, bring proof, unless you want to enjoy a frosty meal outdoors. Outdoor dining does not require proof of vaccination.

Be respectful of different levels of comfort.

While many Floridians have gone back to socializing in groups, not every destination (or person) is comfortable yet. If relatives request not to hug, that’s ok. Everyone has different levels of comfort in being around groups of people or those traveling from another area. Enjoy the time together, whatever that looks like this year.

Have patience.

Traveling can always be stressful but varying restrictions can also make it confusing. Have patience with staff enforcing their rules. Be prepared to face a variety of different restrictions in varying locations and be respectful of local laws. We’re all just doing the best we can. Most importantly, have safe, happy and healthy holiday travels!

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