“Have you been on a airplane yet”? That seems to be one of the most common questions amongst coworkers, friends and family lately. I was talking about some work travel I have coming up and my sister in law was quick to mention that it has been a YEAR since she has flown anywhere. For most people, that is the norm nowadays. I recently had a job back east and have to admit I was very hesitant to fly at first. (Hence the 2 week cross country “adventure” I dragged my family through this summer because I didn’t want to fly with my children).
Then in early September, I had a work opportunity in NYC and decided it was now or never and I eventually took my first flight from LA to NYC in a worldwide pandemic. I did a ton of research about the safest PPE to wear while flying as well as the most Covid safe airlines before jumping back in the traveling “saddle”. Truth be told, I was already the girl that used Lysol to clean her airplane seat waaaaay before Covid. So I was pretty ready to go, all I needed was a little extra PPE.
Yup, the protective equipment usually reserved for healthcare workers has now become the new normal for traveling. Here is what I know…the air filtration systems on airplanes are supposed to be very good and all airlines require EVERYONE to wear a mask. Trust me, if you have your mask under your nose during the flight, a flight attendant will immediately ask you to pull it up. I have even seen a flight attendant wake someone up from a deep sleep in order to make sure he was wearing his mask correctly (thank you flight attendants!!).
This is what I recommend you wear on any upcoming travel:
- Double mask: a heavy duty mask (like an N95 or KN95) and then a regular disposable mask on top.
- If you don’t have a KN95 or N95 then double mask with cloth or disposable masks (the airline will provide you with masks if you don’t have any)
- The I highly recommend a face shield or goggles, why? Well in my experience, whether the middle seat is blocked or not, you will be within 2 feet of people no matter what…I am not sure about you but I haven’t been that close to anyone that doesn’t share my last name or is in my quarantine bubble so it’s a bit uncomfortable to be so close to strangers when we are all supposed to be at least 6ft apart.
- In the airport, on the plane, no matter how you slice it, “social distancing” is out the window, sorry folks. You are on your own, so protect yourself! Honestly, I feel the safest on an airplane because I am covered with my protective gear and know that the airlines are being as cautious as possible
- Bring hand sanitizer and wipes! Even though most airlines provide you with some sort of hand sanitizer, be on the safe side and bring your own!
Here are some of my favorite items to travel with during Covid: