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United States Travel Restrictions

Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status

Traveling from the United States to the United States

Open for vaccinated visitors

COVID-19 testing

Not required

Not required for vaccinated visitors


Not required on public transportation.

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Can I travel to the United States from the United States?

Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter the United States.

Can I travel to the United States if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter the United States without restrictions.

Can I travel to the United States without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter the United States without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter the United States?

Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering the United States.

Can I travel to the United States without quarantine?

Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in the United States?

Mask usage in the United States is not required on public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in the United States?

Restaurants in the United States are open. Bars in the United States are .

Is It Safe to Travel to Europe?

Is It Safe to Travel to Italy?

Is It Safe to Go on a Cruise?

Is It Safe to Travel to China?

Is It Safe to Go Hiking?

What to Do If You're Stranded Abroad

US, Mexico, and Canada

Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

Central and South America

Africa and the Middle East

Airline Cancellation Policies

Travel Insurance & COVID-19

Policies of Home Exchange Services

How to Cancel a Vacation

Getting Miles Back After Canceling Award Flights

How COVID-19 Could Change Travel

Future of New Zealand Tourism

How Tourism in Italy Will Change

What to Do About Your Current Trips

Visiting a National Park Right Now

Trips That Require Advance Planning

Is It Safe to Travel in the US?

Is It Safe to Travel in the U.S. Right Now?

safe travel usa

As of December 22, there were more than 17 million confirmed cases and 316,844 deaths across the United States, spread across all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Bans and Business Shutdowns in the U.S.

Several cities and states have closed down non-essential businesses, limited bars and restaurants to takeout and delivery only, and enacted official bans on large events or gatherings of any number. Others have taken those directives a step farther by instating stay-at-home mandates (meaning residents are only allowed to leave home for essential needs and must practice social distancing en route). Some places that had instated lockdowns or stay-at-home orders are starting to gradually open up, most starting with essential businesses and still requiring masks or social distancing.

Governmental Travel Advisories and Restrictions

On March 19, the U.S. State Department issued a global "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory, discouraging all travel abroad. It also has urged that any U.S. citizens currently abroad return home now or stay in place.

The Europe travel ban remains. On March 14, President Trump expanded the previously announced ban (one that covered 26 countries within Europe's Schengen Area) to also include Ireland and the United Kingdom. The restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, their immediate families, and permanent residents, but rather to non-residents who have visited the following countries—Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom—in the last 14 days.

When the first part of the travel ban was announced on March 11, the White House made the following statement: "The free flow of people between the Schengen Area countries makes the task of managing the spread of the virus difficult." Initial restrictions began on at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, and Ireland and the United Kingdom were added shortly after that.

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have also agreed to close the U.S.-Canada border for non-essential travel for an indefinite amount of time.

Airline, Train, Bus, and Ride-Sharing Services

All major U.S. airlines, Amtrak, and most bus operators have waived change fees, allowing travelers to rebook travel for a later date. They have also, however, scaled back operations due to decreased demand, meaning that your flight, train, or bus service may be canceled. Check with your travel provider for specific details. If you have travel insurance, keep in mind that most plans do not cover epidemics or pandemics , so read the fine print carefully.

While mass transit is still operating in all major cities, it is advised to avoid traveling via them if possible. “If you can, move to a train car that is not as dense. If you see a packed train car, let it go by, wait for the next train. Same if you’re taking a bus,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo during a press conference at the beginning of the pandemic. “It’s the density, the proximity that we’re trying to reduce.”

Uber and Lyft suspended carpooling options of their services (in which you'd share a car with another rider headed in the same direction) in the U.S. and Canada as part of the social distancing efforts; the regular ride-hailing service and the food delivery options are still available, but passengers will now see alerts when they open the app to consider limiting their travel to necessary rides only.

Attractions Closures and Event Cancellations

Sporting events across the country that were canceled have resumed with either limited live seating or no seating whatsoever.

Many major events across the U.S. have been either postponed or canceled, including the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and Coachella music festival in southern California. These events, and many like it, will not be offering refunds, so think twice about buying tickets to major events happening in the near future.

Many museums, fitness centers, movie theaters, and other entertainment venues are still closed across the country. Broadway theaters have extended closures to May 30, 2021; Walt Disney World and Disneyland has reopened, however, many regional theme parks remain closed.

Should You Travel in the U.S. Right Now?

In short: no, not right now. You should avoid all nonessential travel. While most people who contract COVID-19 will likely recover. It’s most dangerous to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems; however hospitals are seeing an increasing number of younger people being admitted as well. The major issue is spreading the disease—even if you’re a relatively healthy individual with little chance of dying from COVID-19, you will become a carrier if you are infected. Even if you don't show symptoms, you could spread the virus to someone with a weakened immune system. Thus, containment and avoiding non-essential travel is key.

And if you were to travel for leisure reasons right now, it's likely that your destination could be affected by closures of all or most businesses, attractions, and activities, so it's best to plan for a later time. If you must travel, though, be sure to regularly wash your hands vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol when you do not have access to soap and water.

20 Solo Trips in 2020: I Traveled Solo During COVID-19

The US Extends Masking Mandate, Tightens COVID-19 Testing Timeline for Travel

What to Expect If You’re Going on a Cruise This Winter

The Bahamas Is Closing Its Borders to Americans—Unless You’re Willing to Pay Up

The U.S. Land Borders with Canada and Mexico Will Stay Closed Through October 21

The US Has Issued A "Do Not Travel" Advisory for the UK and Four Other Countries

Croatia Bucks the E.U.'s Decision to Ban American Travelers

Where to Go in 2021: 10 Future Trips You Can Start Planning Now

Travel to Europe: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

The Best Staycation in Every State

Falling in Love with U.S. Landscapes Again

The CDC Just Eased COVID-19 Travel Recommendations for 61 Countries

These Countries Are Allowing Vaccinated Travelers to Visit

The Future of Tourism in New Zealand

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How to Safely Travel Within the US

Person walking with luggage

The Covid-19 pandemic is not over, but as we pass the two-year anniversary of when SARS-CoV-2 reached the US, we've learned how to manage the risks better and are slowly reopening the country to travelers and returning to a semblance of normal life. We have vaccinations and booster shots, greater access to quality masks , and much more robust testing widely available in 2022.

While the rapidly changing list of rules and stipulations over the past two years has been enough to make a traveler’s head spin more than in-flight booze, we've put together a guide on how to refamiliarize yourself with this big, beautiful country, whether you want to fly to a tropical beach or take a train to a city in the mountains. Just remember to secure all baggage— we recommend several great carry-ons —in the overhead compartment.

Don't see what you need here? Check out our guides to finding the best face masks and negotiating the rules around international travel . 

Updated March 2022: We've revamped this guide to focus more on domestic travel in the US and removed some sections of the international advice, which is now in its own, separate article. We added information on downloading and using digital proof-of-vaccination apps, as well as alternatives to rental cars, and we've updated quarantine information and required proof of vaccination and Covid-19 test results for travelers to Hawaii and overseas US territories and possessions.

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You can go everywhere in the US, with a few exceptions that we highlight in a section below. States in the contiguous US won't stop you from crossing over a state border, make you submit to testing, or check your vaccination card if you're traveling domestically. Earlier in the pandemic, some states, such as Rhode Island and Kansas, had particular stipulations and requirements for domestic travelers, but they've since done away with them.

You can seamlessly get on a plane, on a train, or in a car and slip across a state's border without any more drama than there was in 2019. Native American nations, many of which are sovereign nations, have their own entry requirements. If you plan to visit or pass through one, check official tribal websites for guidance.

The overseas states, territories, and possessions of the US can have stricter entry rules. As of March 26, Hawaii won't require Covid tests for travelers, but until then domestic travelers will have to present proof of vaccination or take a Covid-19 test and receive a negative result before hopping on a flight. When you're arriving from an international destination, you have to show proof of a negative result on a Covid-19 test received no more than one day before your flight.

How to Get a Real ID License Before the Deadline

Travelers who've recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection may be exempt as well , under certain circumstances. If you don't follow these requirements for Hawaii, get ready for a five-day quarantine upon arrival, although that's also going by the wayside on March 26.

Puerto Rico , Guam , American Samoa , the US Virgin Islands , and the Northern Marianas Islands also have their own entry screening and requirements. Alaska has no entry requirements regarding Covid-19; if you're unvaccinated, you even have the option of receiving a free Covid-19 vaccine at the airport. Take a look at the CDC's guidelines for domestic travel before you plan your trip.

Vaccination Card displayed in Apple Wallet

Take a photograph of your vaccination card on your phone. In case you lose the card, you'll still have the important information at hand. Then put the card in a plastic baggie that seals and store it somewhere safe at home in a location you'll easily remember. Don't laminate it; your vaccine provider won't be able to add future booster shot information to your card if it's laminated.

We recommend keeping an official vaccination pass on your smartphone rather than carrying that precious vaccination card where it can get soaked in Coke, torn, lost, run through the wash, or have all its ink rubbed off from the friction in your pocket.

The Smart Health Card has rolled out and is available in 21 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico . It's the closest thing yet to a national digital pass that can take the place of a physical vaccination card when you're required to show proof of vaccination. Use one or download a state or local smartphone app, such as the New York Excelsior Pass , or another officially accepted digital proof of vaccination, such as California's Digital Covid-19 Vaccine Record . You'll have to use one from the state where you reside.

US federal law currently requires people to wear a mask at all times on public transportation, including on airplanes and trains , and in public transportation hubs, such as airports and train stations. We have face mask recommendations here .

Commercial airplanes have powerful air filtration systems that scrub and exchange all the air in the cabin two or three times per minute . That's far more often than in a typical commercial building or your home. All major US airlines are now booking middle seats—they had been cordoning them off during the thick of the pandemic to create space between passengers, but no longer. For more information about what to expect when flying, visit your airline's Covid-19 portal:

  • American Airlines

Trains are an option if driving would take too long and you want to avoid flying. Amtrak—the only passenger train operator in most of the US—has been upgrading its trains for Covid-19 precautions . You can book a private room or roomette if you want to be separated from other passengers entirely.

If you don't want to wear a mask or are still worried about being in a crowded space with a bunch of strangers, your best option is to travel by car. Rental car prices are through the roof in a lot of locations, and it's hard to find cars available these days. If you can't find one or it's too expensive, consider an alternative: car-sharing services. Like Airbnb for cars, these let you rent cars from individuals. In my experience throughout the pandemic, you can often book them for less than a traditional rental car company would charge. Turo is the best-known, but there’s also Zipcar and Getaround .

If you're driving, read WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano's guide on road-tripping safely during a pandemic .

Hedley Bennett face mask

You can reduce your risk of infection by making sure it's been more than two weeks since your final vaccination and by wearing a face mask in the airport, train station, roadside rest steps, and on planes and trains whenever possible (as in, when you’re not eating or drinking). The CDC has updated its guidance on indoor masks.

Even if your home state in the US doesn't require them, some local governments and private companies require patrons to use masks, so bring them with you on your trip. WIRED senior associate reviews editor Adrienne So has tested a lot of masks and offers her recommendations in this guide .

Make sure whichever surgical mask you buy is on the FDA's approved list . There are a lot of counterfeit surgical masks out there that offer little to no protection.

Think about where you're going and what kind of an impact you're going to have if you're there. Many countries, particularly those dependent on tourism, are open to vaccinated tourists even as their own citizens don't have access to vaccines. In some areas, that can create a situation where tourists are visibly freer to enjoy those places than the people who live there. 

And yet some people who depend on tourism may want visitors to help alleviate the ruinous economic conditions that came from previously closed borders. It's an ethical dilemma you'll have to figure out for yourself, but do spend some time thinking about it and researching your destination before you book your trip.

If you’re unvaccinated, you're free to travel to most US states, but you may run afoul of state and local requirements that people be vaccinated in order to enjoy certain events, attractions, indoor bars, and restaurants. You wouldn't want to plan the trip of a lifetime, travel all the way there, and find out you're unable to do most of the fun things the place has to offer.

Plus, you’re putting yourself (and others) at a higher risk of catching Covid-19 . Wearing a mask can reduce some risk, but there's a dearth of good data on how much—and it won't reduce it as much as vaccination.

Seriously, vaccines are safe , they don't magnetize your blood , and they don't contain human fetal cells . The WIRED office is filled with people, myself included, who got the jab. Among us, we've had all three brands of vaccines. We wouldn't tell you to do anything we haven't already done ourselves. There are minuscule chances for serious side effects, and former WIRED senior correspondent Adam Rogers talks frankly about them here .

Check the country list . Entry rules are all over the place, and they change constantly. They differ so much from country to country, region to region, and state to state that it's impossible to give specific advice that applies to much of the world. Depending on the country:

  • You might only be eligible if you've had a certain vaccine approved by the country you're traveling to. Most countries recognize the three vaccines available in the US: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen.
  • You might need to quarantine in a hotel at your own expense before you're allowed to travel freely in the country.
  • You might need to take a Covid-19 diagnostic test and receive a negative result before you're allowed to travel around the country. It could be required immediately upon arrival, within a short time frame after arrival, or within a short time frame before you get on the plane and leave your home country (or a test before you leave and again when you land).
  • You might not be allowed to enter if you've been to certain other countries recently.
  • The International Air Transport Association has developed an app, the IATA Travel Pass , to function as proof of vaccination and a vaccine passport accepted by several international airlines, but there's no guarantee that border agents will accept them in lieu of your official paper document. Bring your physical vaccination card even if you also have a WHO yellow card or use an app.
  • You can get a World Health Organization yellow card, an official proof-of-vaccination document recognized in most places internationally. A WHO yellow card is not required to travel, but if you want one, you can purchase it from the US Government Bookstore for $25 . Take your blank yellow card to your vaccine provider and ask them to add your vaccination information to it.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a map that breaks down which countries have the highest Covid risk . We recommend frequently checking the official travel website for the country you're planning on flying to for up-to-date information. Aim yourself toward our guide on How to Navigate International Travel for more tips on traveling outside the US.

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Is it safe to travel? Here's what experts say you should know about risks associated with flying, booking hotels or Airbnb, renting cars, and more

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  • According to the CDC,  fully vaccinated people can now safely travel in the US .
  • However, there are still risks with flying , renting a car , staying in a hotel , or booking an Airbnb .
  • Here's what medical and industry experts say you should know before booking travel. 

Insider Today

Finally, the vaccine in response to the novel coronavirus is here. Reports show that half of all US citizens have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and many are eagerly wondering: is it safe to travel right now?

The CDC says so, as you're fully vaccinated . The agency previously advised against all travel, even for vaccinated people, but the new guidance said that should vaccinated individuals want to travel domestically, they may do so without a quarantine period or testing.

Of course, without herd immunity, resuming travel comes with some level of risk. To answer the question, 'is it safe to travel?', Insider Reviews reached out to experts including infectious disease and ER doctors, cleaning specialists, travel industry professionals, and representatives from major rental cars , hotels , Airbnb , and transportation organizations , to reveal both the risks and best practices associated with various forms of travel during a pandemic.

And if you do book a trip that is ultimately postponed or canceled, it's important to understand your cancellation policies and consider options for the best travel insurance .

Wherever you go, follow guidelines and advice set forth by organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. You should also consider whether you're leaving or traveling to a hotspot, so as not to contribute to infection spikes.

And if you need ideas on socially distant locations, we have inspiration for that below, too.

Is it safe to travel? Read on for expert advice on rental cars, flying, hotels, Airbnbs, and more. 

Are rental cars safe.

If you're among the many urban dwellers without a car of your own, you might be wondering if rental cars are safe to drive in a pandemic. For guidance, we talked to several experts, including Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the division of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo. 

"Remember that most of the transmission of the coronavirus is respiratory — it's not through inanimate objects," says Dr. Russo. "When you're in a rental car, the greatest risk is if you happen to be in the car with someone else and they could be infected."

When it comes to the car itself, the risk is reasonably low. "Even if there's an area you touch that wasn't properly wiped down and might have been contaminated, as long as you don't touch your mouth, nose, and face, and have good hand hygiene in between, you should still be protected," Dr. Russo says. 

Additionally, rental car companies are taking rigorous new cleaning measures under recommendations from various health authorities to sanitize key high-touch areas.

Read the full story on whether rental cars are safe .

Are hotels safe.

Many regular travelers are long-time hotel devotees who adore a beautiful property or sprawling resort filled with high-end amenities and services. But even these frequent hotel guests are likely concerned that staying in one risks exposure to the virus.

After all, checking-into a hotel means mingling with other guests and staff in common spaces like the lobby, elevators, pool decks, spas, and golf courses. When it's time to eat, there are busy restaurants to consider, and that's all assuming your own guest room is properly cleaned and sanitized.

Hotel room objects and furnishings are shared and reused by visitors, sometimes with only hours in between. So, is it safe to stay in a hotel right now?

Dr. Russo says the answer is highly individual. "If it's a trip that is important and necessary, I feel relatively safe using the proper protective measures like wearing a mask, distancing, disinfecting, and hand hygiene."

We also asked him about the worst-case scenario, in which an infected person stayed in your room hours before you. If the housekeeping crew cleaned and sanitized according to guidelines, would you escape risk?

"The answer is probably yes," Dr. Russo says. But, "that's not an ideal scenario." You'd be better off specifically requesting a room no one has stayed in for a day or two." 

He also adds, "Wear a mask during the check-in process, going in the elevator up to your room, or even the stairwell. I'm a big fan of mask use because this magical six-foot zone is based on probability. The closer you are to someone, and the longer you're close to someone that's infectious, the more likely you are to get infected."

Read the full story on whether hotels are safe .

What are hotels' cleaning policies.

Most major hotel chains have announced wide-reaching new cleaning policies made in combination with health experts. These policies also focus on social distancing and contact-free transactions such as virtual check-in and out, digital keys, limited dining, and more.

Dr. Robert Quigley, who serves as the senior vice president and regional medical director of global medical travel risk management company International SOS, spent four days and four nights transforming an Upper East Side hotel into a utilitarian home base for health care workers on the front lines.

"We came in and converted what was a very high end, very luxurious hotel into a laboratory with the objective to protect the health and safety of the employees that were willing to come in and work." 

Now, that work is being replicated in hotels for regular guests, placing technology at the forefront. In addition to adhering to strict CDC guidelines on health and safety, some brands including InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) , Loews , and Best Western are adopting American Hotel & Lodging Association's (AHLA) StaySafe campaign to help facilitate everything from how to conduct a contactless check-in to a new set of cleaning standards and protocols.

Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy hotels rolled out the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council , focusing on treating high-touch surface areas with hospital-grade disinfectants, providing disinfecting wipes in each guest room, and reducing person-to-person contact by removing furniture and installing hand-sanitizing stations. More than 3,200 Marriott hotels will now allow guests to use their phones to check-in, access their rooms, make requests, and order room service without contact.

Similarly, Four Seasons worked with experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine International on its new Lead With Care program for cleanliness and safety. The program promises that restaurants and bars will operate with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, and the hotel will leverage technology for safety, by way of its Four Seasons app and chat.

Here are the new plans and precautions being taken from major hotel brands around the world .

Is airbnb safe.

Just as some people have always preferred hotels, others choose Airbnb to enjoy more space in residential-style homes that are well-suited for longer vacations, or family and group stays. 

These days, they may seem especially attractive given the fact that you are often booking an entire home that is protected from interaction with others. However, everything from kitchen utensils to linens were used by previous guests.

Airbnb has, however, announced rigorous new procedures including a program known as Enhanced Clean , which all hosts are now required to follow. However, not all hosts are required to take extra measures, so read up on specific listings' protocols if you want to ensure additional protocols are being taken. 

Dr. Russo says that staying in a private Airbnb is likely to be safer than a hotel, given there is generally less direct person-to-person contact. But he also encourages taking extra preventative measures such as running "utensils and dishware through the dishwasher when you get there" and laundering bed linens and towels "so you have control of what you want to be washed and cleaned." The CDC also has stated in its lodging guidelines that private home rentals like Airbnbs are safer than hotels, but only if your stay only includes those from your own household.

To be extra safe, Dr. Russo also suggests running a disinfecting wipe over all flat surfaces, phones, TV remotes, door handles, bathroom faucets, and toilet handles.

Of course, that also means you're now cleaning the home for which you already paid a lofty cleaning fee.

Read the full story on whether Airbnbs are safe .

Hotels vs. vacation rentals: which one is safer.

After breaking down the risks of both hotels and vacation rentals such as Airbnb or Vrbo , no matter the type of lodging you pick, the main factors to consider are the likelihood you'll encounter other people, the number and length of such encounters, and whether the location and region are experiencing high rates of infection.

"When booking any type of lodging, consider how many people you'll be surrounded by, when was the last time someone stayed in that accommodation, and how is the state or city doing in regards to flattening the curve," said Dr. Neil Brown, K Health 's chief diagnosis officer. 

With either choice, be aware of high-touch areas and flat surfaces that might facilitate virus transmission. If possible, book accommodations with a significant margin of time since the last guest stayed in the same space.

The doctors we spoke with agreed private vacation rentals, however, are likely safer than hotels because they come with fewer person-to-person interactions. And, as stated above, the CDC agrees on this point.

"While there is no question hotels are working diligently to keep their hotels clean and sanitized, Airbnb has a huge advantage given that the renter is generally the only one occupying the property," said Dr. Brown. "With Airbnb's new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, the company provides a better option than public hotel spaces … Double-check to see if the host is participating in the program," he said.

Dr. Russo "absolutely agree[s]" that staying in a private Airbnb, especially one that allows no-contact check-in, such as through a lockbox, is the safer option.

But both doctors recommend seriously evaluating the risks versus rewards with either choice, with Dr. Brown noting, "Personally, I would do my best to avoid traveling altogether, but if it is necessary, I would feel more comfortable staying at an Airbnb after doing my own disinfecting upon arrival."

Read the full story on which is safer: Airbnbs or hotels?

Is flying safe right now.

Entering an airport, waiting in long lines, and sitting next to strangers of unknown backgrounds, for a prolonged period, in a closed setting, all seems about as high-risk as it can get right now.

To determine if flying is safe, we turned to a diverse panel of experts including an infectious disease doctor, an ER doctor, a pilot, a medical advisor for an aviation trade association, and the founders of popular flight deal platforms to discuss the risks of flying during COVID-19, and precautions to mitigate those risks.

First the good news: airports are trying various tactics to minimize contact between people, promote social distancing, and conducting temperature checks. Additionally, airplanes are designed to clean and filter air quickly according to Dr. David Powell, a medical advisor for a trade group that represents most of the world's major passenger airlines and cargo carriers.

"Customers sit facing forward and not toward each other, seat backs provide a barrier, and the limited movement of passengers once seated adds to the onboard protection. Moreover, airflow is less conducive to droplet spread than other indoor environments: flow rates are high, directed in a controlled manner (from ceiling to floor), to limit mixing, and the use of High Efficiency Particulate Air filters ensures that the air supply is pure."

But while these features help reduce risks, they do not eliminate them. Commercial airplane travel still means flying in a confined space with other people. Another passenger's droplet can easily invade your personal space even with no one in the middle seat beside you.

Says Dr. Russo, "Once you're on the flight, you've been dealt a hand. Hopefully, everyone around you isn't infected, but you just don't know for sure. A longer flight is going to be a greater risk even though the air is handled pretty well because it's a close space, exposed to other individuals, and the time of exposure is longer."

If you must fly, wear your best mask, sanitize all surfaces, and try to avoid eating, drinking, or using the lavatory.

Read the full story on whether flying is safe right now, including a sample of airlines' current COVID-19 policies .

Is train travel safe.

Trains offer another way to approach getting from point A to point B, for both regional and long-distance routes. For travelers who prefer to stick closer to the ground and avoid planes, or for those who would rather nap, read, and take in the sights over managing navigation and traffic, trains offer a solid alternate option.

And while you'll have more space to spread out than in an airplane, traveling by train still generally involves interfacing with many people — so, is train travel safe? Like other facets of travel, the answer depends on your set of circumstances. However, there are ways to minimize risk. 

Dr. Paz, VP of medical at the digital primary care provider K Health says, "By maintaining social distance from others, using face coverings, and frequent hand washing, you can drastically decrease your chances of contracting COVID."

It also helps to know that Amtrak has rolled out a host of new safety measures meant to facilitate safe travel that includes requiring masks, sanitizing surfaces, and limiting ticket sales on reserved services to allow for social distancing. Individuals traveling alone can now enjoy an empty seat guaranteed next to them.

Amtrak has also enhanced cleaning protocols at the station, with added measures for social distancing, and are repromoting their "private room" seating options on long haul routes. These come in a variety of sizes to accommodate solo travelers, couples, and groups of families or friends. A standard room features two seats that can be converted into beds and come with complimentary Wi-Fi, charging outlets and an expansive window for taking in the views. It's not unlike a moving hotel, both in terms of amenities and also potential risk exposure. It costs about the same as a flight, sometimes more.

But unlike planes, which have advanced airflow and filtration systems, trains are far more basic. Though, they're certainly roomier, and private, if you splurge for such accommodations. 

Read the full story on whether train travel is safe right now.

Is skiing safe right now.

With winter and peak ski and snowboard season in full swing, you may also be wondering if skiing is a safe COVID activity. The good news is that it can be a relatively low-risk option as long as you stay diligent and take proper precautions.

Dr. Russo notes that skiing would fall into the lowest risk category if guests physically distance, wear face masks, and avoid enclosed gondolas/trams or going indoors. "I perceive those two venues as the greatest risk," he says. "What makes me nervous about downhill skiing is the temptation to go inside and warm up and eat and drink is going to be high."

Additionally, most ski resorts have implemented a wide range of new policies this season. It's best to check each resort's website for details before you plan a trip, but new procedures to expect this ski season include requiring face coverings, physical distancing (including on chairlifts and in gondolas), advance reservations for lift tickets (often granting priority to pass holders), cashless transactions, limiting class size for lessons, and reducing restaurant seating. Many resorts are also limiting on-mountain capacity, especially for peak dates so it may pay off to plan and book early. 

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) offers a  state-by-state listing  of links to COVID-related restrictions and rules, and the NSAA's  "Ski Well, Be Well" campaign  outlines best practices for ski areas, skiers, and riders to stay safe and healthy on the slopes this season.

And while outdoor activities, in general, are less risky, consider how you will get to the ski resort. "Getting to the ski lodge, I would suggest renting a car ," Dr. Russo says. "I know in a lot of places you can take the hotel transportation or shuttle buses, but then you're going to see different people in a more fixed air space, so I don't recommend that; you increase your risk if you use shared transportation options." 

But the good news is that once you're on the top of the mountain and wearing a mask, the risk of COVID-19 exposure is minimal. "It seems to me that actually on the slopes themselves [the risk has] got to be close to zero," Dr. Russo says.

Read the full story on ski safety during COVID-19, plus all the changes to expect at ski resorts this season.

How travel industry experts advise clients to book travel.

While many travelers previously booked travel independently, some are returning to travel agents. These seasoned professionals have spent years in the business and are well-equipped to help clients identify viable locations with vetted, flexible policies. They may also have better insights into new practices at specific hotels to help determine how clean and safe they will be, and whether facilities and amenities may be impacted. 

Their advice is to plan for future travel, book refundable options, travel domestically and take road trips, opt for socially distant places with access to nature, plan longer "workcations" that mix remote work with play, and don't forget about prioritizing your mental health.

Read the full story on tips for planning travel in 2021, according to travel experts, infectious disease doctors, and current industry trends.

Socially distant travel: safe vacations during covid-19.

As noted by various experts, no matter your destination, your risk of infection largely depends on factors such as whether you'll encounter other people, the intensity of such encounters, and if the location is experiencing high rates of infection.

While nothing can be guaranteed safe 100 percent safe, if you heed expert advice, take necessary precautions, and make informed decisions led by CDC and WHO guidance, you may be able to explore the world again soon.

If you find yourself in such a position, consider these locations within the United States that are well-suited to outdoor activities, offer socially-distant-friendly lodging, and remove the need for international travel.

  • The best ski vacation rentals in the US
  • The best ski hotels in the US
  • 6 of the top road trips in the US and where to stay along the way
  • 10 getaways across the US that are within a 1- to 4-hour drive from major cities 
  • The best hotels in or near national parks
  • The best vacation rentals near national parks
  • The best US mountain resorts for all seasons
  • The best US lake getaways
  • The most remote vacation rentals in the US
  • The best beach hotels in the US
  • The best hotels for families in the US
  • The best US island hotels that don't require a passport
  • The best glamping vacations in the US
  • The best RV rentals
  • The best camper van rentals
  • 17 of the best campsites across the US for a scenic outdoor getaway
  • The best treehouse rentals in the US

Everything else you need to know about booking safe travel during coronavirus

  • 6 safer, expert-backed ways to take a vacation during the pandemic, from road trips to private vacation homes and remote campsites
  • Everything to know about vacation rentals, including the best booking platforms, COVID-19 safety info, and the best places to go in the US
  • Airbnb announced vigorous new cleaning protocols for hosts in response to COVID-19. Here's what to know.
  • Airbnb vs. Vrbo: Here's how each vacation home rental service works, plus their cancellation and coronavirus policies
  • What to pack and how to prepare before planning a road trip — 9 medical and hospitality experts weigh in with advice and tips

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