Traveling and having anxiety about COVID is real. After hearing about some of the safety precautions Delta Airlines has put into place and the efforts they have made with keeping their passengers safe, along with airports taking important steps, I felt 50/50 about traveling during COVID.
Unfortunately, I thought all the airlines were going to be like Delta, but I was sadly mistaken. When my husband and I bought our tickets, months before July, we honestly thought that COVID concerns would be minimal by the time we would take our trip. When we booked our flights, due to COVID and the reduced flights, we were not able to fly round trip on Delta and automatically got booked on a United flight on our return (after our experience, they were awful). United Airlines is filling flights up to 85% full, while Delta is only filling flights at 50% capacity.
My advice would be to look into this on all airlines before booking so you have a better understanding of what they are doing to keep you safe. I wish we had.
What to expect at the airport and car rental
When finding your ride to the airport, plan ahead. When we attempted to get a Lyft to the airport there were no rides at the time we needed, Uber was the only one offering rides during our early window of time.
When you get to the airport have your mask ready because you will need to wear it inside the airport. Next, going through security everything remains staying six feet apart from fellow travelers, you put your ID into a device (some airports have this) and we didn’t have to show our tickets.
For the bin situation, when I asked if the bins were sanitized, they straight out told me, “the bins had not been sanitized since the night before,” so make sure that if you have a jacket to put it in your bag and not directly inside the bin or wipe down your own bins before putting your clothing and items in it (we ended up wiping down our bags and items after the security check).
The airport was not crowded with people which was a good thing, but unfortunately, a lot of people at our gate were not taking social distancing seriously, and my husband and I had to keep moving further and further down the rows.
When boarding your flight (please note that all airlines are different, and as the months continue, so will this process), airlines are starting from the back of the plane and they are calling people up by row numbers, you cannot line up to board the flight.
When you are on the plane you have to wear your mask at all times. The only time you may remove your mask is while eating and drinking. Cole and I made it to our seats and we brought our own sanitizing wipes and wiped everything down; our armrests, seats, seat belts, and tray tables. As the plane started to fill with more people we did not feel comfortable being so close to so many others and asked the flight attendant if we could move to an open row in the back in order to socially distance, she was wonderful and said yes of course, so Cole and I moved and then re-did the sanitation process on our new seats.
Lastly, there was no food or drink service, so they handed each of us a zipped plastic bag filled with goodies such as water, chocolate, pretzels, cheez-its, and hand sanitizer. The first direct flight was a breeze and we made it to our destination and then picked up our rental car. (We did not want to connect through multiple airports due to COVID, so decided to drive the rest of the way).
For our rental car, the process was nice, they had plexiglass windows on the counters and had six feet apart guides on the ground. When we got into our car, there was a note that everything had been sanitized and cleaned. Cole and I thought that was awesome, but still felt more comfortable sanitizing ourselves and did so. During our three hour drive to our destination, it is good to know and understand that a lot of dining places and areas are closed, and we found that the only place for bathroom breaks were gas stations. Once we got to our destination, we ran into the laundry room, stripped down, started the washing machine, and got into the showers before seeing any of our family members. We all kept social distancing for the most part during our trip and tried to sanitize as much as possible.
When Anxiety Kicks In
The anxiety is definitely real, when I was standing in front of my family, I was so happy to see them, and then started getting scared that I had been infected on my flight; and I was also scared I would be passing something to someone. That thought was always in the back of my mind, like a heavy weight that wouldn’t leave during my whole trip. Then as other family members started to arrive, my worries grew and grew. I kept thinking to myself, did they take all the crazy steps and precations like Cole and I did?
I realized by the fourth day into our trip that I needed to relax because what was the point of this trip in the first place if the entire time I was consumed with worry? I thought to myself, I needed to find constructive ways to enjoy my trip and ease my anxiety.
Ways I relieved my anxiety
I started to swim a mile every day and it was amazing to see the impact it had on my anxiety (and a lot of wine helped). When I travel, I bring my healing stones with me which were another huge help, but I also got to thinking of ways to maintain my mind, body, spirit.
3.Clear your space
1.Find something warm
2.Release body tension
3.Practice yoga or your favorite physical activity
1.Practice breathe exercises
2.Listen to music
3.Journal your thoughts
Breathing techniques for anxiety and stress
Best healing stones for travel
Bring a stone that is assigned to your Zodiac sign, Black Tourmaline for protection, Malachite for safe travel, Rose Quartz for self-love, and Blue Lace Agate to promote calm energies.
So what you should bring with you?
Cole and I had protective eyewear, a mask, and gloves for the plane and for security. We discarded the gloves after we went through security and put on a fresh pair of gloves before boarding our flight. We sanitized the gloves like we would our hands the entire time, it is much nicer to have gloves while sanitizing so much versus on your skin. Lastly, we did have a hat face cover for emergencies, and I am so glad we had it for our United flight. I have linked all of these items below.