Traveling for Work During COVID-19 (With Tips)

I fall squarely in the middle of those who enjoy business travel and those who dread it and wish it would end. I enjoyed traveling for work, mainly because my coworkers were great. However, I do tend to stay at home a lot. And in all honesty, I would much rather be at home with my family.

The reality of traveling for work

Business travel tips during COVID-19

Health officials advise against traveling during the pandemic’s peak transmission periods, but you might find that you need to go somewhere for work. Follow these CDC guidelines for business travel during COVID-19:

1. Avoid unnecessary travel during periods of high community spread

You might want to avoid making any unnecessary trips, depending on how the community is affected and your own personal risk factors. Even if you must still travel for work, make an effort to fly domestically less frequently by skipping connecting flights, for example. Avoiding staying in crowded conference hotels or going to in-person gatherings with large groups that don’t demand face coverings, vaccination status checks, or testing in advance is another option. As technology now supports large groups working from home, ask your employer if they would be open to holding most meetings virtually.

2. Get vaccinated

3. Wear a mask

The CDC currently mandates the wearing of a face covering over your nose and mouth on all public transportation and indoor transportation hubs, including airplanes and airports, into, within, or out of the United States. S. It is not necessary in outdoor spaces, such as the open deck of a ferry or the bus’s uncovered top deck. In crowded outdoor areas or situations where you might be in close contact with people who aren’t fully immunized, the CDC continues to advise wearing a mask.

4. Wash your hands

You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and a thick layer of soap, which may be longer than usual. Singing “Happy Birthday” twice will help you to ensure that you wash for the full 20 seconds before rinsing. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap is not readily available.

5. Sanitize surfaces

COVID-19 can live on surfaces for many hours. Pack sanitizing wipes for your chair, food tray, window, and air vents if you’re flying. Wipe down as many surfaces as you can, then let them air dry before sitting or using them. Turn on your air vent after cleaning it, and angle it down onto your lap so that any airborne particles fall to the ground rather than circulate around your face.

If you’re staying in a hotel, sanitize the phone, nightstand, lamps, door handles, and any other objects you might touch that aren’t marked “sanitized.”

6. Maintain your distance

Since COVID-19 is spread by droplets, it’s best to keep at least six feet between you and everyone if at all possible. If your section of the plane has more passengers than another, you may want to request a seat change or refrain from shaking hands during your business meeting. There is evidence that COVID-19 spread is slowed by social isolation.

7. Boost your immune system

You should postpone travel if you’re sick. In addition to the aforementioned advice, take into account these immune-boosting methods to help prevent illness:

What does traveling for work look like during COVID-19?

In the early months of the pandemic, many businesses cancelled non-essential business travel, and they still assess potential travel on a case-by-case basis. To decide how to handle scheduled travel, most businesses follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) and the CDC’s COVID-19 updates.

Some companies have embraced “hybrid” or remote work, in which staff members work from home and participate in meetings online. However, if you must travel for business, your employer should try to arrange for your arrival at your destination, work, and return home in the safest manner possible.

COVID-19 and business travel insurance

While COVID-19 may make it necessary to postpone or cancel your business trip, your insurance coverage may differ depending on the specifics of your policy, especially since only a portion of your travel may be covered in the event of a public health emergency. For coverage details, review your policy documents, including the small print, and think about getting insurance or using another flexible travel option for business trips. Speak with whoever coordinates business travel at work to see if your company can do this for you.

Here are some suggestions if your travel insurance doesn’t cover COVID-19 or other illnesses:

Air travel

Depending on the circumstance, many airlines may sell refundable tickets at a higher price or provide other free cancellation and rebooking options. When traveling to an area that is deemed unsafe due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, make sure to ask your airline if there are any fees that can be waived for flight changes or cancellations. Airlines may cancel flights on their own and offer a full refund or free rebooking for a later date because travel guidelines are likely to change frequently during the pandemic.

Hotel stays

Since hotels frequently host conferences and trade shows, they might be more understanding when business travelers need to cancel their trips. In cases where travel restrictions are lifted or there is widespread transmission while you are there, you might be able to get your change fees waived or the hotel might issue a full refund.

Third-party bookings

If you used a third party to make your business travel arrangements, those businesses should be transparent about their cancellation and refund policies. If your company uses a corporate travel agency, enquire about the policies of each of their individual travel suppliers.

Other illnesses

Although it’s a good idea to delay travel if you have a cold or the flu, some travel insurance policies might not pay for this. Others, however, might provide coverage that is “cancel for any reason” To find out what medical coverage might be applicable, you should check with both your travel insurance and health insurance providers.

COVID-19 and business travel FAQs

Should I cancel my business trip?

Your responses to these queries may assist you in deciding whether domestic or international business travel is the best option for you.

Are air travel and hotel stays safe?

Due to COVID-19, airlines tightened up their safety procedures for both passengers and crew, including more frequent cleaning and sanitizing of the plane’s common areas and restrictions on the types of in-flight services available. To stop the virus from spreading, crew members and passengers must wear masks. Some airlines may also check passengers’ temperatures before letting them board the aircraft. Some airlines started requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees in 2021.

Hotels added hand-sanitizing stations, required or advised face coverings, and altered cleaning procedures to more frequently disinfect public areas. Instead of more conventional cleaning products, many hotels now use hospital-grade cleaners and UV lights to specifically target viruses and bacteria.

FAQ

What is it called when you travel for work?

Traveling for work or business purposes is referred to as business travel, as opposed to traveling for pleasure or regularly traveling between one’s home and place of employment.

Is it good to travel for work?

And while going on business trips is a great way to get paid while seeing the world, going on vacation during your paid time off can provide you with the same advantages. So make sure your passport is up to date and plan that trip; you might end up broadening your perspective and your resume.

Is traveling for work hard?

If you travel frequently, it’s more difficult to maintain work/life balance, pursue side projects and hobbies, and spend time with friends, family, and your significant other. Additionally, it is far too simple to develop costly and harmful habits.

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