Is It Safe to Travel? How to Save Money and Stay Healthy on Flights

More people are venturing out to travel, but with two big worries: Cost and coronavirus. Here's a few pointers to help allay your fears.
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As travel slowly begins to open up, passengers share a range of concerns. Travel booking platform Qtrip released a survey of 5,000 respondents regarding consumer travel intent and comfort. I looked at two areas of their study which found 61% said they have a tighter budget for travel and 69% are concerned for their health. Here are some tips that may help you save money and stay healthy.

How to Save on Flights:

  • It's as important as ever to watch the airfares closely or to set a fare alert so you are notified when rates go down. Immediately after the pandemic began, prices did drop, but as travelers started venturing out again, fares have started to creep back up.
  • Qtrip offers a Summer Flights page, that indicates the best and worst days to fly all summer long based on price.
  • Midweek (Tuesday and Wednesday) flights are still the best value overall, and Sundays are often the most expensive airline tickets.
  • According to Qtrip, the price difference between classes of service are not massive right now. Sometimes a Main Cabin Premium ticket is just a few extra bucks, because a lot of the perks you get with those premium classes of service are less pronounced as airlines pare things back for safety. Also, the "bare bones” tickets that normally don't allow changes at all have much more lenient change and cancellation policies, which makes them a more attractive option for some people. You can do an airfare search for a simple apples-to-apples comparison across class of service on a particular flight or across airlines.
  • If you are purchasing travel insurance, make sure you read all of the fine print. Find out what exclusions apply and what their policy is regarding cancellations due to Covid-19. I have done several stories over the years on travel insurance and it’s more important than ever to make sure you know what your policy does and does not include.

    >> Americans Are Cautiously Returning to Flying

How to Stay Healthy:

  • It goes without saying, but wear a mask to help prevent asymptomatic spread not just on the plane but while waiting in all areas of the airport.
  • If you are not wearing socks, have a pair with you for when you need to take off your sandals or shoes to go through security.
  • Wash your hands frequently and keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you on the plane. Wipe down your tray and any other area you will be touching in your immediate surroundings.
  • According to Qtrip, the air quality on airplanes is excellent, and they feel passengers do not need to add this to their list of stresses. Hospital grade air filtration systems are state-of-the-art and in service on virtually all U.S. air carriers.
  • Consider booking a window seat which will allow for more distance from other passengers and flight attendants walking through the aisles.
  • Limit your person-to-person interactions by checking in online and printing or saving your boarding pass to your phone. We recommend utilizing self-service kiosks and at-home check-in if you're comfortable and able. Qtrip has more tips and suggestions on how to stay safe in the air.

Other findings from the survey showed 53% of respondents are either extremely likely or very likely to go on a domestic vacation versus 36% for an international vacation. An overwhelming 58% were looking forward to reuniting with family after this crisis.