After being confined for more than a year due to Covid, many people are eager to travel.  However, travel, as we have known it in the past, is almost nonexistent. The thread of the Covid virus is ever-present, and people are even more stressed than the everyday stresses of travel.  Here are a few things I think will prepare you for this new travel normal and help you decide if you are ready for your journey.

When headed to the airport, be reminded that while realities of 9/11 made you take things off at the airport. Covid facts will make you put on masks. Remember that the airport is federal property, and masks are required.  It’s also a busy and, at times, loud place. So, speaking with a cover on and hearing things clearly because the person you are interacting with also has a mask on can be complex.  Prepare to repeat yourself repeatedly. Also, know that you may be asked several times to comply with the mask mandate, whether you agree with it or not.

Airlines have cut back on their offerings and services while at the same time increasing prices. Previously, you would be offered a beverage service on some longer flights, followed by a lunch or dinner service.  Currently, you may be offered a plastic bag with a small bottle of water, a cookie, and a hand wipe.  Others may provide a shelf-stable snack or snack box, often for purchase.  As limited as these offerings are, the reality is that there is never enough variety or supply for everyone on the plane.  In addition, the offerings are often way overpriced but the only thing on offer.

In addition, the airplane can now often resemble a small cafeteria.  Savvy travelers know in advance of the limited supply of food onboard the aircraft, so they bring their meals and snacks.  The airplane, a closed tube, is filled with the aroma of fried chicken, tuna sandwiches, cobb salads, and any other smelly food passengers bring to consume. During this food buffet, other passengers who may have had a challenging day without the opportunity or means to get an airport meal often sit by hungry and with increasing frustration.

Travelers need to be aware that their expectations will often not meet reality. Therefore, people should question if they are ready for travel, especially as it is today. The best advice is to prepare for your trip, not only for the destination but for the journey in reaching your destination.  How do you, or are you prepared for travel? I’d like to know.