Back-To-School Travel 2020

What To Expect and How to Stay Safe

Liana Corwin - Aug. 11, 2020

With summer winding down and back-to-school just around the corner, many college students and their parents will be traveling for the first time since March as they make their way back to campus. According to the College Crisis Initiative, though more than a quarter of U.S. colleges plan to begin fall instruction either fully or mostly online, many of them are still opening up their dorms to welcome students in person.

If traveling back to school means your first time hitting the skies or the road in months, keep in mind that there have been a number of changes implemented to keep travelers safe. According to Hopper’s Quarterly Travel Outlook, among recent travelers, 85% said they’d feel comfortable flying again in the next 1-3 months and 79% said they’d feel comfortable staying in a hotel again. 

What to Expect if You’re Traveling by Air

  • Most major airlines in the U.S. require that crews and passengers wear cloth face coverings. To see what specific airports and airlines are doing to protect passengers, check their websites.

  • At security:

    • TSA officers are wearing masks and gloves.

    • Plastic shields at document checking podium, bag search and drop off locations.

    • Fewer travelers and, as a result, fewer open screening lanes.

    • Instead of handing boarding passes to TSA officers, travelers should place passes (paper or electronic) directly on the scanner and then hold them up for inspection.

    • Each traveler may have one container of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in a carry-on bag. These containers will need to be taken out for screening.

    • Food items should be carried in a plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening. Separating food from carry-on bags lessens the likelihood that screeners will need to open bags for inspection.

    • Personal items such as keys, wallets and phones should be placed in carry-on bags instead of bins. This reduces the handling of these items during screening.

    • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds directly before and after going through screening.

What to Consider if You're Traveling by Car

  • Plan to make as few stops as possible, but always stop driving if you become tired.

  • Make sure to keep face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in an easily accessible spot so that you can use them during the trip as necessary.

  • Prepare food and water to take on the trip rather than stopping for concessions.

  • When you need to get gas, use a disinfectant wipe on handles or buttons before you touch them. After fueling, use hand sanitizer. And when you get to where you're going, use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Safety Tips for Any Trip

  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.

  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.

  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

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