Traveling during a pandemic: Tips from travelers and agents

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 6:38 PM CDT
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Local travel agents say there are two types of travelers --those who are eager to go no matter what and those who might be a little more cautious. But if you do decide to travel, there are a few things they say you should keep in mind.

The owner of one Springfield travel agency said there is one key thing vacationers need to keep in mind above all else.

"You have to be healthy to travel," said 417 Travel owner Travis Paquin.

He said if you travel and you are not healthy, there is a possibility you may have to quarantine, specifically when traveling abroad. Paquin said his business' marketing slogan is "We've Been There," something he said has been especially true during this time.

"We just returned from Cancun last week to check out the protocols," he said. "Now that we are back in the states we are confident to talk about that arrival."

Paquin said he feels that traveling to places like Cancun, Hawaii and Jamaica is safe. But he did have advice for flying.

"Don't touch things," he said. "You know I didn't grab the escalator when we flew to Dallas. I kept my hands off of those kind of things. We sanitize our seats and wipe them down. And wear your mask."

In the last few weeks there has been an especially high demand to travel within the country, something Paquin has seen himself at 417 Travel.

Lisa Schultheis, the wife of former KY3 pohotographer Tom Schultheis, just got back from a trip with her family to Orange Beach in Alabama.

"We did our best to wear masks and social distance, stay away from people," Schultheis said.

She and her family drove, specifically because of COVID-19.

"We tried to structure our stops to where we could get food and gas and go to the bathroom so we were stopping as little as possible," she said.

Schultheis said. she and her family wore masks, washed their hands frequently and social distanced as often as they could. But she said not everyone did.

"We had made the decision to travel, so you're gonna take what you can get," she said. "It would have been nice to see other people wearing masks. But you know, not much you can do about it."

Now Schultheis and her family are considering quarantining for two weeks out of an abundance of caution.