Yes, the Coronavirus has spread dramatically across all fifty states. It’s unfortunate, however, a vaccine approaching around the corner is encouraging Americans to breathe a little easier. The cruise lines will soon be returning to service, Disney’s theme parks will soon be returning to normal, and Americans can finally ride on trains and airplanes without facial coverings. Travelers all across the United States will sure be delighted to hear the news! At this given point in time, thinking positively and proactively towards traveling for the first time post-Coronavirus is a must. Since the Coronavirus pandemic began in March, Americans had to put their passion for traveling on hold. That holding pattern will soon be coming to an end. Before taking to the skies or riding the rails for the first time since March, it’s the right time to make a master checklist for leaving home for whatever destination awaits. It’s a checklist for everyone to use at all times; whenever…wherever. With this checklist, any avid traveler will be able to leave his/her home well-prepared and assured to have an enjoyable journey uninterrupted. 

5. Get tested for Coronavirus! Even with a vaccine approaching around the corner, it’s vital for all Americans not to let down their guard. Many have gotten tested a while back and the results came back negative. Yay! However, Americans should not rest on their laurels, nor get overconfident. It’s paramount that prior to traveling again, travelers include on their checklist to get re-tested. Having done so, they’ll be assured that they’re negative once again. Having been re-tested, they’ll know they’re in healthy shape to travel when the time comes. By being re-tested for Coronavirus, Americans are not just protecting themselves. For all-time sake, they are also protecting others. 

4. Renew passports! For millions of Americans, it has been a long while since their last vacation. When the Coronavirus pandemic began, Americans were forced to put their passports away until further notice. Now it’s that time to take those passports out and inspect them to make sure that they’re still in good standing. If not, now’s the time to apply for new passports and surrender the soon-to-be-expired passports.  Whether traveling by train to Canada, going on a cruise vacation, taking the family to Disneyland Paris, or flying to Cancun, passports must be in good standing. No checklist is complete without passports. Note: All passports must be valid for at least six months after traveling. 

3. Redeem frequent traveler points and miles: For the most avid travelers, this is atop their checklist. Upon traveling post-Coronavirus, it should be atop the checklist for millions. One in every five American travelers are members of an airline frequent flyer miles program, a hotel guest loyalty program, or some well-known loyalty program in the travel industry. Whether members of Amtrak Guest Rewards, American Advantage, Hilton Honors, Marriott Bon Voy, or Disney Vacation Club, travelers should follow up with these programs to find out what special promotions are being offered, and take advantage of them right away. Travelers who have accumulated hundreds to thousands of points or miles on shopping and other personal occasions during the pandemic, will have the opportunity to redeem those points or miles rather than spending any money at all. Undoubtedly, the Coronavirus pandemic has been a depressing period of time for millions of travelers nationwide. However, travelers should embrace the silver lining that has co-existed for the duration of the pandemic. Those points and miles accumulated will all soon be worth the long wait. 

2. Update toiletry bags! With half an hour of their free time, Americans of all ages should go into their closets and bathroom vanities. They should pull out their toiletry bags. A checklist should be made for toiletry kits for every trip, every time. In their toiletry bags, travelers should double-check that they have the following items: 1) a 1 quart plastic bag for storing fluids, pastes, creams, lotions, etc. 2) A fresh, brand new toothbrush, 3) A fresh set of razors, and 4) a fresh stick of deodorant. Not only the essentials, but hand sanitizer should be included, too. Each and every traveler must have hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes packed in their toiletry bags. As once said in an American Express commercial, “Don’t leave home without it!”. It’s part of the new normal which all travelers must adapt to. Before each and every trip, toiletry bags should be inspected. It’s what all travelers must get into the valuable habit of doing. All Americans must keep in mind the 3-1-1 rule: 3 ounces-1 quart plastic bag-1 per passenger. All creams, pastes, fluids, lotions, etc., should not exceed 3 ounces. At the airport security checkpoint, the 1 quart plastic bag must be well-accessible to the TSA officers. The 3-1-1 rule does not apply to traveling by train, bus, or driving. When flying, the TSA enforces this rule to the i’s and the t’s. 

1. Be vigilant! Being vigilant is atop the checklist for a reason. No matter when or where Americans plan to travel, being vigilant is vital. Exercising vigilance while traveling is more than vital. It is paramount! Being vigilant-meaning staying alert, being aware of surroundings, and reporting suspicious behavior to the authorities are the name of the game. Since the events of September 11th, these safety hints have never gotten old. They have been life savers; not for some, but for many. Travelers should stay away from places and situations they are unfamiliar with. Travelers should only go where recommended, and not take anyone’s word for it. Battling with a global health crisis, who wants to start the cycle all over again? Who wants to be in self-quarantine all over again? Who wants to put their wellbeing at risk all over again? Who wants to see their favorite destinations go into lockdown all over again? Last but not least, who wants another summer season gone to waste? Thinking and acting vigilantly are the golden rule of traveling, no matter who, what, when, or where. Being vigilant is a small example of travelers doing their part, transpiring to plenty of good in the long run. 

Traveling is the greatest investment Americans make with their valuable time and well-earned money. Traveling post-Coronavirus will be a huge relief, but will come with a great degree of responsibility. For millions of Americans, it’s going to feel like any other occasion pre-pandemic. When the pandemic clears, Americans will have to exercise new habits aside from the common ones. For the most part, Americans need to revisit their travel necessities. The checklist shared above will assuredly prove to be an asset to Americans’ yearly traveling rituals. Being re-tested for Coronavirus, renewing passports, redeeming points and miles, restocking toiletry kits with the must-needed essentials, and being vigilant at all times are all a vital part of the “new” normal which Americans will grow accustomed to. Why is “new” in quotes? Travelers across America should return to traveling normally as they did before the Coronavirus pandemic, but take to the skies, the rails, and the waves more stronger and more responsible than before. 


About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, David also writes for the publication On, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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