Doctor shares pandemic holiday travel tips

Dr. Tseng told NBC7 that he believes traveling by car, in that you know your passengers and they're vaccine statuses, is the safest way.

The holidays might look and feel different than they did last year, a welcomed change. But as we plan to gather with friends and family, many might wonder what is the safest way to travel? By plane, train, car or even bus?

 NBC7 spoke with a doctor about ways to stay safe this holiday season.

Dr. Tseng with Kaiser Permanente suggests travelers ask themselves a few questions before you travel.

“Are you heading to a safer place? Or are you heading to a more dangerous place,” said Tseng. “If you know you’re gonna travel, what’s the best way to control your situation? What’s the best way to control your environment?” said Tseng.

Tseng said the car, for obvious reasons, is the safest in terms of covid-19 transmission.

But many will be traveling by plane. Even if one is vaccinated, sharing a closed space for several hours is always a risk.

“The air does circulate, even though they do have HEPA filters. It’ still best to have the mask on board.”

Traveler Sarah Pistone prefers trains to buses. Especially during peak travel time, she told NBC7, as she was heading to San Juan Capistrano via Amtrak at the Oceanside Transit Center.

“It’s a little bit bigger and it’s got, you know depending on how crowded it is, it’s sometimes easier to stay away from people for the most part,” said Pistone.

Carlos Reyes says he has always used the bus, when he stopped driving. He stays pretty local and felt it was safest for him.

“After the pandemic, most of the buses were almost empty,” said Reyes.

Travelers we talked to say the train is best for distancing from others.

“I’m a handicap. I need space for my legs. And that’s what the bus doesn’t offer,” said Rratton Evris.

Dr. Tseng suggests researching your destination’s transmission rate. If it’s 8 or 9% and above, that’s considered very high, said Tseng.

He said knowing your community, and your family’s vaccine status is a good place to start when planning travel.

“The goal is to make sure that everybody gets through this holiday safely and to do that make sure you take care of each other,” said Tseng.

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