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Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic – A perspective

From Rico Mandel, CEO and founder of Miz En Place

Last year I decided to take some time away from the USA and extensively travel internationally. I spent months making my way across Italy, Morocco, Poland, and more. During this time I have made quite a few observations about traveling abroad while still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall pretty much everything overseas seemed to be open, as far as I could tell – restaurants, hotels, museums, attractions, and more. Overseas locations use a color-coded ranking system for COVID outbreaks in the area, which made it very easy to determine the level of possible danger before heading to that area. Many places, like Poland, have very few COVID cases which made travel there much easier and more relaxed since the odds of encountering a COVID-positive individual was extremely low.

For a few tips on travel in general please take a look at this article, here I will go into my personal experiences over the last few months.

Airline Travel

Airline travel is, in many ways, better than other forms of enclosed travel right now. This is due to the continuous replenishment of cabin air; meaning that the air is actually removed from the cabin and replaced with fresh air and, from what I read, this occurs once about every 10 to 15 minutes. This is opposed to train or bus travel where you don’t have that air movement and replenishment.

The airlines have also implemented check systems to help travelers better prepare for boarding. Of course, it varied depending on the airline as well as the destination but each that I used they emailed a checklist of items that I was required to complete before being cleared to board the plane. They also handed me a packet of cleaning wipes when I boarded. All of which I found extremely helpful.

Train Travel

I found that in places like Italy when you got on the train they provided you with a packet of cleaning wipes and a mask.


Though most places did have mask mandates indoors, I was pretty free to be without a mask outside provided I wasn’t walking into a congested area. When I found myself in highly populated areas then my mask went on until I was out of there.

A couple of mask tips from me for your travels:

  • It is a good idea is to have a decent supply of masks on you at all times – either disposable or reusable (just make sure to wash the reusable ones often).
  • Make sure to change out your mask every 4 hours – particularly if you’re wearing it continuously.

Vaccination Status & Testing

Many of the places overseas that I visited did require proof of vaccination to enter indoor spaces.

Most of the eating establishments, in particular, that I visited while overseas required you to either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test that was done within the last 72 hours. Once inside though, masks weren’t required.

It really seemed to me that the areas I visited were doing a good job of trying to lower the spread of the virus and keep their employees and customers safe.

Have you been traveling? Where have you gone? What have your experiences been?

Let us know in the comments below!

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