How to manage Thanksgiving safely

Traveling for Thanksgiving During the Covid Pandemic? Here’s How to Stay Safe

The Covid pandemic has thrown uncertainty into this year’s celebrations. Here are tips for those who are getting on the road—or staying at home

By WSJ Staff Nov. 6, 2020 5:00 pm ET

LAST YEAR’S holiday travel concerns? Traffic, lines at the airport and disagreements over who brings what to the Thanksgiving dinner. This year, coronavirus has changed the calculus entirely, with many people figuring that the safest course is to stay home.

If you’re on the fence, we have the latest thinking on what travel gear you need and how safe it is to fly. If hunkering down is your plan, we offer up options for armchair travel. We also look at how some families are trying new ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. And for those who see the same old family frictions brewing aroung the table, here are tips for dialing down the controversy and building up the conversation.


Is It Safe to Fly During the Pandemic?

You’re thinking about getting on a plane for the first time in months. Is it safe? Middle Seat columnist Scott McCartney takes an in-depth look at the impact of airplane ventilation on Covid-19 risks as well as the steps travelers themselves can take to reduce their risks.

Gear You Do—and Don’t—Need for Traveling

Masks are just the beginning. Online retailers are promoting a wide assortment of protective travel gear, from gloves and goggles to plastic face shields to hot-pink hazmat suits with built-in purifiers. To help determine what’s effective and what’s overkill, we asked medical experts to weigh in.


Your Complete Guide to the Right Face Mask

When it comes to masks, the options are overwhelming, so we tested 50, including offerings from new entrants like travel company Wayre and familiar names like Gap and Under Armour. Then we ranked them for style, breathability, fit and material. If you need a mask for a 20-minute workout or a 10-hour flight, we’ve got you covered.


The Pandemic Inspires a ‘Tailgating Thanksgiving’

As people weigh the risks of a big family gathering, only 27% in a recent survey said they are celebrating the holiday as they normally would. But some are finding creative alternatives to long-held traditions, including moving the meal outside. Check out the tailgate turkey and other plans for celebrations with plenty of room for friends and family to gather—and still stay 6 feet apart.


Where the Intrepid Are Heading for the Holidays

Sun, sand, margaritas—and no quarantine. Those are the types of items on the checklists of a “fearless cohort” of travelers who are booking trips and packing their bags despite Covid-19 concerns. While the majority of Americans still say they aren’t planning to travel over the holidays, in October there was an uptick in the percentage who feel confident that they can travel safely. Here’s where they’re going.

Bhutanese horsemen arrive at Gophu La Pass along the Snowman Trek..

Bhutanese horsemen arrive at Gophu La Pass along the Snowman Trek.. FRÉDÉRIC LAGRANGE

For the Armchair Traveler, a Himalayan Trek

Staying home doesn’t mean your imagination can’t wander. Click and enjoy this breath-taking hike in the Himalayas along the Kingdom of Bhutan’s Snowman Trek. Or, make a virtual visit to the Tuscan retreatthat photographer Mikael Jansson and his wife Lotta, a ceramist, are renovating. At a meal around a table that once was in the refectory of an Italian monastery, the bread is homemade, the oil is pressed from local olives and the pecorino from sheep up the road.


Tips for Keeping the Peace at Thanksgiving

You made it to the Thanksgiving dinner. Now, how to get through it without letting debates over politics or the pandemic ruin the meal? Through the years, some of the best advice on how to minimize family drama on Thanksgiving has come from Journal readers. Here are their time-tested strategies.

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