We all could us a vacation from the COVID-19 outbreak but that is still somewhere beyond the horizon. Pandemic fatigue is very real. My kids are excited about going back to school in a few short weeks even though I do not share their enthusiasm. Imagine that! The pandemic has completely reversed how kids and parents feel about going back to school. The point is that we all need a break and it is vacation season. So, here are a few safe travel tips that are very likely to become the “new normal” for planning a vacation during COVID-19.
- First things first. Stay home if you can. Obviously by leaving your house you are increasing your risk of exposure and contact with COVID-19. So, if you can take a staycation and still achieve that state or relaxation and rejuvenation, that would be best. You do not need to lock yourself in the house during your time off. You can still take day trips and enjoy the various outdoor activities in your area. The key to staying home for a vacation is to have a plan. Here are some ideas to consider.
- Maybe you have decided it is time for a change of scenery and you just cannot look at the same four walls for another minute! I completely understand. In this case, consider distancing vacations. There are lots of fun places to visit not too far from where you live. Check on your state parks or just look up state attractions. Here you can find your state’s top 10 attractions. Basically, you want to stay in your own family or family and close friend units when you travel. Taking a car is lower risk than taking a plane so pick a destination that is drivable. Honestly, my driving limit is 8 hours in a single day. After that, my back is done and so am I. Pull up a map. Draw a circle around your driving limit and look for places to go and people to see. There is guaranteed to be exciting destinations and no plane trip required.
- Phone ahead to your destination to find out their COVID-19 protocols. Different states, cities and towns often have different requirements for COVID-19. Look them up and find out what they are before you get there so that you can pack the necessary items. Staying at a hotel, lodge, or campground? Find out what special procedures are in place. Many accommodations that have swimming pools require you to reserve time slots to use the amenities. They want to keep the number of people gathering in one space under the allowable limits while keeping those amenities open for use. Are activities like bone fires and hikes still taking place or have they been canceled due to the pandemic? It is vital to know before you go. Otherwise you could have your high expectations brought low.
- Bring a COVID-19 kit. There is no zero-risk vacation during COVID-19, but you can do certain things to help reduce the risk. Bring a mask or several masks. It may be required where you are traveling even if you do not exactly enjoy wearing one. Bring alcohol-based disinfectants and cleaners. Scientists are determining that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through droplets (gross!), however, there are plenty of other bacteria and other not nice things that can cling to surfaces. It is a good idea to keep them clean and your hands washed to keep yourself free of any other sicknesses that can totally bum out a vacation.
This vacation season, take steps to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe. Assess the risk and take precautions to help keep us all safe.
For more tips on safe travel tips during COVID-19: