2020 has been an unreasonably crazy year, all around, and it’s been difficult for everyone, including us travelers. With people losing their jobs or loved ones due to this virus, it seems shallow to also mourn cancelled trips, but a lot of people’s mental health tends to be hinged on their ability to travel. This being said, it’s okay to be sad about cancelled plans and it’s even more okay if you’ve been able to pivot and find safe ways to get in your wanderlust fix, especially as there is no real “post-Covid” in sight. Personally, I’ve resorted to local travel and staycations and want to share a way to both travel safely and make the most of staycations! Keep reading for gems & check HERE for tips on staycations.
How To Travel Safely During Covid-19:
- Stay home if you are feeling sick. This should be common sense, but if you are feeling any Covid-related symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle soreness, loss of taste/smell or more, STAY HOME. Even better, get a Covid test to further assure yourself that you are Covid-Free. Check this SITE to find out how to get a covid test.
- Wear a Mask. For the life of me, I don’t understand how wearing a mask became political in the US, but I really wish it hadn’t. Check HERE for a list of the most popular masks to buy as well as tips of proper mask-wear! See also evidence of mask effectiveness from the CDC:
“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”
- Practice Social Distancing– Specifically when it comes to lodging & specific mode of travel. All accommodations are not created equally. When possible, opt for driving versus flying or for cabins/airbnb versus crowded resorts and hotels. There are many hotels that have increased their cleaning procedures to help combat covid-19, in addition to contact-less check-ins, so please do your research, many are even requiring a negative Covid-19 test or taking temperatures as you enter the premises! The allure of an airbnb is the ability to be completely secluded aside from your fellow house guests, avoiding any need for contact with hotel staff! For flights, mainly airlines are also introducing new procedures, such as leaving the middle seat empty, running at less capacity or loading the plane from back to front- it’s still better to be in your car, by yourself 🙂
- Track how your destination is handling covid. Check HERE for an updated list of how each US State is handling Covid. Check HERE for the WHO’s list of countries around the world. Also, check to see what measures are in place for your return, do you have the quarantine for 14 days?
- Wash your hands & keep sanitizer. The CDC lists this as one of many recommendations for preventing the spread of covid-19. “Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.” Keep hand sanitizer on you in the event that you can’t quickly access a sink/soap & sanitize often!
- Opt for outdoor Activities. One of the main recommendations for preventing the spread of covid (aside from staying home & wearing a mask) is to maintain social distancing, keeping at least 6ft away from others. Opt for outdoor dining versus indoors, or for takeout if outdoor dining is unavailable. Note that a lot of restaurants are running at less capacity than normal, so call ahead and make reservations to secure an outdoor spot. Also, get in touch with your adventurous side and go for activities that are performed outdoors versus inside: hiking, kayaking, biking, swimming, outdoor tours or more.
- Stay local! Take advantage of #staycations or exploring your own backyard. Does your city have hiking? Lavender fields? A beach? Can you rent a bike for a day? Rent a cabin with friends! There are so many options for exploring your own backyard and still making it an adventure. Check HERE for my post on Making The Most of Staycations.
It may change the nature of your trip to have to limit exposure by practicing social distancing, avoiding certain activities and not getting to fully experience the culture of a new place, but unfortunately this our new normal and we all owe it to each other and nature to be responsible travelers to help prevent the spread. Tourism provides approximately 10.4% of the world’s jobs, so if we can safely do our part to help the many people impacted by the Covid driven decline in travel, I see that as a win,win.
What are other tips that you have for covid-safe venturing?