Summer Travel Considerations During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Since March, many Americans have been staying at home and limiting their outings to help curb the spread of Covid-19. The pandemic has changed the way we live, work and socialize; and, it seems that the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is not about to end anytime soon. As more states began to loosen their stay at home restrictions and reopen their economies, we have seen spikes in numbers of infections across the country. 

Despite this concerning news and the doubt that comes with it, many Americans are still feeling the urge to get away this summer. Road trips may have replaced international adventures and small family gatherings may have replaced large family reunions, but many people are finding that they need to recharge outside of their homes. 

The question on the minds of many this summer is how to travel safely during a pandemic. If you feel the pull to travel, it is critical that you take your safety and that of others into consideration. Aside from following state and federal guidelines regarding the pandemic, travel and social interaction, there are things you can do to help reduce your chances of getting sick and increase your chances of traveling safely. 

And if you are still on the fence, these questions may help you decide what choice is right for you and your family. 

3 Considerations for Traveling this Summer 

In times of uncertainty, it is important that you plan ahead. Whether you have decided to make a go of it or if you are still not sure if travelling is the right decision for you, taking these 3 points into consideration will help you make a more informed choice. 

Decide where you will go (and how you will get there).

While you may have a destination in mind, do your research before committing to a location. Find out if that area is experiencing higher than normal infection rates by checking a Covid-19 tracker and reviewing the state’s website. Also consider that many attractions are closed or limited in their availability, including national parks and amusement parks. Be sure to stay aware of the safety rules for that area, being mindful of the fact that they may change. 

Once you decide where you will travel to, you must consider how you will get there. Although airlines are taking extra precautions such as temperature checks before boarding and mandatory masks, many people are still weary of airline travel. Because of this, many families are choosing a good, old-fashioned road trip instead of a flight. Road trippers likely have more control over their environments and those they interact with.

If you do choose a road trip this summer, take these points into consideration: 

  1. Pack plenty of personal protective gear such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfecting wipes. Bringing enough of these valuable supplies will help you avoid unnecessary trips to the store or being left exposed. 
  2. Prevent the need to stop more than required by bringing along ample snacks and beverages. If you do need to stop for rations, choose a drive-through that requires less physical interaction. 
  3. Plan your route in advance so you can research the safety rules for the states and cities you will be driving through. 
  4. If you must stop for gas, restroom breaks or food, be sure to wipe down the pump and other surfaces you come into contact with. Wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer often. 

Choose your accommodations carefully. 

Once you know where you are going and how you will get there, you must decide where you will sleep. Those with campers and RVs may decide to stay in their homes-on-wheels. Others must choose between a hotel or home rental service like AirBnB or VRBO. There are pros and cons to each option, so do your homework before choosing the right one for you. 

Hotels, especially chain hotels, are more likely to have strict cleaning and sanitation standards to prevent the spread of the virus in their facilities. However, hotels are often busy with people coming in and out from various parts of the country, making it more difficult to maintain social distance.  

Home rentals offer a greater ability for you to limit your interactions with others. You can also bring your own food so you know exactly where it came from and how it was prepared. On the flip side, not all home rentals have professional cleaning services who will adequately sanitize the property. Contact the home owner to learn more about their cleaning and sanitation policies before making your booking. 

Be flexible.  

This probably goes without saying, but you will need to be flexible. Rules and regulations are changing every day as rates of infection rise and fall in states throughout the country. Take into account the uncertainty that everyone is feeling and the current risks of travel. Understanding that things may not go as planned will help you curb your disappointment if the trip has to be postponed or cancelled. 

No matter what choices you make for your summer travel plans, being prepared and remaining flexible will help you make the most out of this changing and challenging situation.  

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