The Coronavirus doesn't mean that you shouldn't take a vacation this summer. There are ways to safely travel and more than ever, we all need a vacation. Having said that, there are some people who have situations where traveling may be tricky and it's best to speak to your physician before you do.
For the rest of us, the good news is that leisure travel will not only be possible, but it will be more affordable than ever. There is bad news though; it won't look the same as before the pandemic.
There are some states, Maine and Hawaii included, have 14-day quarantine requirements for visitors. International travel is also probably out of the question as most countries also have this quarantine requirement. Trips that are for the retiree communities are also generally not happening and cruise operators are under a no-sail order until September.
So the question then becomes, not only where can you travel safely, but what are the precautions you should take to prevent getting the virus? One obvious choice is that you can look for activities that all you to social distance. Road trips, camping and hiking trips, as well as visits to National Parks can keep you a safe distance from those around you. Due to demand and social-distancing capacity limits, it's important that you book lodging or camping space in as far as advance as possible. For this reason, spur of the moment trips are probably not the best.
There are other restrictions to consider as well. While some states are opening up, others are not. Even in some of those states where travel is open, there are state and local guidelines that must be followed such as what is open and mandates to wear facial masks.
For example, the state of Florida is open for business and some theme parks are open as well. Most beaches are packed full of vacationers but there are still requirements to wear face masks. Recently, I traveled to the Universal Orlando Resorts where there were noticeable changes to the hotels and parks. I also traveled to the beach where I saw changes in how the parks were being cleaned and sanitized. Here are some examples how.
I flew to Orlando and on the flight, nobody was allowed to sit in the center seat, with the exception of family members. Both my flight to and from Orlando was slightly delayed due to the cleaning being done between flights and there was a noticeable cleanliness on the plane when I boarded.
Once I arrived at the Adventura Hotel at Universal, my temperature was checked and I was given a colored band to wear signifying that I had been scanned and did not have a temperature. This band was good for the day and I had to be scanned each day I was there. I was also required to wear a face mask.
Upon checkin, I was given hand sanitizer and told all about the safety precautions being taken. One of which was that I would not receive housekeeping during my stay. I was also told that I needed to acknowledge the risks associated with my visit and I was eager to accept them. Only one party was allowed in the elevator at a time and when I got up to my room, I could tell that it had been cleaned more thoroughly than usual.
Riding the bus was easy. There were more buses running than usual but with the requirement to limit riders to 18 per bus, they needed the additional buses. At CityWalk, I was directed into the line queues as to adhere to the social distancing rules but getting through was quick and easy.
I felt safe during my time at the park and at my hotel. Sure, some of the amenities that I'm used to were limited. Food options had been cut as well but at no time did I feel like I was doing anything that was putting my health at risk.
The best piece of advice I can give is that you need to do your research before going anywhere. Double check your reservations and plans before you head out as well because if you think something is open but it turns out they had to close, you may have a hard time finding a hotel that will take you in.
To ensure that you have someone on your side, I also recommended using a travel agent. Travel agents stay up to date on travel requirements and on what is open or closed. They are also your advocate should something happen or should you have to cancel or change your trip.
The summer is just beginning and after being cooped up for the last couple of months, the urge to get out is as strong as ever. If you do, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the low crowds and safety measures but be prepared for the changes and above all else, stay healthy.
Thanks for reading.