Traveling during a pandemic

2020

Tips for traveling domestically during the coronavirus pandemic

After so many restrictions over the past few months, it may feel like time for an adventure. Many of us have friends and family who live in different parts of the country. Others may just want to take the family to experience something new that our country has to offer. During these unique times, we have more decisions than ever if we want to travel and stay connected to family and friends. Following are some questions for you to think about, and ideas of how to travel at your level of comfort during this pandemic.

What mode of transportation are you most  comfortable with right now?

Consider flying

Many measures are in place to keep everything sanitary during your trip. The biggest benefit of this form of travel is it gets you to your destination quickly so you have more time to explore a new place, and visit with friends or family there.

Consider a road trip

Using your own car, you have a little more freedom from restrictions like masks while traveling and you have flexibility to choose travel stops along the way. Sometimes the stops make amazing memories!

Consider renting an RV

The biggest advantage to this form of transportation during this time is that you have your place to stay with you on the trip, so there are no additional cleaning measures when you arrive at your destination.

Best purchases for traveling during the  pandemic

Back Seat Bingo

Whether you are flying or driving, some classic games for little ones is always guaranteed to make your trip go smoother.

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Beach Blanket

Even if you’re staying somewhere that provides towels, bringing your own can greatly reduce your chances of getting COVID.

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First Aid Kit

This is an essential for any trip, especially during a pandemic. Reducing your visits to the doctor can greatly reduce your chances of getting COVID.

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Where will you stay?

Consider friend’s home

This is a tricky area right now. You need to talk to the people you are visiting to find out what they are comfortable with. Many families are actually camping in grandparents back yards so they can see them and visit from a distance but not stay in their home should they be of high risk and wanting to keep their home just for those in their households right now. The one main advantage is being close to family and spending more time.

The RV option

If you rented an RV, you brought your accommodations with you. You just now need to find a place to hook it up to power and water.

Hotel

It is always relaxing to stay at a hotel. The big advantage here is you can set your schedule more easily and just meet up with friends for parts of the day. If anyone in your party is uncomfortable with the idea of a hotel, suggest they bring their own pillowcase or blanket from home in addition to toiletries.

Airbnb

The Airbnb provides the best of both worlds right now. It has the privacy of a hotel, but you are away from lots of other travelers.

What city is your destination?

As you consider if you want to visit a family member or a friend, decide how far you may want to go depending on the mode of transportation you selected.

  • Then check out their area for what restrictions may be in place.
  • Some places have restaurants and attractions that are limited so make sure you have a variety selected.
  • Other areas require you to have a COVID test before you enter, or you have to quarantine for a period of time.
  • States each have a Department of Health Services website to help you understand what is the level of severity of the pandemic in their area.
  • The situation in every area is subject to change quickly, so if you plan your trip a few weeks out, you will also want to check this the week before travel in case you need to make any additional preparations.

How willing are you to make last minute changes?

These are unprecedented times, and ever-changing. It is very difficult to make plans as one day things are open and the next day, they are closed. So if you travel now, you must be willing to go with the flow. And you need to make sure your whole group is ready to do that now. Let everyone know that they cannot get their hearts set on just one single activity because this is an adventure and everyone will have to remain flexible. It’s going to be fun!

Outside activities

Outside activities are said to be a lower risk for COVID-19. Consider some of the following actives on your trip!

  • Hiking – Check for local trails. These are perfect to see the local scenery, enjoy nature and get some exercise.
  • Picnicking – Pick up lunch anywhere and find a nearby park to throw down your blanket. Enjoy the scenery – sometimes you can even find a local lake or mountain to look at.
  • Outside dining – Most areas still have outside dining, even if inside dining is not currently allowed.
  • Outside Museums – a good place to look for these ideas is the state parks. There are a wide range of things to see across this country like pioneer homes, battlefields, old forts, Mount Rushmore, or natural things like the giant Sequoia trees, the Grand Canyon, … all outside. Just do a little research about the area, and you are sure to find something great!
  • Drive through activities – a lot more places have drive through options right now. You can drive through many zoos, farms, or even find a drive in movie in parking lots all across the nation! If you are not sure of the area, as a local!

Things to  keep in mind

Many public restrooms are closed

if you stop to get gas or to eat, consider using the restroom if it is open. Many are closed right now.

Current hours online

Some websites are not up to date with current hours or if they are open. Be sure to give them a call before you head over.

Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize!

Remember when you arrive anywhere you will be staying, you should do a quick sanitize of areas you will be using.

Check with your doctor first

Check with your physician if you have any health concerns that might require you follow additional procedures while traveling, or if they suggest you avoid it.

10 Essentials for Travel during the Pandemic

With COVID-19, your packing list will definitely change. Consider packing the following essentials on your trip! 

  1. Mask or Facial Covering
  2. First Aid kit with Thermometer
  3. Identification and Insurance card
  4. A small snack like a meal replacement bar, trail mix, or nuts
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Disinfecting wipes
  7. Zippered baggies for transporting items and keeping more things sanitary
  8. Any medicines you may need with your physician’s number and extra doses in case you are delayed 
  9. Disinfectant spray
  10. Your own pillow or pillowcase

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