We are all collectively experiencing some degree of wanderlust right now. We have been stuck at home — sheltering in place — trying to protect our families, our communities and ourselves from illness,and stop the spread of COVID-19. While our normal lives are on pause, many of us are starting to wonder if and when it will be safe to travel. Summer is here, after all, and we long for brighter days and calmer nights.
While we may want to escape reality, we need to realize that there’s currently no getting away from the Coronavirus, so we must remain vigilant and do our part to stay safe and healthy. Some travel is possible, but it will look and feel very different than what we’re used to. Here’s what you can expect.
Destinations May Be Restricted
If you’re dreaming about a European getaway, you might as well dream on. International travel is not advisable or even possible in some situations, and many destinations have closed their borders to incoming tourists. The E.U., for example, has temporarily barred travelers from the United States. While this may change in the coming weeks and months, it’s clear that as long as COVID-19 is an imminent threat, jet setting off to an international destination is off the table.
You May Need to Quarantine
If you’re thinking about traveling to another state, you should check restrictions before making big plans. Some states have implemented a mandatory two-week quarantine for visitors coming from places with a high rate of infection. Conversely, your home state may require that you quarantine after visiting another destination.
If You Are Flying…
Do your due diligence before hopping on a plane. Check with your preferred airline before you book to find out what precautions are being taken to ensure passengers’ safety and health. For example, ask if middle seats will be kept empty on your flight and/or if they’re booking to capacity.
You’ll also want to implement your own safety protocols at the airport and in flight. Wear a mask, bring disinfecting wipes for surfaces and carry your own hand sanitizer.
Consider a Road Trip
If the idea of being in close proximity to strangers in an enclosed space for hours has your nerves frayed (understandably, of course), you might want to consider another means of transportation. There’s no time like the present for a good old-fashioned road trip. Pack up the car and the kids and hit the highway. If you’re going a great distance, consider renting an RV for the long haul.
Of course, even road trips come with some level of risk. You’ll need to take bathroom breaks and go to rest stops and gas stations, so be sure to have all your safety essentials in the car. Minimize food breaks by packing lots of snacks and water.
Hotel vs. Rental Property
If you choose to stay at a hotel, be sure to check the procedures before arrival. You want to ensure your room is clean, social distancing is enforced in communal spaces and masks are must-haves for guests and staff.
If you’d rather have your own safe, personal place, consider renting a house, instead. You will have more control of the situation — there is no lobby, no employees, you can cook all your meals and clean your own space. Of course, check with the property host to make sure everything has been properly sanitized before your arrival.
Stay outdoors as much as possible during your travels. Avoid crowds and go to beaches at off hours, explore hidden lakes, hike new paths and take in stunning sunset views. Just try to stay six feet away from fellow travelers who are also admiring nature in all its glory.
Check CDC Guidelines
Whether you are traveling locally or going far, be sure to keep on top of the latest developments, so you can make more informed decisions. Check statistics for your destination, and read up on the latest guidelines and tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Travel is a gift, and we are all eager to get out and explore again. Safety has to come first, though, so be careful, be mindful and do your part to mitigate risk.
Lauren is a digital editor, freelance writer, and Instagram aficionado with a feisty five-year-old boy and a sassy two-year-old diva at home. With a passion for family, travel, style, and alliteration, she spends her days chasing children, chugging coffee, and daydreaming about sleep. As a veteran lifestyle editor and media mom, Lauren loves to find ways to make the aspirational attainable for all the overwhelmed parents out there—because we really need to stick together! Lauren lives with her husband and kiddos in the suburbs of New York City.