The Covid-19 spread has had a huge impact on the travel and hospitality industries and, although lockdowns everywhere start to ease and people are little by little allowed to start traveling again, we are all still concerned about the disease and neither hotels nor airplane companies or cruises know for certain what are the best and safest protocols to implement and when people will feel safe and ready to go far from their homes.
We have all learnt that keeping social distance and hygiene are essential to limit virus spreading and keep ourselves, our families and communities healthy. However, after spending so much time in lockdown and staying at least six feet away from others, there are great chances that you need some time to unwind and relax.
That said, is travelling possible in this context? Yes, travelling is an option as long as you choose the right alternatives and keep safety in mind at all times. Despite many of the major tourist attractions are still closed and only a few are starting to open with restrictions, it’s always possible to do some domestic and local travel if you don’t feel ready yet to travel long distances.
Despite it’s still quite uncertain the way that the travel industry will bounce back after this and what things passengers will need to travel safely, we can help you evaluate your opportunities in these times of uncertainty.
Make sure you follow policies about mandatory quarantines and lockdown restrictions at home and at your destination. Remember it’s important to protect you, your loved ones and other people. Nobody wants to bring the virus from their community to places with low case numbers and vice versa.
Avoid travelling if there are great chances that you’ll contract COVID-19. No matter how much you’d like to visit that destination or go somewhere to stretch your legs, it’s not worth it if you’re putting your health at risk.
Make sure you make informed decisions by following the news and keeping up with public data.
Where Will You Travel?
As long as you avoid crowded areas and long lines, your options are almost unlimited. Depending on where you live, you can go to a remote cabin, spend time on a small town or go on wonderful hikes.
Say goodbye to hot tourist spots, capital cities boasting tons of attractions and places where you depend on public transport to move around, at least for a while. Why don’t you consider going to a more outdoor destination? It will make social distancing easier, there will probably be more free space around you. From visiting one of the many beautiful National Parks in the US, to glamping, going on a road trip or renting an RV are only some of the options available from you. It’s a great opportunity to go hiking and exploring!
Those who love city hopping or can’t live without the urban vibe can satisfy their need by visiting cities that are not so magnetic for tourists. Going to Delft instead of Amsterdam, Lyon instead of Paris or Brighton instead of London are good options, for instance.
Local travelling will definitely be a hot trend amongst travelers for the next few months at least. Whether you’re thinking of a weekend getaway or a more extensive road trip, enjoying local escapes makes it easier to stretch your legs, blow off steam and have a nice time while keeping social distance. While staying local, make sure you prefer outdoor life to indoor activities. Search the web for nearby hiking trails or those national parks that are still open offer plenty of opportunities for taking great photographs, enjoying nature and long walks while avoiding crowds.
Staying local also helps to make us feel safer than travelling long distances and being far away from home. You help not to put a community’s limited resources at risk and you can learn something new or discover an exciting new place at the same time.
If visiting a National Park is the most appealing option for you, make sure you check before going there whether the park is open or not and what services are offered. Remember that many of them have had to reduce their opening hours. Although it is true that parks can close unexpectedly due to public safety concerns, checking beforehand reduces that chances.
National Parks as well as other areas that offer wide open spaces and breathtaking views are preferred destinations especially amongst those who have been homebound for such a long time.
It’s probably that same urge for open spaces and beautiful natural surroundings that an increasing number of people are embracing glamping and camping. Even those that wouldn’t have even considered that possibility before the COVID-19 spread, are now passionate enthusiasts of tents, caravans and RVs. RV camping helps you keep social distance as you hit the open road and you then can sleep, cook and even use the restroom from the safety of an RV.
Go Road Tripping
There’s always something fascinating about road trips as it invites travelers to explore areas that they may otherwise ignore for being too small or for not being totally accessible by plane, train or public transport. In times of COVID-19, they offer another advantage: they make social distancing easier as they facilitate immersive travelling while remaining much further than six feet apart.
Before hitting the road, it’s important to bear some considerations in mind:
- Opt for a shorter road trip as it implies less stops and less exposure to potential germs.
- If possible, limit the number of people in the car.
Even though road trips are generally all about hitting the road and letting it guide you, but this is not the best idea at the moment as it can get you into trouble. Travel restrictions and policies change all the time and they can change without a notice so having a clear plan that includes where you’ll stop and where you’ll spend the night is essential.
If you’re taking your own car on a road trip, apart from the usual maintenance you’d do any other time, make sure you take extra time to sanitize high-touch point areas such as door handles, the steering wheel and controls, the stick shift, etc. Don’t forget to keep paper towels and wipes at hand in the cabin to keep up with the cleaning along the way.
If you’re renting a car, you can be totally sure that the rental company has cleaned and sanitized the car really well. Some agencies even offer contactless pick up and have maximized their efforts to ensure social distancing. Don’t forget to consider buying a car rental damage insurance policy that protects you and the rental car against any accident or issue you may suffer while on the road.
If you need to find somewhere to stay overnight, seek out a hotel that makes it easy to keep social distance such as those that offer cooking facilities, online registering service at the reception’s desk, you mention!
You’ll probably need somewhere to stay at your destination. Besides hotels, an increasing number of vacationists are seriously considering a vacation rental. Having a house or flat for their own makes keeping social distance a breeze as they can limit interaction with others that are not from their primary group, they can prepare their own meals and limit who enters their house and who doesn’t.
Another great alternative that offers much more flexibility is choosing an RV rental. You have everything you need at hand at all times, you can spend the night almost wherever you want and you can feed the travel bug at the same time! RV rentals are great because they are self sufficient and there’s no problem at all with keeping social distance! There are many free RV campgrounds in the US to choose from, you can stock up at the grocery store only once and you can explore the area at your pleasure, be in the outdoors and keep everybody safe.
Just as with any other trip, packing everything you’ll need is important. In this context, it is even more essential as you want to interact with as few people as possible, touch as few surfaces as possible and stay healthy at all times. That said, it is important that you pack everything you’ll need while you are away and that you don’t forget these essentials: hand sanitizer, wipes, face coverings, toilet paper (supplies may be limited in parks for instance).
The more prepared you are, the less unnecessary stops you’ll need to make and you’ll reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. It’s a good idea to buy parking passes, museum tickets and any entrance fee you’ll need in advance. Most attractions requiere tourists to do so in order to make sure that there are no crowd gatherings at the entrance or the site itself and that there’s no problem with social distance.
Don’t Forget About Personal Hygiene
Stick to practicing good personal hygiene just as you did at home. Remember that even though you’ll be outdoors, you’ll run into other people you’re not familiar with. Avoid high-touchpoint areas like picnic areas or playgrounds, cough or sneeze on your elbow and discard any tissue paper you may use. Use your face mask when social distancing is difficult and use it in trailheads, boat ramps and beaches when passing other people.
Disinfect anything you buy before consuming it or taking it into your car, villa rental or RV rental and wash and/or sanitize your hands often.