Between travel restrictions and quarantines overseas – and even some domestic – vacations have been disrupted for the foreseeable future. Experts are still advising against non-essential travel, as some parts of the US are starting to experience a second increase in COVID cases.
But with many people starting to express frustration with being at home, and concern still remaining about extensive travel during the pandemic, some experts are deeming 2020 the summer of the road trip.
Whether you have unavoidable upcoming travel, or simply can’t imagine letting a summer go by without a family vacation, Neighbors wants to ensure that your travel is undertaken safely. We’ve put together some recommendations for vacation ideas and travel tips to help keep your summer safe and fun.
With many National Parks closed and state parks placing restrictions on the number of use permits available, finding an available camping spot may be as difficult as finding toilet paper was in March.
But you can still break out the tent and have a fun outing in the backyard. If you are able in your area, you can make your own fire ring and have a campfire, complete with roasted marshmallows. You can also listen to see how many bird, bug, and animal sounds you can identify, or have a nature scavenger hunt to see how many different plants or animals you can find in your yard. And the upside of camping at home? Close proximity to your own bathroom & shower!
RENT (if you don’t already own) AN RV OR CAMPER:
This may be a great option for traveling, as you have your sleeping and eating quarters built-in, which limits your exposure to other people. Paired with wide-open destinations, you have a perfect socially-distanced vacation.
BECOME A LOCAL TOURIST:
Find local destinations that are open that you’ve never visited before and pick a week to become a local tourist, visiting a selected location each day.
Make sure you check to see if you need to purchase tickets or make reservations in advance, as even with businesses beginning to reopen, many have restrictions on the number of people allowed to enter at a time. Remember to take (and use!) your masks, practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet away from others, and continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and not touching your face.
PACK THE PPE:
You still need to protect yourself, your family, and others from exposure to germs. Make sure you bring masks for everyone, disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer.
Since inventory varies greatly from location to location, don’t expect that you’ll be able to stock up during your trip. Remember that disposable gloves are designed to be used for a single task and then discarded. The best-use scenarios are instances where it is impractical to clean the surface you are touching – such as pumping gas or using an ATM – and then immediately disposing of them.
LIMIT STOPS AND CONTACT WITH OTHERS:
In an effort to limit your interaction with others, you should limit your stops. Take your own snacks, meals, and drinks if possible, or utilize drive-through or pick-up options.
You may even choose to purchase a portable travel toilet to avoid the use of gas station restrooms. When you must stop for gas or restroom breaks, make sure you use your PPE and wash or sanitize your hands.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE & CALL AHEAD:
Make sure that the destinations and any hotels or businesses you plan to visit are open and that you understand any restrictions that are in place.
You’ll want to check on rest stops and any state parks or tourist attractions, too. When staying at a hotel, make sure to ask about check-in and cleaning, and plan on doing extra sanitation on high-touch surfaces. While spontaneity may be fun, this is not the trip to ‘wing it’ and assume that what you need will be available or open.
KNOW THE GUIDELINES:
Guidelines for businesses and requirements for PPE can vary from state to state, and even from city to city. Make sure that you understand the requirements for all of the locations you will visit.
Stay safe out there!