8 Tips for a Safe (Local) Vacations During a Global Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to ravage 2020, it’s increasingly important to find experiences we can still enjoy. Taking local vacations is one of them, as long as you follow a few safety rules and minimize your contact with people outside your household.

The 8 tips below will help you do that. Happy travels!

  • Public restrooms. It’s obviously best to avoid public restrooms, but it’s not always an option. When you have to use them, avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, wait till there aren’t a lot of people in the restroom before entering, and use well-ventilated stalls.
  • Pack a COVID-19 travel kit. Your first aid kit can do double duty as a COVID-19 safety kit too. In addition to your standard first aid kit items, add extra masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial wipes, and hand soap.
  • Check the number of COVID-19 cases.  Visit the CDC’s guide to COVID-19 cases so you know how many cases there are in your destination state. The greater the number of cases, the greater your likelihood of becoming infected while vacationing, so if your destination state is experiencing a high rate of infection, be wary of visiting. 
  • Local restrictions.  Know the travel restrictions and quarantine rules at your destination. For example, know if you’ll need to quarantine upon your arrival and what the rules are for wearing masks, visiting public places etc. In the same vein, know your home town rules too. If you’ll need to quarantine upon your return, be prepared to take more time off from work or work remotely.
  • Maintain social distancing. – If possible visit places where you can hike, camp, or go fishing, so you can avoid crowded areas. However, if the great outdoors isn’t your thing, then try to avoid places that tend to get crowded such as swimming pools, amusement parks, concerts, pubs, etc. Also, consider staying at a vacation home rather than a hotel so you can limit your contact with anyone outside your inner circle.
  • Choosing your mode of transportation. The best way to travel is by car because it minimizes your contact with other people and gives you more control over the safety measures you take to keep surfaces sanitized. In contrast, travel by bus or train can expose you to crowds of other people and doesn’t offer much personal control over your safety. And while the air filtration systems on airplanes do help prevent bacteria from spreading, the pre-boarding experience can expose you to many other travelers.
  • Practice basic health safety. This is obvious, but it must be said: always wear a mask in public settings, stay at least six feet apart from people outside your household, wash your hands and use hand sanitizers frequently, and avoid touching your face.
  • When others don’t wear masks. If you encounter people in public places that aren’t wearing masks, you can politely request they wear one, but not everyone will respond positively. If this happens, remove yourself from the situation, or notify someone in a position of authority. 

Primary references

1.https://www.cnet.com/health/how-to-vacation-safely-this-summer-during-the-coronavirus/, 2.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html, 3.https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/2020/05/safety-tips-to-help-you-travel-again-during-covid-19-cvd/, 4.https://www.today.com/health/how-plan-summer-safecation-what-know-about-road-trips-flying-t184324, 5.https://www.heremagazine.com/articles/covid-19-travel-safety-tips-resources