Everything is starting to open up and we are just itching to get out. It is vacation season after-all! We want to have some semblance of normalcy in this crazy times we are living in. We want to have our vacations! But is it possible to travel and go on vacation safely in the times of a pandemic? Can you go away and not risk your health and the health of your loved ones? Would we even have fun or would it all be closed down? I am here to tell you that you absolutely can go on a vacation and still remain safe amidst the worldwide panic of a pandemic. I have done it and I have felt just as safe and even just as isolated as I do in my own house.
Initial Planning for travel During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The first step toward taking any vacation is in planning. But with a pandemic raging around us, planning a vacation takes even more work. As with any vacation, you are going to need to sit down and think about what you normally like to do on vacation and where you normally like to go. Researching those areas is the first step. . Are the hotels even open? Will I be in a large crowd? Will I have to wear a mask 100% of the time? These questions are very important as your first step in planning. We had talked about going to the Ocean and we really wanted to go. However, all we were seeing when we checked social media and news outlets were crowds of people. People standing shoulder to shoulder with no face masks. No thank you. I have family members that are in the at risk population. It's not worth it. SO for me, that was not an option. I have friends that have opted to travel to the beach amidst the crowds and potential risks. They weighed the risk and for them, it was not a deterrent. I have friends that have gone to an amusement park and spent a full day in a mask out in the baking hot sun. For them, it was worth it. But for me? Not worth it at all! This is a purely individual choice. If your first option for a vacation locale seems a bit risky look elsewhere. You will not enjoy your vacation if you are constantly worrying about your health and the risks that you are taking. Calculate the risks versus your comfort level when choosing your vacation destination
When we were planning our covid get-a-way, we decided that we wanted to go to places that were more secluded. We wanted our primary destinations to be out in nature where we would not be required to wear a mask and where we would not be in large crowds. I pulled up a map and I started to search for State parks and National Parks. I was able to narrow down our search for a Pandemic Vacation Destination to one or two places. Once I got to that point, I dove deeper into the details of the travel.
Planning the Details for a Vacation during a Pandemic
Once we had our possible destination chosen, I started to research hotels. I started to look at museums that may be nearby. I started to look at possible activities. I created a list and I researched each open. Were the hotels open? Would we need to wear a mask? What was the status of restaurants in that area? Would we need to take all of our food to go or were they offering in house dining. What capacity were they operating at...would there be sufficient room between tables? What regulations would be mandated at museums? Many of these answers were online, but I did have to call a few hotels and a few locations to get the answers I needed. I knew that the small details that we usually take for granted would be utterly important!
Make your lists and check for the details!
We have done a few get-a-ways since they have started to lift the restrictions. I learned some valuable lessons about travelling in a pandemic along the way. The biggest thing I learned was that you need to ask for the details. Each state has different regulations. Each town has their own set of rules and each individual business has the right to make their own decisions about how and when to follow those mandated guidelines.
We went to a hotel in Weston, WV that had an indoor pool. For the same vacation I then made reservations at a hotel that had an outdoor pool in Fayetteville, WV where we were going to be travelling. I had researched the state's website about the pandemic and had noted that pools were allowed to open. We were going swimming! We arrived at the first hotel and found that the pool was open, just as we expected. No problem! However, when we arrived at the second hotel with the outdoor pool, it was closed due to the pandemic. It was disappointing, but completely my fault. I did the first part of the research but failed to specifically ask if the pool was open. A few weeks later when we went away again, I called hotel after hotel to find one that had a pool that was open! I had learned my lesson!
Food during a Pandemic Travel
Food is another big item to research while traveling. As was mentioned earlier, different locations have different regulations and this also pertains to restaurants. Are the restaurants even open? Can they do delivery and takeout? Can you dine in? Food is a necessity and often a large part of vacation. Don't find yourself in a predicament where your food options are not to your specifications. Likewise, if you are counting on the hotel to provide your breakfast, check before you book. We have stayed at three hotels during the pandemic. One of the hotels simply shut down their breakfast. One hotel gave a grab and go bag that contained a piece of fruit a granola bar and a bottle of water. Better than nothing, but a far cry from what we typically get for breakfast at a hotel. The third hotel (Hampton Inn in Weston, WV) did an amazing breakfast. Even better? It was done in such a way that the quality of the food did not suffer yet they managed to do so while making everyone feel safe within this pandemic. We have seen three different versions of how hotels are handling this situation. Check with the hotel before you go if this is something that you are concerned with.
Be prepared on your Pandemic Vacation
Take your masks! The state you are visiting may not require masks, but you WILL encounter places that do require the use of a mask. While we were visiting WV on our first trip, we found that only museums were requiring masks. I had researched and called beforehand, so we were expecting this. On our next visit to West Virginia a few weeks later the museum we visited did NOT require a mask but the local gift shop/stores did. It really does depend on each area. Do you research and go prepared with your masks!
It is definitely doable to go on vacation during this pandemic. Your decisions will need to be determined by your own personal comfort levels and the safety and precautions of the area in which you wish to travel. Traveling during a pandemic will require you to research and look deeply at your destinations. You will need to chose your options carefully based on the amenities, restrictions and allowances of each place. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is well worth it when you can step back into living, forget about all the craziness in our world and have a fabulous vacation in the middle of a world wide pandemic.
Belief In Living
Travel with us as we explore!