To my fellow frequent travelers who now find themselves grounded: I feel your pain. Our current situation leaves a lot to be desired, but we need to do our part! For now, that means staying put! Just because you can’t book that cheap flight to Europe, doesn’t mean you can’t get in some exploration close to home! Travel during COVID is a balancing act of ensuring your maintain for your sanity and also follow all health and safety guidelines from local health authorities and the CDC. As we all do our best to stop the spread of COVID-19, let’s also do our best to stay sane and nurture our adventurous side! I am not a healthcare professional and I also encourage you to follow local guidelines, but here are some of the ways I have found to Travel during COVID.
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Travel by Car
Hands down, the best decision I made during Quarantine has been purchasing my car! For some context, I live in Brooklyn, my building has parking, and I have parking at work. I did not previously own a car because I was saving up the downpayment and was carpooling with a coworker pre-COVID. When quarantine began, I was trapped in my apartment with the only option for adventure being a walk in Prospect Park.
Now that I have my car(an adorable Chevy Spark), I am able to get out a bit more and have it be much safer than taking public transit would be. If you live in a city and don’t own(or want to own ) a car, you can always opt for a traditional rental car(I like Alamo for rentals) or you can sign up for zipcar! Zipcar is a no contact rental and the company is doing a great job of taking precautions to ensure their rentals are as safe as can be!
One of the best ways I have been able to adventure and travel during COVID is through getting outside. I have been going hiking almost every other weekend since I purchased my car. The main perk of an outdoor adventure like hiking or Kayaking is that it is much easier to maintain social distancing guidelines. The importance of maintaining distance from others and the benefits of fresh air make trips outdoors much safer than alternatives. I really love hiking personally, and have loved exploring the nature that surrounds NYC lately!
Some of my favorite trips have been based on hiking like my trip to Hawaii or my hiking trip in Olympic National Park. I personally use Alltrails to plan my hikes. They give you so much great information on the trails that planning it so smooth. You can find dog-friendly hikes, hikes that are mostly shaded, and hikes of varied length and difficulty. The reviews that people leave are so SO HELPFUL! Be sure to check it out as it is free!
Safe Overnight Stays
If you are planning to take an overnight trip, I highly recommend following safety guidelines about where it is safe to travel. If you determine it is safe, there are a variety of options to maintain safety. One of these is to utilize AirBNB and choose a booking where you can rent the entire home with no-contact check-in. This means you will be able to check-in without having to have close contact with another human and stay without sharing the space with others. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, I highly recommend it and you can get $35 off your first stay with this link!
If you want to opt for hotels, bed and breakfasts, or other accommodations, I recommend doing your research. The lower the capacity of the establishment, the less likely you are to be in contact with more people. In addition, check into the health and safety guidelines that the establishment is following. Are they regularly changing air filters and cleaning high touch surfaces? Do they mandate mask wearing? All important considerations!
General Tips for Travel During COVID
- Always wear/bring a mask!
- I love these masks from Target as they come in multiple sizes and colors, plus they fit my face really well! They even have the coveted nosewire!
- Pack your hand sanitizer!
- Limit stops on car trips to necessities
- If you can make it to your destination without stopping: Great! Limiting pit stops to necessities keeps you and everyone around you safer!
- Take day trips!
- Avoiding overnight stays can be a good way to get out safely. While there are safe ways to stay overnight, your home is the safest place to sleep! Limiting yourself to a day trip can lower your exposure risk.
- FOLLOW LOCAL AND NATIONAL HEALTH GUIDANCE.
- This is the most important thing! As I said, I am not a healthcare professional. I have been following all guidance during my travel and you should too! The CDC, your local health department, and your doctor should be your go-to for info. While mental health is important, so is slowing the spread of COVID. Do not endanger yourself and your family for a weekend adventure.
I know all of us are counting the days until we can go wherever our hearts desire and I am certainly looking back on my Pre-COVID travels with envy(like the amazing photo above from my trip to Prague). In the meantime, stay safe out there!
From one misguided millennial to the world, wear your mask and stay safe!