For many of us, our spring and summer vacation plans got tossed to the curb when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March. After months of quarantining and social distancing, many of us are itching for a chance to get away and unwind. Although the pandemic is still happening, experts have agreed some travel is permissible for those who don’t possess any underlying health issues. However, international travel is still a pretty big no-no, which is why we’re focusing on short, domestic trips you can take with your car. If you live in the Southeast, look for houses for rent in Charleston, SC, and take a beach trip with the fam. Anyone living in a more landlocked area of the country can do a little research on charming towns perfect for a weekend getaway to keep the family safe and relaxed while on vacation.
Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling During Corona
Avoid the Airport
Although airlines are beginning to lift some of the stricter restrictions initially placed at the start of the pandemic, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to travel by air. Some travelers are willing to take the risk, but airports tend to have large crowds and many surfaces that are touched by hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day. While the staff is doing the best they can to disinfect common areas of the airport, it’s still nearly impossible to make sure everything is completely sanitized at all times.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid the airport for now. International travel is risky because of the chance you may end up stuck in another country or told to quarantine upon your arrival, but even domestic travel can be questionable. Instead, it’s recommended you hop in the car and embark on a road trip unless you absolutely need to travel by air for business or a family emergency.
Wear a Mask
Experts have recommended the use of face masks in public places for several months now, citing their ability to reduce the spread of droplets (the top avenue for coronavirus particles). No matter where you’re traveling or how you’re getting there, you should definitely be wearing your mask any time you’re in a public space near other people—even if you’re six feet away. Droplets can travel further than six feet, and the masks act as an extra layer of protection for both you and those around you. Pack a few extra masks with you before you head off on your road trip and be sure to wear one anytime you enter a store or other common area–even if your destination doesn’t have a mask ordinance in place. Travelers coming from different areas of the country may exhibit no symptoms but still spread the virus unknowingly, so you want to keep the locals and other visitors safe just in case. If you’re feeling ill before the trip, it’s best to reschedule and stay home.
Social Distance from Others
By this point, we’ve all gotten pretty good at social distancing from each other. Experts recommend keeping at least six feet between you and strangers while in public places. If you’re going to be traveling, you should definitely keep this restriction in mind. It will help keep some distance between you and potentially infected individuals as well as protect others from your germs. Even in outdoor settings, it’s important to maintain social distance. Finding a Folly Beach vacation rental and heading to the shore is one great way to enjoy your vacation and give yourself and others plenty of personal space on the gorgeous Folly sand.
Focus on Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities are the way to go when it comes to traveling this fall because it reduces your risk of exposure and gives ample space to social distance while still enjoying an activity. Heading to the beach or walking around a national park are great ways to spend your vacation without putting yourself at risk. When you’re trying to figure out your fall getaway destination, you should make a list of outdoor activities to encourage your family to spend time outside enjoying nature and prevent too much time in potentially close indoor spaces. Some national and state parks may still remain closed due to the virus, so it’s important to do your research beforehand. Many private outdoor activities will remain open, along with beaches and other outdoor spaces.
Ideas for a Family Getaway
The best way to avoid the airport and still head somewhere new and exciting is by packing up the car for a road trip. If you want to make the journey somewhere a bit far from your home, you can plan an extended road trip with several stops along the way. This kind of trip allows you to experience multiple destinations in one getaway and provides plenty of time to spend with the fam. Map out your route and pick activities everyone in the family will love–from hiking to lounging by the beach.
Camping is another great option for a getaway during the pandemic because it allows you to spend plenty of time outside and keep your distance from others. Although you can plan an end of summer camping trip, we recommend hitting the campgrounds in September or October when the weather has cooled down a bit. Because many campgrounds are experiencing a higher number of reservations than usual, you can get creative and look for lesser-known areas to camp. In certain areas of the country, there are also areas of land free to camp on, so do your research and find the area that is best for you.
Pack Up the Car for a Fall Road Trip
This year, everything is a bit different thanks to the unexpected pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some time away with the family. You do need to take extra precautions, but it’s not impossible. A road trip is a great way to avoid the airports and head somewhere nearby. You can find great prices on houses for rent in Charleston, SC, and spend your vacation exploring the beach or head somewhere in the mountains and get the fam out on the hiking trails. Wherever you choose to go, be sure to look into your destination’s restrictions on the pandemic and be sure to follow the proper protocols.