Photo by Nikolas_jkd
Traveling this summer will look much different from years past. In fact, many have chosen to forego any summer travel plans altogether, to avoid the possible hassle as much as to stay healthy.
But for the intrepid, there are still some options. Just expect a variety of ongoing restrictions depending on where you choose to go. To help you be ready, here are some basic things to keep in mind:
How You Travel
To ensure social distancing, your best bet is to avoid transportation like flying and train travel as much as possible. Yes, there are precautions in place: mask-wearing for the duration of a trip, spread-out boarding procedures, etc. But that just sounds uncomfortable, really.
The one way that you can really socially distance from others, and be infinitely more comfortable, is driving yourself to your destination. Then, once you’re there, you can continue to drive yourself around and see the sights. Or you can consider biking or walking, if logistically possible.
If you’re planning on going to a major city, you will likely run into crowds that can make social distancing difficult. Or if you’re thinking about going to a theme park, keep in mind that all of them are limiting the number of attendees. So, there’s no guarantee of just showing up and getting in.
If nature is more your thing, now is a great time to do it. By taking a trip to one of the recently reopened state or national parks, social distancing tends to happen naturally, no matter what. Odds are you won’t run into too many crowds while out hiking or kayaking.
Most major hotel chains are quite transparent about their cleanliness and occupancy standards these days. With places you may find on Airbnb and bed and breakfasts, their policies may also be laid out online, but not always. In those cases, you may have to check with the individual owners directly to really know for sure.
If you’re already planning on a trip that gets you back to nature, the world (and a tent or RV) is your hotel. No worries about other peoples’ cleanliness there.
If restaurants are open for dine-in at all, be prepared to have a very different experience. Plexiglass partitions, spread-out seating, and other creative social distancing implements are likely to be in place. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, consider takeout or delivery.
Or, if you’re staying somewhere where you can cook, you could simply do some grocery shopping and then stay in to eat. The nice thing about this option is that you will probably save money over dining out. And you don’t even have to wear shoes if you don’t want.
What You Pack
You should pack what’s appropriate for the weather and whatever activities you have planned. However, the one accessory you should have with you at all times is a mask. You won’t always have to wear it. But it’s good to have just in case you find yourself somewhere where it’s needed.
So, yes, things are strange this year. But as long as you go into your summer plans with the knowledge that some things will be different or even inconvenient, you can relax and still enjoy all the good things about getting away for a while.