Missing out on trips is one big bummer for many who have lost plans from the pandemic. For some it is even taking an emotional toll. But is it really a good idea to do any travel right now? Here’s some helpful guidelines to consider before any trips you might be thinking of taking.
1. Road Trips Only
While all anecdotal evidence points to the notion that airplanes are cleaner than they’ve ever been, it would be a logical fallacy to conclude that they are safe choices for leisure transportation during a global pandemic. Road trips are the best way to travel safely and responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic. But all road trips are not equal. They should be close enough to your home base that you don’t have to transport your germs all along the freeway in public restrooms on your route. Have kids who pee a lot? Pack a 16-ounce solo cup for car emergencies — or better yet, take the time to pull off the road to use the woods. And remember not to leave behind any litter.
Pack a cooler with lunch from home, cold drinks, and fresh fruit. Pack a dry bag for non-perishable snacks, napkins, utensils, and anything else you might want or need along the way. Pack another bag with all your fully charged electronics (of course). The idea is that you don’t want to have to stop along the way. If you need to get gas, remember to have cleaning wipes handy, along with your mask and hand sanitizer, and resist that urge to go inside and buy a treat.
2. No Indoor Dining
In many counties, indoor dining is not an option, but even where it is, you should choose to dine outdoors or get takeout instead. Why? Even if a space is large and well-ventilated, think of the risk servers are facing, day in and day out inside highly trafficked dining rooms. You can support local restaurants without putting workers at risk. It’s as easy to do this on the road as it is at home.
If you decide to dine at a restaurant, choose to sit outdoors and scope out the setup before committing. Are tables spaced apart? Are servers wearing masks and practicing social distance? Do other guests seem to be complying with safety guidelines? If you proceed, remember to pull your mask up when your server swings by. It’s a strange thing to remember to do, but it becomes habitual quickly.
3. Vet Your Hotel’s Cleaning Protocols
The best hotels and resorts are providing full disclosure about their cleaning protocols, and some upgrades to existing systems in place are impressive. Consider staying at places that are going above and beyond for their guests; like using ultraviolet light sanitation wands to disinfect soft objects that aren’t easily thrown into the washer, like pillows, couches, and comforters. Booking only one unique set of visitors per guest quarters per week, which would meaning that your accommodation will be empty for a time before your arrival and after your departure, giving any remaining germs time to dissipate. And removing reusable print material such as menus, newspapers and magazines, and no housekeeping services while guests are present in the room.
4. Skip Housekeeping
Speaking of Housekeeping – We don’t really need turn-down service or fresh towels every day. Choose to have your bedside chocolate delivered at the door, and ask for any specific supplies you need then, rather than invite housekeepers into your space. It will be better for them and for you to provide services at more of a remove.
5. Tip Extra
Tip extra, anyway. Because times are hard, and it’s a gift to be able to leave your home right now, to go away safely and responsibly to clear your head, take in a new view, change your perspective. People working in hospitality service roles are taking risks in order to pay their bills, and supporting the businesses that employ them means also taking their well-being into consideration.
If you keep this tips in mind there you will be keeping your trip as safe as possible. It’s always a risk when you encounter another person during a Pandemic, but risk is nearly unavoidable at times like this. It’s not about avoiding all risk, it’s about managing it, and a road trip when planned and executed safely can be low risk.