After weeks and, in some cases, months of local and state restrictions due to COVID-19, travelers are eager to get back out and enjoy their vacation homes and resorts. Even though most businesses and vacation destinations across the United States are beginning to reopen, it's important to keep in mind that your travel experience may not be the same as before the pandemic.
In light of the recent challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control has provided detailed guidelines and instructions for those preparing to travel in the upcoming weeks and months. Below, you'll find a range of tips to keep in mind as you begin planning your next getaway with Capital Vacations.
Consider Your Current Health Status
Before departing for your vacation, consider your current health status. If you have recently been ill, consider delaying travel if necessary. Although you may feel well enough to travel, remember that other travelers may be immunocompromised. Just because you can get through an illness does not mean a person who contracts the illness from you can do the same.
Research Your Destination
Many places around the United States are still observing at least partial lock-down rules, both through local and state governments and the decisions of businesses. Restrictions have started to lift; however, all operations may not have returned to normal. Be sure to research the city you are visiting, as many restaurants, attractions, and local businesses may be closed or operating under different conditions.
Contact Your Resort
Before planning or leaving for your vacation, call the resort where you'll be staying. Each resort may have its own guidelines or restrictions in place to aide with social distancing guidelines. The resorts themselves are also wonderful resources for finding information about the local area, especially regarding dining options, the availability of activities, and even the resort's own amenities. You may also be able to find a list of suggested items to bring with you on your trip. Items such as toilet paper, paper towels, or other toiletries might be in high-demand and low-supply in certain areas.
Preparing for Flight
Many airlines have implemented policies and restrictions that incorporate social distancing. Some airlines may block off middle seating, use protective gear or contactless technology during check-in, and/or provide sanitizing options for passengers while boarding, in-flight, and exiting. Airlines have seen a sharp decrease in business, but the added precautions could increase the time it takes to get through security and aboard your flight. We recommend arriving early to your departing location to mitigate the risk of being late to your gate!
One of the most important aspects of keeping yourself safe while on vacation involves adhering to social distancing guidelines. When possible, remain six feet apart from others, avoid large groups and gatherings, and wear a face covering. Many resorts and cities still have measures in place to help, so following along with local social distancing guidelines will help ensure that you are perfectly distanced.
Being vigilant about hygiene is an important aspect of making your vacation as safe as possible. Washing our hands is something we should always do, but this simple practice is even more important when traveling. This step is particularly critical during your vacation experience since you will be crossing paths with many different people and coming into contact with frequently touched items like door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, etc. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Using contactless technology when available or carrying around hand sanitizer or wipes are also convenient and practical options to help stay healthy while on vacation.
Make Your Own Meals
Though restaurants may have limited capacity seating or may have paused in-house dining altogether for the time being, grocery stores remain open. One of the best parts of vacation ownership is that most unit types include a full kitchen or kitchenette. Not only is this convenient and cost-effective during your vacation, but in-suite kitchens and kitchenettes can help you avoid potential health hazards at restaurants.
The Bottom Line
According to the CDC:
If you are thinking about traveling away from your local community, ask:
- Is COVID-19 spreading where you're going? You can get infected while traveling.
- Is COVID-19 spreading in your community? Even if you don't have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.
- Will you or those you are traveling with be within 6 feet of others during or after your trip? Being within 6 feet of others increases your chances of getting infected and infecting others.
- Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? Older adults and people of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Do you live with someone who is more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? If you get infected while traveling you can spread COVID-19 to loved ones when you return, even if you don't have symptoms.
- Does the state or local government where you live or at your destination require you to stay home for 14 days after traveling? Some state and local governments may require people who have recently traveled to stay home for 14 days.
- If you get sick with COVID-19, will you have to miss work or school? People with COVID-19 disease need to stay home until they are no longer considered infectious.
If you have additional questions about staying healthy while traveling, visit the CDC's Frequently Asked Questions page specifically for those preparing to travel domestically within the United States.
Download CDC Infographics at the links below.