Is it safe to go on vacation this summer? Families are grappling with this question. The COVID-19 virus is still altering our daily lives, and it has been nearly three months after we stayed at home to flatten the curve. The tourism industry is devastated, with parks such as Disney closing and cruise liners docked. International travel is a non-starter. The European Union has shut Americans out entirely. So what are the best travel bets this summer? They appear to be about staying nimble and thinking outside the travel box.
We are all in this together:
Footage of mostly empty planes suggests Americans are still wary of flying. Southwest Airlines, for example, says it filled just 10% of its seats in May, and June is only marginally looking better when the final numbers are in. Health experts tell us that social distancing is the new normal until we have a vaccine for the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, maintains the earliest a vaccine may be ready in 12 to 18 months.
So what should you do if cabin fever is real, and you need a real summer vacation?
Consider taking a road trip or going camping. Minimal-contact is the safest option this summer. It is also ideal for anyone who wants to keep risk factors low. Cindy Richards is the editor-in-chief of TravelingMom.com. She says her readers fall into one of two camps when it comes to a summer vacation 2020.
“Some do not want to leave town until there is a vaccine, while others are eager to take a family road trip or go on a romantic getaway. Really it is about being smart about where you choose. Crowded bucket-list sites are not a good idea right now.”
Where can you safely go this summer?
A drive to the nearest state park, forest preserve, or beach for a day trip is a great idea. Be careful, though, since many parks closed when the pandemic came to our shores. Check the destination website. Make sure it will be open when you want to visit and find out which activities are permitted. Wherever you go, wear masks, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face. Pack your own food in and out, and avoid contact with vendors.
Go somewhere for a weekend.
Rent an RV and spend the weekend there with a significant other, or with your family. RVs are perfect for campgrounds. If you like to Airbnb, the company updated its cleaning requirements for hosts who opt to participate in its Enhanced Cleaning Initiative. The Initiative includes a minimum of 24 hours between rentals to reduce the chance a guest might encounter any residual viruses. The home-sharing service has issued guidance on the best practices for cleansing rooms.
Visit family or try a house swap.
Many Americans are going on road trips to see family members. Others are doing a house-swap with someone who lives in a different city. This choice is a chance to get away while feeling safe and comfortable.
Visit outdoor landmarks.
Outdoor landmarks are proving to be popular this summer. But, avoid destinations with large crowds! Here are some off-the-beaten-vacation-path ideas
The Catskills Mountains, New York State:
Did you see Season Two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? This is where she, and her family, spent the summer season. This area, about two hours from New York City, used to be a popular destination for NYC families While there are fewer major entertainment attractions in the ballrooms, nearby hiking and fishing are great! Pictured above is the actual resort Mrs. Maisel and clan visited.
The second-largest city in the Bluegrass State is famous for historic bourbon distilleries and horse farms. Many of these fields fed and foaled Kentucky Derby winners. Just another way of thinking of this as one of the best travel bets.
Charleston, South Carolina:
Not far from Atlanta and Nashville, this charming town is known for cobblestone streets, nature preserves, beaches, and historic downtown.
Be an Open Book With the Family.
Some of the best travel memories come about when a family stays flexible. Talk to your kids before you go. Tell them, if there is a crowd, we are not going to be able to stay. We will go somewhere else and still make some memories and have a great experience.
Most of all, Gildshire wants to remind you to remember this when you are looking for the best travel bets this summer. Cherish your health and that the family is together. The memories you make are all that will stay with you forever.