This year has definitely not turned out the way we expected. We’ve had to adjust to new realities, shift our perspective, and probably cancel or postpone a few vacations as well. Even though it looks like our unwelcome guest — yeah, that “C” word — wants to stick around a bit longer, we can’t let it stop us from daydreaming about our upcoming travel escapes.
With this in mind, I’m already thinking of our next vacation and the steps that we may need to take to ensure my family’s health and wellbeing. Gone are the days where we could just pack up, hop on a plane and go on our merry own way, surrounded by our fellow travelers who are seated a bit too close, with no care in the world — just excited to reach our destination. With post-COVID travel, it’s best to plan ahead, limit our contact with others, and pack some sanitizing products.
Over the years I’ve worked with many travel brands. In speaking with various destinations and local organizations, I’ve learned about all the safety measures that are being implemented to help encourage and inspire travel again. I know my kids keep asking me when we’ll go on a trip. And I’m feeling more confident that it will be sooner rather than later.
Here are a few things to consider as we begin traveling again.
Start by traveling domestically.
If you’re not ready to jet-set across the ocean on a long flight, then start by discovering the many beautiful destinations right here in the U.S. From coastal cruising to mountaintop adventures, there are so many scenic vacations you can enjoy with your kids. Not ready to fly yet? Then plan a road trip!
Consider a staycation.
These trips are very popular right now and for good reason! You can stay in a resort, book a vacation rental, go camping, or rent an RV, and create your own itinerary based on your family’s preferences. Head for the beach or enjoy nature for some fresh air and to avoid the crowds. Some favorite staycation destinations across Florida include Naples, Sarasota, Hutchinson Island, and the Florida Keys.
Plan your itinerary so you know what you’re doing.
Avoid any surprises and plan your stays and stops ahead of time. This way, you’ll be well prepared and have what you need on hand to avoid making additional stops.
Wear your face covering.
When it comes to post-COVID travel, a face mask is now required pretty much everywhere. So make sure you have one with you at all times. Especially when you’re in a busy place or entering a building. Since they can get lost, it’s a good idea to pack lots of extras for you and the kids just in case.
Take hand sanitizer.
Although hand washing is most effective, you’ll want to pack lots of hand sanitizer so you can use it when you’re out and about. If you’re traveling on a plane, don’t forget to carry a travel size bottle as well, in order to meet travel guidelines.
Don’t forget your passport.
Although you wouldn’t normally need your passport when traveling domestically, you may want to consider taking it just in case. Recently, I read a story about a family traveling from Puerto Rico to Philadelphia. They didn’t bring their passports because it’s not required. However, their young child suddenly became ill and they had to make an emergency landing in the Turks and Caicos. Without their passports and lack of flights due to the pandemic, they were stranded on the island until Spirit Airlines graciously sent a plane to fly them back home. So, unless you’re staying close to home, you may want to consider traveling with your passport.
Check travel protocols for your destination.
If you’re traveling outside the U.S., make sure to check the requirements and plan accordingly. Some destinations are requiring that you show a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours, testing passengers upon arrival, requiring visitors to quarantine for a certain number of days, and/or taking passengers’ temperatures.
Wipe down everything.
When you arrive, be sure to wipe down everything in the room, especially items that people come in contact with regularly such as door handles, faucets and remote controls. Also, wipe down your luggage and carry-on bags after every trip.
Of course, expect the unexpected. Since we are living in uncertain times, you may also want to inquire about cancellation policies. It’s also a good idea to consider purchasing travel insurance.
By taking a few safety measures, it will ensure that you and your family have an enjoyable vacation and come back with memories to last time a lifetime.
I’d love to hear about your post-COVID travel plans! Are you ready to travel yet or have you decided to wait a little longer?