There are many things we don’t know about the COVID-19 pandemic, like how long it will go on, how it will end, and what life will look like when it’s over. With so much still unknown—and so much time spent inside our homes over the last several months—it’s understandable that you’d start to crave an escape from it all (and a change of scenery).
Travel has the power to enrich our lives and take our minds off our daily stressors, but planning a trip can feel overwhelming right now, with travel restrictions and safety guidelines constantly evolving. Whether you’re looking to take a mental health getaway sooner than later, or find hope in these challenging times by thinking about a future family reunion, careful planning is the key to creating the safest experience possible. Here are a few things to consider when traveling during—and, likely, after—the coronavirus outbreak.
Make sure you know the latest coronavirus restrictions and guidelines
Things are changing, fast, which is why it’s imperative that you understand the latest travel guidelines and know what to expect when you arrive at your destination. The World Health Organization offers a variety of online resources and data about the current situation in locations all over the world, as well as information about best practices, and things to consider when deciding whether or not to travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website also lists some important travel considerations, and you can find links to the health department websites for all U.S. states and territories here. Check the official website for the city that you’re visiting to get an idea of the current local situation—including regulations and information about what kinds of businesses are open—before you arrive.
If you’re traveling outside the U.S., you’ll also want to visit the embassy page for your destination country to get details about travel restrictions, visas, and health-related guidelines. If you’ll be overseas for a long time, be sure to register with the American embassy.
Consider different kinds of vacations
Boarding a plane headed for an exotic destination in a totally different time zone is—and always will be—exciting, but many people are finding a renewed passion for the good old fashioned road trip. Even celebrities like Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have fallen in love with hitting the road, and with plenty of stunning scenery and the ability to stop whenever you please, there are some definite benefits to traveling this way (with your favorite road trip snacks in tow). My family recently took a road trip from Los Angeles to Pismo Beach, and because we drove, we had the freedom to stop off at hidden gems like Solvang—a unique California town with Danish architecture and delicious pastries. These kinds of stops make the journey fun, and break up the hours spent on the road.
If you decide to travel, consider a nature-focused trip closer to home. The U.S. offers many ways to connect with the great outdoors, from basking in the beauty of Sedona, Arizona’s red rock buttes to enjoying wide open spaces in Wyoming, to relaxing with ocean views along Highway 1 down the California coast, to glamping in Cape Cod. We’re happy to help brainstorm and take care of all the details for your local trip—like planning a day trip for you and your family, or securing a vacation home off the beaten path and arranging for grocery delivery upon your arrival. Contact us to discuss ideas and get your getaway going.
Stay safe while en route, and when you arrive
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, car, boat, or RV, there are a few things you’ll want to take with you to keep yourself and your travel companions healthy. As part of our concierge services, we provide Essentials Kits that include hand sanitizer, snacks in case grocery stores are closed, gloves, backup masks, etc. Water, physical maps as backups, travel games to keep the kids occupied, and portable charging devices are also good things to have on hand. And even though hotels and rental properties are taking extra precautions right now, it never hurts to wipe down surfaces upon your arrival.
Also, make sure you know what your health insurance policy covers, take any necessary documentation with you (like your insurance card), and write down which medical facilities you should go to, if the need arises while you’re away.
Assess (and reduce) your stress level
There isn’t any way to fully eliminate the risks that come with traveling, but you can minimize them by being cautious and planning ahead. Think carefully about whether or not this is the right time for you to take a trip. If you’ll feel stressed and uncomfortable on your vacation, it’s best to wait and get your travel fix by planning something extra special for a later date.
No matter when you’re traveling, purchasing travel insurance is a great way to give yourself more peace of mind. Many policies provide protection against trip cancellation and interruption, as well as coverage for emergency medical transportation expenses.
Working with a knowledgeable Partenza travel advisor can help make the planning process painless, and ensure that you’re given the most up-to-date, accurate information about safety and travel guidelines. We work with premium partners who are dedicated to the health and well-being of their guests, and we’re monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. If you’re considering traveling, contact us to discuss options and learn how to best protect yourself (and others) while enjoying some time away.