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A woman is sitting on the hood of her teal car looking at a large map that covers her face and body. She is on a road trip in the desert.

Summer Travel During a Pandemic: What Now?

After being stuck at home for quite some time, many of us are eager to stretch our legs and head out on a vacation. But during a pandemic, it’s not that simple.

No travel coronavirus advisories are still in full force. For someone who literally lives to travel (like myself), this can be a serious struggle - especially if you’ve been saving your vacation money and days off for the summer season.

In a way, I was lucky. I was traveling when COVID hit Canada and the United States. I was fresh off the travel bandwagon. Yet, having to cut our trip short and head home wasn’t exactly the end to our adventure that we had in mind.

Then, there was our two-week quarantine at-home and the uncertainty of when our next travel opportunity would come about - an uncertainty that I’m sure a lot of people are feeling as the summer vacation season sets in.

So, how can you deal with these restrictions? What can you do despite the no travel coronavirus warnings?

Traveling During COVID-19

Technically, some places you are allowed to travel in. Is it recommended? Not exactly. Most countries are still recommending you stay close to home. But if you must venture out, the CDC recommends keeping these things in mind.

1. Clean Your Hands Every Chance You Get

Always wash your hands for about 20 seconds each time. This is the equivalent of singing happy birthday twice. Use soap and avoid touching surfaces that are often touched by others.

You will also want to bring hand sanitizer, just in case. If there isn’t an opportunity to wash your hands, it serves as a worthwhile back-up.

2. Don’t Touch Your Face

We’ll say this one more time: Do not touch your face. Just as you do at home, avoid touching your face when traveling. This can also reduce your risk and reduce the spread.

3. Stay 2 Meters Apart

Social distancing is still ongoing. Ensure you maintain that distance between you and other individuals that are not part of your household.

4. Bring Masks

In crowded areas, use the mask. If you’re contagious, this will limit the spread to others. Further, it’s important to always cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.

Ensure that you have more than one mask with you because damp face masks are less effective.

5. Check the News

Always plan ahead. Certain restrictions may vary from state to state or province to province. Prepare for them accordingly.

It’s also not a bad idea to check the rates of infection within the place you’re intending to go. Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your risk before you go.

Staying At Home

Undeniably, the best thing to do is to stay close to home. While it’s not ideal for most, it’s the recommended course of action right now.

So instead of traveling this summer, consider exploring your hometown - now’s the time! Here are some things you can (likely) do right now:

1. Camping & Hiking

Again, social distancing is in full effect. But most places are allowing camping now. Find that park nearby and head out and explore the great outdoors.

Or better yet, plan a multi-day hike nearby. It’s like a vacation but in your own backyard. Plus, these hikes can offer a great escape, similar to a regular ol’ vacation.

If you do a hike, make sure you check the difficulty ratings and that they are suitable to you and your group’s fitness level and capabilities.

2. Plan a Virtual Vacation

I’m serious. Look up places you want to go and then take a virtual vacation. This simply means looking up videos or photos of where you would be going. It might also mean cooking up some local treats you would’ve normally indulged in or drinking the local beer.

And who knows? Maybe this virtual vacation can come to life in the near future. You’re not only killing time and having fun through virtual means, but also coming up with a viable future vacation plan when travel is once again a-okay.

Read this article next: The Ins & Outs of Barcelona. Plan your virtual Spain getaway today!

3. Consider RVing

I know this is the staying-at-home section. But if you can, why not take your home on the road? There’s less risk in an RV since all your amenities are in your mobile home, which no one but you uses.

Again, plan ahead and check for any travel restrictions on the route.

4. Plan Fun Activities With Your Social Bubble

Right now, the hardest part is the inability to plan. But you have more control than you think. Plan game nights, competitions, murder mysteries, BBQs, or themed parties with your social bubble.

Having something set on your calendar can provide the anticipation many of us sorely need. In fact, some say that the anticipation for an event is one of the best parts of it. It provides a dose of happiness, especially when you need it the most.

Find Summer Activities to Feed Your Soul

It’s not the summer any of us thought it would be. That’s okay! Do the best you can and find ways to have fun out of it. Things could always be worse. But this summer isn’t a total waste.

Take advantage of this time at home. Make plans! Traveling isn’t dead. It’s just on hold for now… And that doesn’t mean you can’t dream about it or make alternative arrangements.

Want to learn more about staycations?

Read this next: Why You Should Take a Staycation: Unwind at Home

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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