Planning a trip with the family can take weeks or even months to make sure you have every detail covered. From flight information to booking a hotel and making sure you have everything checked off of your packing list, trip preparation is nervewracking enough as it is.
But, preparing for a trip during COVID-19 can be even more overwhelming.
Many states in the U.S. are starting to re-open in some capacity, which means after months of lockdown, people are itching to travel. You might even be thinking about relocating with your family completely!
Traveling, in general, will look different for quite some time, and the industry has taken a hit. It’s estimated that by December, nearly 50% of all travel-supported jobs will be lost. So, taking a trip somewhere can help to boost the industry and help it find its footing again, but it’s important to make sure you’re keeping yourself and your family healthy and safe in the process.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can prepare for a trip safely during a pandemic, whether you’re traveling solo or with your family.
Where Should You Go?
Some countries still aren’t allowing entry, especially from the United States as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. But, there are still some safe travel locations that you can visit. These countries have minimal-to-no cases, and are safe to visit as long as you follow safety guidelines:
- New Zealand
- North Korea
- Vatican City
- Soloman Islands
Many of the countries that are currently safe to visit are very small and they may not be traditionally popular for a vacation. But, that can make your solo or family adventure even better!
If you’re not considering traveling out of the country, you can still plan a safe, fun trip in the United States. Again, by taking the right precautions, try heading to a state with minimal positive cases. The safest states right now are Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming.
How to Stay Safe
If you’re traveling with your family, preparing ahead of time is the best way to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible. No matter where you’re going, do your research before you leave to make sure you are all following CDC guidelines and any governmental mandates put in place by that particular destination.
You can make life easier on yourself by creating packing checklists for every member of your family. Don’t overpack, as you can (and should) wash clothes and other belongings when you get to your destination. You can also save space and time on packing by sharing things like toiletries. This will allow you to bring plenty of clean items, including extra sanitizer, masks, or anything else you need to protect your family.
If you are traveling with kids, be prepared to keep them entertained. You might experience a lot of waiting wherever you go as travel workers are taking their time to ensure everyone’s safety. To ensure your children don’t get “bored” or act out.
If you’re looking for some travel-friendly ideas to keep them busy, try:
- Doing a small puzzle while you wait.
- Letting them get creative by drawing a picture.
- Taking Play-Doh with you for easy play and easy cleanup.
- Getting outside with them as much as possible.
Another way to keep your kids busy while you’re traveling is to consider a road trip instead of flying somewhere. In these uncertain times, a road trip can actually be safer, because you’re staying together in the same vehicle as one family unit, rather than immersing yourself in busy airports, buses, and other forms of public transportation. Whether you’re in a car or RV, your kids can stay occupied by reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to music.
Traveling for Stress Relief
This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone in different ways. Unfortunately, one of the biggest impacts it has already had is how it has affected the mental health of thousands. The CDC recognizes that situations like these can cause serious mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, along with added stress.
Because going on a vacation can be used as a way to unwind and de-stress, you might be considering traveling alone. It can be a great option if you’ve been feeling the weight of this pandemic and need a break. Any of the countries listed above would be fantastic getaways for a solo adventure. Camping at a nearby state park is also an easy way to stay “socially distanced” while feeling like you’re somewhere new.
Or, you can choose a “staycation” and go somewhere local to relax. If you’re traveling by yourself, it’s extremely important to have the right kind of gear to keep your belongings safe, especially when they’re expensive! Choose safe and secure luggage or a laptop backpack that you can carry with you to make sure you won’t lose your belongings.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, going somewhere during the pandemic isn’t off-limits. Make sure you follow all of the necessary guidelines and use your knowledge of this virus to keep everyone safe. Some time away from home can be a good thing for you and the people you love, especially when it comes to your mental health. So, don’t be afraid to hit the road (or the skies!) with safety in mind.