Traveling in the Time of COVID

With so many people cooped up at home for the last several months, the prospect of travel is becoming more enticing. Many people have had to give up exciting plans, beloved traditions, hobbies, get-togethers, and other trips, staying socially distant to avoid COVID-19.

Zoom cocktail hours and hangouts are fun, of course, but they are no replacement to physically meeting family and friends.

However, there are still ways to achieve normalcy, even in a pandemic. Doing things that make us feel normal, like travel, may just require additional planning and the willingness to be flexible.

Getting Around in 2020
If you’re tired of being stuck at home, there are things you can do to explore new destinations, and connect with faraway loved ones. Our suggestions for safer travel do come with some risks, but with careful precautions and careyou can still take a trip this fall or winter.

That Classic American Road Trip
A road trip is a good way to avoid exposure to other people while traveling. When you are planning your route, make sure you’re aware of all the restrictions individual states have put in place for interstate travelers.

For example, California, Delaware, Iowa, and Maryland have no state-wide restrictions. Others, like Massachusetts, Hawaii, and New Jersey, have rules in place that require some quarantine for people coming in from states with higher transmission rates. Whatever route you take, make sure you’re well-stocked with masks, hand sanitizer, and snacks, so that you can limit your stops.

Flee the Country
While many popular international travel destinations have imposed entry restrictions on Americans, there are still some without any restrictions. If you’re craving an international destination, you can still find flights, although they are likely to be much less frequent.

Countries like Belarus and North Macedonia have no entry requirements, but are hardly at the top of most people’s travel bucket lists. Many sunny destinations in the Caribbean are open to Americans as long as entrants can show proof of a negative coronavirus test within the last 3-7 days. However, traveling by airplane is still risky, since you can come in close contact with many people at airports, thus increasing your chances of exposure.

Keep it Local
While there are lots of incredible places to visit in the United States, every state has destinations locals would never think to visit. Instead of crossing state lines, spend some time getting to know your own state.

Drive to a local landmark that you have always wanted to visit. Most national parks and conservation areas remain accessible, although many visitor centers may have reduced hours and extra precautions in place. Before you depart, check to make sure there are no changes in the hours or operating policies of the place you are visiting.

If you are not feeling too adventurous but still want to get out of your own house, book accommodations on Airbnb or VRBO and enjoy a staycation lasting a few days. Treat yourself to some delicious food, stock up on some great books and movies, and shrug off your normal routine for a few days. The change of pace could ensure you repose and a reset, and send you back home refreshed.