Let's Connect!


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

How My Travel Outlook Has Changed

I've been seeing a lot of people saying they can't wait to go on vacation. Admittedly, I'm one of them, but unlike before this pandemic started, I have some new reservations. While I'd usually be researching flight prices and things to do right about now, I'm just not in the headspace to be doing that with Covid numbers still on the rise, even with vaccinations rolling out at a pretty good clip. Let's talk about why.

Will I travel this year?

We did a road trip in February, and while it was short, we saw a lot and had a good time. Having an Airbnb was perfect, because it allowed us to get away from home, stay safe when we knew that Covid precautions were taking place and knowing it was a lot easier to clean a few rooms than stay in a hotel where they have to clean dozens to hundreds of rooms in the same amount of time. We had a strict check-out policy, in order to comply with safety regulations of the state and allow for time between guests. This was super important to me. 

We also had a place to come back to with our meals and comfortably eat at a table, or make our own food, which we did half the time, as we hit up the grocery store and also brought food from home. This allowed us to have as little contact with people as possible.

We learned from that trip and will go on another, longer, road trip just Eric and I in the fall. We'll both be fully vaccinated in a few weeks, so we'll be feeling a lot more confident being around strangers, though we still might not be willing to eat inside. We've booked ourselves nights in our timeshare, knowing we'll be comfortable and they are taking the best precautions for the safety of their guests, but I'll also be traveling with antibacterial spray and wipes, and going over everything real quick again before we settle in. In all fairness, this is probably a good idea anyway. If you're staying in hotels, some of the surfaces just barely get touched by cleaning product (like the remote and the phone). 

Our yearly trip to Vegas has been cancelled two years in a row, so we are going to make up for it by driving down from Portland, stopping in Reno going and returning, and seeing some interesting roadside things along the way, including the International Car Forest in Nevada. We'll be masking up everywhere and washing our hands as much as possible, and using sanitizer when we can't. As I did with our previous trip, we'll have food, snacks, and drinks, as well as a Covid bag with garbage bags, toilet paper, paper towels, water, and sanitizing spray. You never know what you might need on the road. 

Why I'm not flying to Vegas

So, shocking no one probably, I have decided that this year is just not the year to fly on a plane. Early in the pandemic last year I said I was fine with traveling wherever, until we learned more about Covid and how it spreads and what it does. I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere pretty soon, but I wasn't sure it was going to last over a year. In fact, it will be two years from my last flight when I finally get on a plane again. 

It's not that I don't think the vaccine is going to prevent me from getting sick. I'm confident that it'll keep me from getting really sick, but I don't trust other people. If I were going to fly out of the country where people have to do Covid testing before they travel, then I would get on a plane in a heartbeat. I don't trust people to not fly when they're sick. And though I'll wear a mask, if they're sitting right next to me, there's no guarantee that I won't pick it up, especially if it's one of the variants that's more contagious, and pass it on to someone who isn't vaccinated. I know by then that people should be vaccinated, but there are some people who legitimately can't be, and others who are immunocompromised that could easily pick up the virus even though they are vaccinated. I'm not willing to be a party to that. 

When most people are vaccinated and we are cleared for non-essential travel again, I'll be back out there, flying all over.

Will I get on a plane next year?

Definitely. I'm assuming by then most people will have gotten their shot(s) and even possibly a booster at that point. My guess is that the world will be more open and travel will be as safe as it possibly can be. 

Will I travel more next year?

Considering by the end of 2021, I'll have only gone two places, and both within driving distance, I'll absolutely be traveling more and farther. I have at least 3 trips planned for next year, and I hope I get to keep all three on the calendar. 

How will we know if we should travel? 

This is definitely a personal choice and to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Right now, I'm still not advocating for elaborate summer trips where you'll be in contact with a lot of people. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • Are you vaccinated? Is the rest of your family/travel party? (this should be the #1 question you ask and if the answer isn't yes, then my suggestion is you don't travel for any non-essential reasons.)
  • Are Covid numbers trending down at your desired destination?
  • What are the restrictions at your destinations? Are you willing to follow them. (If you're not, stay home.)
  • Will you feel safe when you get there?
  • Is the destination welcoming visitors?
  • How is vaccine rollout going in your destination? Are variants prevalent there?
  • What happens if you get sick while away from home? (Would it strain the local health system? Would you feel safe being treated there? Does your insurance cover you out of state/country? What if you're stranded for weeks or even months while being treated?)
  • Are you willing to test several times and quarantine if it's suggested/required?
  • Will you be able to make the most of your trip? Are things that you want to do open?
  • Should you get travel insurance that covers Covid-related emergencies? (hint: the answer is a resounding yes.)
Right now, there are a lot of countries are open to Americans, but with restrictions of some sort, though right now it's being suggested that we don't travel outside of the country at all by the State Department, and if we do, to avoid 80% of countries when possible. The CDC is asking for most travel to be suspended/postponed. This sounds like a good idea considering that vaccine rollout is much slower everywhere outside of the U.S. and even here many counties are going back to high-risk. 

Before we know it, we'll be traveling like normal(ish) again, but until that time, I'm happy to continue staycationing at home with our destination date nights and adding destinations to our travel list. 

Where are you most looking forward to when you start traveling again?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover