Is it safe for our family to travel this summer?

 

When the COVID19 pandemic took control of our lives in March, it feels like we are living in an alternate world that has been hijacked. Our daily way of life, as we knew it, has been taken away from us.  As we wait and hope for good news to come and a plan to slowly return to our usual way of life, many of us are wondering if we will be able to travel anywhere this summer.  Traveling is one of my deep loves and is like a “refresh” button in life for me.  Our family, like many others, has grown restless from staying home for 2 straight months.  Staying home and watching travel shows on Netflix  has made me think even more of all the places I want to go when this is all over.  

COVID19 has thrown many curve balls in the travel industry with unpredictable outbreaks and quarantines.  We have all heard  about the nightmare stories of people being trapped in other countries unable to find a flight home or, worse yet, being stuck on a cruise ship with no end in sight.  With virtually everything shut down worldwide, being somewhere else besides inside your home has been declared unsafe.

But now that most states in the US are now past the peak of COVID19 infections, several states and countries are slowly and cautiously opening up.  In Washington state,  we are anxiously waiting for guidance from local authorities on when, where, and what we are allowed to do.  It is clear that no one has a crystal ball on how this pandemic will play out this summer.  But there are some recommendations that most experts can agree on for now on how to be safer this summer when it’s unbearable to keep staying at home.

  1. Don’t travel outside of the country unless it’s ESSENTIAL.   Realistically, it probably won’t be safe to travel internationally until we have a vaccine for COVID19.
  2. If your state government allows non-essential travel, take a road trip instead of a flight.  This may be a good time to visit a lesser known beach or park instead of a popular one.  If you plan on traveling to a different state, consult the state health website to see what the restrictions are there.  Some states, like Montana, currently require out-of-state visitors self-quarantine for 14 days.
  3. Rent a RV or stay in a vacation rental home instead of a hotel. You’ll come into contact with fewer people this way.  It will also be safer to prepare your own food than visit restaurants.
  4. Keep on social distancing! Stay 6 feet away from those outside your family unit or please wear a mask/facial covering! Covering your nose and mouth means that you CARE about those around you. Wash and sanitize hands immediately and frequently when visiting public areas and touching things others have touched.
  5. Choose activities that allow you to keep distance from others, such as hiking or beach combing an uncrowded park.  Eat outside on a picnic blanket instead of at a restaurant.
  6. If you or a family member is at high risk of severe illness, please continue to stay home and don’t travel to remote areas.  I’m stating the obvious, but please don’t travel if you are sick.
  7. Sadly, it’s time to cancel those large family reunions.  Our family recently had to make that decision to cancel a summer family reunion in Vancouver, B.C.  We also had to cancel my grandmother’s 99th birthday party in NYC.  These are difficult decisions but definitely the right ones to make during these uncertain times.