Blog #8

3 More Layers of Travel: Thank you Covid-19

I know I made a promise about what you can expect from this month’s blog, but as it turns out I have a bunch to say about this topic, so it’s going to be a two-parter. A few thoughts on new preparations first, followed by the importance of routine later.

Traveling has always and will continue to require a level of planning, organization, and action. But traveling with the risk of Covid-19 adds a few extra layers that may not make the risk worth the reward. If you haven’t checked out last month’s blog, Stay Safe, Stay Small, head over there first, give it a read and then come back.

So here we are. After an investigation into your need/want for travel that includes the health assessment, the financial checkup, and cost-benefit analysis, you’ve decided all systems are a go. If
not, don’t worry, keep an eye on those considerations, and when things in your world change, Blog & Breakfast will be here to help.

3 New Layers of Travel Planning: Consult the guidelines, Ready your transportation and a much-needed Reality Check

Consult your local and destination’s travel advisories/guidelines

Before you can even begin to eye up your favorite destination, you must look at your local travel advisories AND the ones of your destination. Two examples from personal experience better explain this. One; I was scheduled to visit my brother in sunny Florida a few months ago. Florida said, ‘sure, come on down,’ but my home state of Maryland said, ‘we don’t
recommend it, and if you go, you’ll need to quarantine for two weeks when you get home.’ So, I still haven’t seen him. Second example; my wife planned a weekend trip to New York next month to visit her best friend. After the plans were made and the hotel booked, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order with a long list of restricted states requiring a two-week
quarantine upon entry. Do I need to tell you where this is going? Maryland was, and still is, on that list. Facepalm emoji. Don’t let this happen to you, do your research first.

Ready your mode of travel

By far, using your own vehicle for transportation is the safest option during any Covid-19 travel. It gives you entire control of your personal space and it’s my number one preference and recommendation. As such, when traveling by car you still need to be mindful of gas stations, pit and food stops. By the time you get to the gas pump or need a pit stop you should already have in place a way to keep your interior car surfaces contaminant free. Masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes are your friend. Don’t forget to wipe off your credit/debit card before putting it in your wallet.

If traveling by plane or train your personal space just got a little smaller. Sharing air space with other passengers is something to keep in mind, and there is a super simple safety measure in place, the easiest thing I could imagine; wear your mask. If you’d like to be extra vigilant, remember touchable surfaces. Use those wipes to clean off your seat, armrests (top,
sides, and bottom), any buttons, knobs, pamphlets, and even the top of the seat in front of you which you might grab to aid you when standing up. And don’t forget to wipe off the surfaces of the food packaging you were just handed, there’s no way to be sure that the person doesn’t have contaminates on their hands. If nothing else, the absolute easiest thing you can do to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you is to use hand sanitizer before you touch your face, nose, or mouth or before handling items passed between friends, family, kids, or seatmates.

Reality check, your destination fun

This aspect of travel you absolutely must keep in check. I don’t want to burst your bubble here, not sure if you’ve heard, but a ton of fun attractions and events are restricted or closed. Your expectations of what you’ll do for fun when traveling right now will be very different. You need to be flexible and consider bailing on an idea at any given moment. Visit websites or call ahead to any events or attractions you might be considering, inquire about their Covid-19 policies and decide if that’s a must-do for you. I’ve seen guidelines so restrictive that it’s not worth it for me to participate, I’d not get the full experience, so I didn’t engage. I’ve also left the beach after only an hour because it got too crowded. Fellow surf lovers not as considerate in maintaining an acceptable social distance caused my wife some discomfort. So, she and I plus our twins bailed. Talk about a disappointment. But you know? I got over it. We went back to our rental community and headed over to the pool instead. Only a few families were there, allowing us to have all the social distancing fun in the sun we could muster.

The moral of the story here is that traveling during the threat of Covid-19 doesn’t have to stop completely. It just needs a little more scrutiny, some additional planning, and a good set of realistic expectations. Safe traveling is possible.

My next post is a good one and not to be missed. I’ll cover the items to bring for Covid-19 safety and the importance of routine. Stay tuned.
Lisa Brooks
Superpowers include extensive research, preparation, and list-making for an upcoming trip