Stay Safe, Stay Small

I think we should discuss the elephant in the room. No, not the fact that Carole Baskin absolutely killed her husband and fed him to the tigers. I’m talking about Covid-19. Specifically, concerning
travel. A quick disclaimer: I am in no way, an expert on the safety practices to protect against Covid-19 and you need to understand that regulations, guidelines and research is everchanging. Do your homework.

There is a fantastic catch-line traveling through the accommodation industry right now that says, “Stay Safe, Stay Small.” And I love it! It feels like a great interpretation of the CDC guidelines to keep yourself safe and avoid large gatherings. This post is how I would help a friend, i.e. you, decide if you want to travel. Let’s begin!

3 Considerations to decide if travel is right for you

The Health Assessment

Before buckling into that window seat or loading up the family car, let’s do a quick health assessment. Taking stock of your current health situation or that of your housemates, family, friends or work peeps is an important consideration during the threat of Covid-19. If you or anyone you come in frequent contact with is in the CDC’s severe risk or extra precautions categories, maybe traveling right now isn’t the best option. Those guidelines can be found by clicking here. 

The Financial Check-up

This seems like a pretty basic question, but it still needs to be addressed. Can you afford to travel? With unemployment rates being as high as 14.7% in April, did the economic impact of Covid-19 have any negative effect on your personal finances? If you’re up to date on your financial obligations, have an emergency fund and it’s in your budget, then let’s get you booked! May I recommend a little place called The Hibiscus House Bed & Breakfast? I hear they have the most phenomenal host.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Most of us have probably been heard saying the words, “I need to get away” or “I need a vacation.” But let’s face it, travel, vacation, and going on holiday are a luxury not afforded to everyone. You may not agree with this statement but, travel is not a need, it’s a want and or a benefit. And in this time of social distancing, isolation and the possible exposure risk, before heading out the door you must ask yourself if this trip is necessary? Is the benefit worth the cost? There is no right or wrong answer. Just whatever you decide is best for you.

Travel, vacation, and getaways can mean something different to everyone. If your favorite thing is hanging with the locals and attending events, now might not be the best time for you. Cancellations, capacity decreases and closures have put a wrench in most parts of the travel industry, but don’t discount outdoor activities, just be safe when visiting. Washing hands and being mindful of not touching your face goes a long way. My recommendation would be to take up Geocaching. It’s the perfect outdoor activity with versatility and excitement.  Alternatively, if you prefer to use your travels as a restart, if your ideal getaway involves veg’ing out, lounging, maybe some low-key activities, now is your time.

Understanding the risks

Exposure and spread are two words I never thought I’d consider when discussing travel. Boy, 2020 has been a doozy. Quarantining/self-isolating, social distancing, safer at home are all buzz words we’re using to keep people safe. Each one designed to drastically reduce your exposure and slow the spread of Covid-19 at the same time. If you are ready to branch out and expand your gatherings, the suggestion is to do so in small pods. So, when traveling you might consider staying in your home state vs traveling out of state, driving to your destination instead of flying, staying in a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel and ordering take out vs dining in at restaurants. When not at home, there is no way to completely avoid exposure, but keeping the mantra Stay Safe, Stay Small in your mind is a helpful reminder if you decide to travel.

What to do when you get home

Okay! You did it! You had a successful and safe trip. Did all the distancing, cleaning and washing of hands you were supposed to do. You’re done right? Wrong. Not just yet. You’ll want to give everything you took with you a good cleaning and disinfecting wipe down. Also, you should seriously consider self-isolating, avoiding those at-risk folks for two weeks and call your doctor to see
if getting tested is an option.

Next time I’ll post about the specifics of traveling safely during Covid-19. How to prepare for your trip, what to bring and the importance of routine.
Lisa Brooks
Super powers include watching for cross contamination from hands to face