With virus-related restrictions having kept people homebound, many are looking forward to summer vacation trips with extra gusto. But will it be safe—or even possible—to carry out those travel plans?
In this ever-evolving situation, just one guideline is consistent: Check before you go.
For international travel, get the latest on border closings and embassy contact information at the U.S. Department of State website: travel.state.gov. Information about both international and domestic travel is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: cdc.gov/travel.
If you’re planning to travel domestically, be aware that attractions like beaches and parks could be closed and quarantines might be in place for out-of-state visitors. For the latest intel, check the website of the tourism department for the state you plan to visit.
Summer trips to national parks are an American tradition. This year, don’t take for granted that they’ll all be open. The National Park Service is modifying operations on a case-by-case basis. Check the status of your desired destination at nps.gov/coronavirus.
GOING TO PLAN B
If it turns out that your expected vacation is not in the cards, or if you’re just not comfortable going, consider deferring it for a year. You’ll have a chance to fine-tune the details of your trip, or perhaps even to devise a new dream vacation.
For this year, consider these alternative vacation ideas:
Day trips. Find a wealth of doable-in-a-day destinations and ideas at ohio.org/things-to-do/. Arrive early when locations are least crowded, or plan trips to secluded spots for picnics and hiking.
Virtual Tours. Many intriguing destinations—from the Palace of Versailles to Machu Picchu—offer online tours. For major museum tours, check out Google Arts and Culture at ArtsandCulture.google.com. Many zoos and aquariums have live cams that allow you to watch animals playing or resting.
Camping adventures. Being out in nature is a proven mood-booster, and camping in an isolated spot will allow you to safely take advantage of that. The availability of state and federal parks is in flux as governments seek to control crowds, so check before you go. To find lesser-known camping sites, check TheDyrt.com. HipCamp.com offers bookings for camping areas on private grounds. Consider backyard camping if you prefer to stick close to home.
Staycations. During your vacation time, recreate the elements that make a resort getaway relaxing: beautifully scented soaps and candles, soothing music and plush towels, to name a few. Declutter and simplify your space to make it more hotel-like. Grab your beach book and stretch out on a lounge chair on your porch or backyard. Devise a special cocktail or mocktail and order in, or prepare a favorite dinner dish. In short—indulge yourself.