Working in the travel industry means we are always on top of trends and changes in order to inform our clients on what is happening. This year has not changed that by any means, if anything we are more aware and involved with every change dealing with Covid-19 and an intense amount of natural disasters. To say we are flexible is an understatement. In fact, we are practically Gumby in the year that is 2020.
Recently, my husband and I decided to take some time for each other and go to the Brown Palace for the night to celebrate our anniversary (3 years). I knew, mostly, what to expect, but it was not without planning. Our plan was mostly to stay at the hotel, but we also wanted to enjoy some local dining and drinks at new and favorite locations. What we found out quickly was that everything needed additional research and planning due to the closures, reservation needs, schedule adjustments, and much more.
I have to give props to the Brown Palace for having almost everything on their website updated with amended hours, reservation needs, and information on amended services or experiences. It helped us better plan on what we could and could not have for our time out. It did take checking everything a few times to make notes and changes, but it was a seamless experience.
Other locations provided less details, did not have their website updated, or lacked information on accessing places for dining. It ended up working out, but it was hard to know for certain what was happening with each location or experience.
My best advice for any hotel is to expect things to be different. Your check-in may be virtual or through a plastic divider, be patient with distancing requests. Items like anything paper will be removed from your room, such as stationary, phone books, local guides etc. You might find your TV remote in a baggie of some fashion, or other clear coating , some may be loose and wiped down by housekeeping. Toiletries will be left in the room, but don’t expect any turn-down service or cleaning during your stay. If you order food or other things, plan to have a mask on when they arrive, and don’t expect them to bring the food in and set it up as they may usually. Expect things to be slower than usual, this is due to extra regulations, reduced staff, and other circumstances. You will need to have your mask on in all locations outside of your room (depending on local jurisdiction, but just a good thing to do).
Plan on also having disappointments, closed restaurants, long wait lists, hiccups, and other little things. It’s nothing to stress over, know everyone is doing their best and work through it.
Traveling right now, of course, comes with risk and that is not to be denied. Therefore, we are only traveling locally and greatly limiting outside of the state travel. We have only left the state for my grandfather’s funeral in rural Wyoming, where we barely left our hotel room and/or family homes. Our plan is to continue to stay local as much as possible as we move into the new year. We also follow every rule that each destination has. We even cancelled a trip to Santa Fe because we were considered a high risk state, and would have had to stay in the hotel the whole time. I am not even remotely bitter at the idea because they had to choose what made sense for their local needs. ‘
We also limit our time indoors, who we are around, and what our exposure points will be. For example, we will not go around our elderly relatives (even if invited to) as my husband works out of the house and my stepdaughter is now attending classes in person. We also limit group size get togethers and try to stay outside or in a well-ventilated area as much as possible. Our circle has remained small and our exposure risk is shared with everyone we meet up with, the goal is to reduce risk all around. When we are around strangers (like at the grocery store) we have masks, sanitize our hands, and limit our visits as much as possible.
Happy & Safe Travels