It’s easy to assume “everyone should just stay home right now”. But the truth is that many people have to travel due to family needs, emergencies, job requirements, and just a desire to get out. While staying home is the safest place for you to be right now, the fact is that we have to talk about the reality that is. Some people are traveling, and it’s better to be safer about it than throw caution to the wind.
On a recent blog I shared some tips for planning travel, and today I am going to share my own experiences with travel over the pandemic and how to keep others safe. My big point is that while you may not be high risk, others you love, or strangers, may not be. Therefore, it is best to practice caution around a variety of travel you may be participating in. Additionally, it’s important to understand that each step you take to reduce risk goes a long way, it’s not an all or nothing situation.
Good Old Road Trip
Driving is probably the safest way to travel right now, that is if you minimize your stops and interactions with people. The mini trips I have had have been with people in my immediate house, or with one other friend. This means anyone I am in the car with either already has my germ exposure, or has fully consented to being in a small space with my germs for hours at a time.
Additionally, wherever I was going meant that everyone consented to the interaction. I met my parents at my childhood home in June, our family ranch for my grandfather’s funeral in July, and camping in September. They consented to being in a closed off space with us, they consented to stay away from high risk people after seeing us, and we cancelled other get-togethers when risks were high (confirmed exposure, actual illness, or increased cases).
The same went locally for time spent with my in-laws who live near us. We consented to any interaction based on our current health status, and with everyone understanding the inherent risk of getting together. They also did not visit high-risk people or go to large get-togethers when we would be around them.
Overall, we were able to keep people SAFER and made choices so everyone felt more comfortable with the situation at hand. Like most health situations, consent is vital for mental and physical well-being.
- Read more on my 2020 Road Trips
Camping, especially with people in your immediate household is probably the safest accommodations you can commit to. Tents get consistent air flow, and outdoor activities mean very little inside interaction and germ spread. While it’s not a completely safe bet, it is safer. As we learn more about how air particles travel with Covid, all outdoor activities will be a safer choice than ones inside. However, for added safety, split everyone into their own tents for each household, and get extra sites to socially distance.
If tents are not your style, then RVs or Cabins that are separate from each other offer a nice alternative. Various types have varied cleaning and safety measures, so make sure you check with each vendor. We are staying at a cabin next week for my 30th birthday and I have already confirmed with them any local mandates and safety measures. For them, it’s wear a mask, socially distance, and don’t expect daily house keeping.
If you are meeting family at a cabin, or vacation rental, make sure you check local jurisdiction on gatherings. Some ski resorts are only allowing family from the same household to stay together. Other areas have varying restrictions on gatherings and group sizes. Again, check county recommendations or restrictions and check with the property before traveling.
NOTE: Since most things change very quickly, make sure you check in (maybe again) the week before you travel.
Part II Coming Soon