January 18, 2021
Travel has become more about lifestyle and has taken on a slower pace as we travel with a heightened awareness in an uncertain and risky pandemic world! Many are choosing to remain home, take virtual tours and err on the side of caution, but others are making up for lost time, planning a vacation, and reconnecting with friends and family in a safe environment.
The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination has boosted traveler confidence, but with a second wave spreading … IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL? According to Vrbo, 82% of families are planning to travel in 2021, and with valuable COVID safety resources and proper safety precautions, some say there’s no need to put the lid on your travel plans. If you choose to hit the road or fly to your favorite destination this year here’s our top travel tips for a safe vacation in 2021.
Choose a Domestic Drive-to Destination
Exploring local destinations is preferred and travelling in your own vehicle is arguably the safest way to reach your destination. Boarding a plane during COVID-19 has its challenges and while there are great tips for flying during COVID, a recent 2021 trend report from Vrbo reveals that 59% of families say they are more likely to drive instead of fly on their next vacation. Driving limits exposure to others and gets you to your destination in the safest possible way.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
If one positive thing has come from COVID-19, it’s a greater sense of health and wellness and a new-found respect for the outdoors. According to Vrbo’s data, 61% of US families said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one and 22% of travelers surveyed said a vacation would improve mental health and act as self-care. Wide-open spaces, long stretches of coastline, remote mountains, and access to naturally socially distanced outdoor activities give travelers peace of mind for a safe vacation.
Check Travel Restrictions
Now you have picked your destination, it is time to check out the local travel restrictions, curfews, and quarantine requirements. What level of personal risk are your comfortable with? It differs for all but it’s important to know the rate and risk of infection at your chosen destination and steer clear of hotspots experiencing a spike in cases. Emerging technologies make it easy to track the Coronavirus and get up to date reports and figures for your vacation destination. Some vacation rental websites are displaying this information right on the unit listing. Regardless of the risk, it’s crucial to practice strict safety measures and follow CDC and WHO guidelines on your vacation.
Stay in a Vacation Rental Home
Vacation rental homes are still the preferred type of accommodation posing a lower risk for virus transmission than crowded hotels and offering flexibility for both work and play. The reassurance of minimal contact with no staff or guests outside of your bubble, flexible cancellation policies, stringent cleaning protocols and booking buffers for added safety, makes staying in a vacation rental home an easy decision.
Search for Flexible Options and Specials
One of the latest travel trends emerging is a rise in last-minute bookings. Advance planning in a pandemic is unpredictable and travelers are making spur of the moment decisions to take a road trip close to home. Vacation rental property managers are encouraging travelers with book direct promos, last-minute specials, flexible booking options and attractive discounts for booking in advance for future stays.
Stay in your Bubble
Remember when a vacation was just that, a vacation! The trends of workcations and staycations have been around a while but the pandemic has set them in stone as a way for future travel. We’ve been told we can travel as long as we stay in our COVID bubbles. Creating a social bubble and limiting contact with extended friends and family is the safest way to limit your exposure to and the spread of COVID. Travel with those within your bubble, limit social gatherings outside of your bubble and stay safe on your 2021 vacation.
COVID-19 Safety Gear
COVID-19 is spread more through personal contact than surface touch so first and foremost keep your hands clean, avoid touching your face, maintain a safe distance from others and wear a mask. Pack a picnic for your road trip to avoid high-risk drive-thrus and restaurants and keep public restroom breaks to a minimum. Vacation rental management companies offer a higher level of cleaning and sanitizing but many guests choose to travel with their own pillows for extra safety. Pack a sanitizing kit with antibacterial wipes or spray for high-touch surfaces, washable and extra disposable masks, a thermometer for temperature checks and a nasal sanitizer spray to steer clear of unwanted germs.
Research shows that pandemic habits and new COVID trends are likely to continue through 2021. Travelers need to book smart to stay safe. Luckily for us, vacation rental managers are updating their pandemic procedures and posting regularly to eliminate some of the guess work and offer some peace of mind.