Unpopular Opinion: Travel during Covid

I’ve seen a lot of back and forth on this topic lately. Especially now, as the vaccine rollout continues to progress, we’re starting to see the travel industry get moving again, and people venturing out for the first time in over a year. Unfortunately there is still a lot of debate about travel during Covid. Here are a few of the opinions I’ve heard floating around throughout the last year.

Opinion #1: Travel during Covid is reckless.

Many people believe that traveling during a pandemic is reckless and dangerous. Not only are you potentially exposing yourself to more people but you are potentially bringing this virus into areas that might not have the structures in place to handle it. 

The hospitality industry is comprised of communities that have already been disproportionally affected by Covid so by fueling these industries, you are basically forcing people to put their lives at risk for a “non-essential” industry. There are a lot of travel bloggers and vloggers that are getting attacked for being selfish because the CDC has specifically advised against traveling unless for business reasons. 

Small businesses still operating during covid.

Even though there are many testing requirements to be able to travel, none of the tests are 100% effective. So it may be a calculated risk, but it is a risk nonetheless.

Opinion #2: Travel during Covid is fine!

Many people believe that travel during Covid can be completely safe and stress relieving. It may take an extra amount of conscious effort but if done correctly, you will not endanger anyone or yourself. It’s easy to just rent an Airbnb or VRBO and keep to yourself but there are ways to travel internationally as well.

Many of the all-inclusives are offering up wicked deals on travel currently and you’ll get a completely secluded and clean living environment in paradise. If you want to be extra safe, you can order all your food in to your room and stay far away from people on the beaches and pools. You may be safer traveling to an all-inclusive in the Caribbean than stepping foot in a grocery store in America. 

It’s important to consider that a lot of countries get their main source of income from tourism dollars. They are doing everything in their power to bring people back to their countries, so you’ll see strict cleaning processes, limited capacity at hotels and resorts, testing requirements and masked up employees. You are directly helping to provide jobs for people in the hospitality industry.

Support hospitality industry during covid

That being said, It’s your responsibility as a traveler to realize that your experience is a privilege. You need to go above and beyond to wear masks, take the proper tests, keep your distance and follow all protocols. 

My Two Cents: 

I personally fall under the second category. I have been traveling right along throughout the pandemic and have done my absolute best to be as safe and responsible as possible. Here are some of my travel experiences thus far:

  • Long weekend in Vermont with friends: We rented a tiny cabin on Airbnb that we had entirely to ourselves. These friends were in my “Covid bubble” so we had been spending time together right along. We had communicated with the host to verify that he was okay with us still coming and we continued to keep to ourselves during our time there. 
  • Camping in Cape Cod with friends: We brought our own camper and kept our distance from people we didn’t know. The bathrooms had JUST opened up prior to us arriving but they were well sanitized and most people had self contained campers at this particular campground.
  • Camping at a motocross race in Maine: Once again, camping is a great way to keep distance from people and with this event being entirely outside, we confidently avoided the virus here as well.  

Motocross race camping

  •  Family vacation in Vermont: My immediate family rented a large cabin in the Okemo Ski mountain area but then extended family members joined us as well with a rental of their own. This allowed us to spend time together without sharing too much of the living spaces. Most of our time was spent hiking outdoors or exploring the area!
  • Camping at another motocross race, this time in New Hampshire: At this point we had our new camper that was entirely self-contained (meaning we have our own bathroom.) So between not having to use shared bathrooms, cooking our own food, and the event happening entirely outside, we once again had a socially distanced experience.
  • East Coast Road Trip: We traveled in our camper from Massachusetts to Florida in November 2020 and successfully avoided Covid the entire time. By staying in our camper, cooking a lot of meals, avoiding crowded places, wearing masks when necessary, and planning healthy outside activities, we felt safe and responsible the entire trip. The one moment that made us question our safety was in a city in Florida where we quickly ducked out of the crowds and went back to the camper. (If you missed this blog, read about it here.)

St Augustine, Florida during covid

  • Camping trip to the Everglades: Designing a trip around the great outdoors is a fantastic way to have a safe and distanced trip. We visited two National Parks and camped for 4 nights and felt safe the entire time. We even went out to lunch one day but were able to sit outside! I think there’s no better way to travel than by planning a bunch of hiking, kayaking, and biking. (Read about our time in the Everglades here!)

Mask up and keep traveling!

Overall, I’ve had nothing but safe and responsible travel experiences during the height of the pandemic. I felt that we were safe, we took the precautions to keep others safe, supported small businesses and still made the most of the year. I also had plenty of friends who have traveled outside of the country during the pandemic as well and have reported back that resorts are cleaner than ever, airline travel is safe and easy and that the countries needed the tourism dollars. People who work  in the hospitality industries are happy to have people back! 

Looking Forward:

As vaccines become more and more accessible and travel companies continue to keep adding more safety protocols, I believe it will only get easier to travel. There are talks about a lot of travel restrictions requiring vaccines or vaccine passports which is a great opportunity to verify that everyone on board of a cruise or a bus is safe. Countries are starting to open up borders, cruise companies are rearing up to get cruising again, and airlines are finally flying their full fleets again. Hope is finally on the horizon!

So do I think that it’s okay to travel during Covid? Absolutely. Be responsible, treat people with respect and enjoy your trip! If there is one thing we learned in 2020, it’s that life is short. Get out and make some memories!

 

If you’re in need of an adventure but don’t know where to start with planning it, reach out to me to see what I can do for you. Whether you need some destination suggestions, want a variety of options for things to do or want an entire itinerary laid out for you, now is the time to start planning! Let me do the hard work so you can just show up. Check out InMotion Adventures for more info! Until next time…

Stay Wild and Adventure On!

 

Is it safe to travel during Covid? I dissect a few of the opinions and then add my two cents on this controversial topic.

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