After months at home, it feels like it’s time to celebrate the 4th of July. It’s completely understandable that you might want to get away for a while. Do you have big plans to travel this weekend? If you do, make sure that you’re staying safe and taking caution. Here are some ideas to keep you protected while taking that weekend trip.
Really take stock of where you’re going and who you’re traveling with.
My boyfriend and I had plans to hit up the National Parks on a huge road trip this week. We were going to make our way through the Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, and Death Valley, but as the numbers of COVID continued to grow each day last week, we called off our trip with two days before we were supposed to leave. It was a hard decision, we’ve been cooped up in our small New York City apartment for four months, but it was the right one. We didn’t want to potentially bring the virus from New York if we happened to be asymptomatic and hurt someone, and we didn’t want to go to an area where the virus was continuing to explode.
So instead, this weekend, we’re just going on a quick trip upstate, about 45 minutes from the city for just a few days.
When you plan your trip, you want to keep track of the COVID-19 cases in the area. If the virus is continuing to grow, you might want to choose a new location for your vacation. You have to also assume that you COULD be a carrier, so make sure to take that into consideration and you’re not going to places with vulnerable populations.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How many cases of COVID are there in my city or area? Do I need to worry about being a carrier?
- What is the status of coronavirus where you’re heading?
- Are my travel partners in high-risk groups?
- Do I need to quarantine on arrival?
- Do I need to quarantine after my vacation? In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, you now need to quarantine for 14 days if you go to certain states with high COVID rates.
Figure out a form of travel you feel comfortable with.
Do you feel ok taking a plane? Cool! Then do it! Do you feel more comfortable in a car? That’s good too. You need to feel safe yourself in your decision. As a New Yorker, I don’t drive, I don’t have a car, or any form of transport. My usual way to get around is the subway, but I’m still a little wary to get on it with people I don’t know. I’ve been biking everywhere around the city! It’s been great to be outside and get some exercise at the same time.
You have to decide for yourself in how you feel about public transportation.
Prepare Completely for Your Trip
My favorite thing to do is make lists so I make sure I pack everything I need!
Make sure you pack all the COVID essentials that you need to keep you safe. Make sure you have enough hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks for your entire trip. You’ll also want to have clorox or alcohol wipes to wipe off your seats on a plane, train, or rental car. I also am bringing my own sheets and pillows for our hotel, just in case.
Stock up on groceries and water if you’re on a road trip. Bring all the food you need so you don’t have to stop anywhere. You can bring your own alcohol and save money too!
Also Toilet Paper! You might have to pee out in nature. When my boyfriend and I were going on our trip together across the National Parks, we bought a portable toilet, because restrooms won’t be open everywhere anymore.
Have all of your vitamins and medications you need, and we recommend bringing your Jubilance along so at least you’re not stressed by PMS.
Be Careful on your Vacation
It’s ok to turn around if it doesn’t seem safe. My aunt is going to Gulf Shores this weekend and as much as she’d like to soak up the sun on the beach, she’s going to scope everything out and if it doesn’t seem to be a good idea, she’ll just turn around and drive home. Use your best judgment.
Make sure you’re wiping down the surfaces you touch, I like to wipe down my plane seats and the seats next to me. Turn on the air conditioning vents up above on the plane to keep air circulating, and wear your masks around others.
Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap when you’ve been out in public, it’s the best defense. And wear your mask outside.
Don’t eat inside restaurants, either eat outside (New York is almost like Paris with the café culture with all of the outdoor dining on the streets) or order for takeaway.
Wipe down surfaces after you touch them if you’re coming into your hotel room from outside.