Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state and local advisories before scheduling trips.
Remember the good old days when the biggest impediments to a dream getaway centered around figuring out everyone’s schedules and counting the pennies in your vacation piggy bank? COVID-19 has no doubt thrown a wrench in all our travel plans, but we’re also itching to get the heck out of Dodge now more than ever so we can relax and refresh. Here are some things to consider as you start to plan your next trip.
Choosing a destination
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) keeps a regularly updated list of countries where the risk of getting COVID is high, moderate, low and very low (no travel health notice). Although there are a few countries where the risk is either low or very low, travel to most of the these destinations is currently off-limits for Americans, making international travel a challenge for the foreseeable future.
Should I fly?
Yes, some travelers are flying again. Because of new processes and social distancing efforts in place at most airports, in general we recommend getting to the airport earlier than you normally would to take in account new cleaning protocol, social distancing, temperature checks, additional screening and staggered boarding and disembarkation.
While most commercial airplanes are already fitted with HEPA filters for air re-circulation, additional cleaning procedures may include providing guests with sanitizing wipes so that passengers can wipe down their seats, tray tables and arm rests, plus flight attendants and pilots dressed in personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves, and reduced catering and entertainment to help contain the spread of germs.
Hitting the road
Many travelers are turning to the open highway to visit loved ones and to take a vacation closer to home. Many rental car companies have introduced new cleaning standards such as multi-step, certified and rigorous techniques for cleaning vehicles after each rental and special attention paid to interior customer touch points such as seats, steering wheels, door handles and other hard surfaces with recommended cleaning products. Other changes you may see include contactless pick-up and delivery services, social distancing, increased sanitization of common areas and hand sanitizer placed at the pickup counter, protective equipment worn by desk agents and spaced out reservations to allow for more time cleaning vehicles.
Vacation rentals have become a preferred option for many travelers. To contain the spread of germs, many vacation rentals are offering hand sanitizer and disinfecting products, contactless check-in and check-out procedures, additional training for housekeeping professionals and spacing out stays to allow additional time for cleaning and disinfection. Many vacation rentals are offering increased flexibility including free cancellation within 48 hours of the reservation. Book a Travelocity vacation rental here.
Many hotels are open again. Be on the lookout for enhanced safety protocols at many hotels including daily disinfections, hand-sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas like the lobby and near elevators, new room access options like keyless entry via smartphone apps or single use room key access, social distancing and reduced occupancy in common areas such as the lobby or pool, take out at hotel restaurants and hotel workers wearing protective equipment. Many hotels are offering increased flexibility including free cancellation within 48 hours of the reservation. Book a Travelocity hotel here.
What to pack
Most hotels, dining establishments and gas stations are requiring customers to wear masks so make sure to pack enough clean ones to last the entire journey. Pack disposable gloves and hand sanitizing wipes to help contain the spread of germs and pack plenty of hand sanitizer to use in places where access to washing hands is limited. Wash your hands frequently. To learn more about traveling safely, follow guidelines outlines by the Word Health Organization and CDC.
Note: Traveling, especially in the time of COVID-19, has inherent risk. Our goal is to provide the best information available to help you make informed choices and stay safe during your travels. But, we can’t promise that this information is perfect. We don’t fly planes, clean hotel rooms, or have an army of inspectors to independently verify all the information provided by our suppliers. Nor are we experts in virology, public policy, or sanitation protocols. And we do not know anything about any underlying situation or health conditions. Please consult reputable sources, like the WHO and the CDC, and make your own determination about whether travel at this time is right for you. Expedia Group disclaims all liability for COVID-19 and other travel hazards.
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.