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Safe Travel USA: How to Vacation Safely Now

Many people are wondering is it safe to travel right now? And if so, is it safe to fly right now? The CDC says that it is safe to travel if you are fully vaccinated, meaning it is two weeks since you completed your final dose of vaccination. However, since the Delta variant has been spreading rapidly and many people remain unvaccinated, there is still some risk to those who have gotten their vaccines. So when you do decide to travel there are some precautions to take, as well as mistakes to avoid while traveling.

I know of several friends who have become infected with the Delta variant after being vaccinated. While they were not hospitalized, they remained homebound and very ill for several weeks. This will continue to be a problem as long as people continue to put their own comfort ahead of the safety of others.

Is it Safe to Fly?

That being said, the CDC has continued to set guidelines to promote the safest way to travel. Is it safe to fly? The CDC recommends wearing a mask over your nose and mouth on any indoor public transportation such as planes, trains, taxis, and buses. However, we all know those people who wear their masks under their nose or down around their chin. Therefore, they are still spreading germs when breathing through their nose. The other issue is that many unvaccinated people are opting to travel. Further, the CDC says you should continue wearing a mask indoors in areas of high transmission.

In addition, we have all heard horror stories recently on the news about violence on airplanes. I would say the safest way to travel right now is by car. On a road trip you have control over where you go and how many people you come in contact with.

Safe travel USA, a sign promotes social distancing on the beach
How to Vacation safely during the Covid-19 pandemic in Panama City Beach

Safe Travel: Social Distancing

My husband and I scheduled a road trip for June 2020. Needless to say, we canceled all but the destinations we thought to be safe places to travel because we could social distance.

First my husband and I traveled to Panama City Beach for a weekend getaway. We left South Florida where everyone wears masks even while walking their dogs or driving in their cars. Once we passed Orlando we noticed that the further north we drove the less people wore masks. When in the panhandle, we noticed there were many people vacationing from nearby states which had increasing cases of the virus. While people were social distancing between groups on the beach and in the water, they were not in the restaurants and bars. By staying in a condo we were able to bring our own food and avoid coming in close contact with others.

Choose out of the way destinations for safe travel

Shows safe travel on a farm
Home Field Advantage Farmstead

If you take the road less traveled, it will be easier to maintain a safe distance from others. After visiting Panama City Beach, we headed to the small town of Lee, Florida. We spent a night glamping in an alpaca paddock. There were only the owners and three other guests staying at the farm so social distancing was not a problem here. Again, we had our own food so we didn’t have to brave the crowds to go out to eat. Florida has many remote areas where farm stays are an option. To stay here click here for details.

Research before you go

Prior to booking our trips I looked up the number of Covid-19 cases in each county we would be staying in. Panama City Beach is in Bay county Florida. At the time we were traveling they had only 90 reported cases. Lee, Florida is located in Madison County, which only reported 60 cases. We felt these were areas where we would be able to maintain social distance and have little chance of exposing ourselves to the virus. Statistics can easily be found by googling state Covid-19 cases per county.

Also, many places are closed or open with restrictions. Therefore, it is important to research attractions, restaurants, etc. prior to starting out on your trip. This way you avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Safe Travel: Vacation at Home

Create a safe travel Riviera in your yard

Another option is to vacation at home. We had bought a family size blow up pool with drink holders a few years ago for the adults to use when we had the neighbors over for a BBQ. Our neighbors thought this was a good idea and bought two pools and an umbrella. Now several of us get together on weekends, social distancing between couples. We enjoy a few drinks and take turns soaking in the pools to cool off.

Outdoor Umbrellas

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Shows safe travel USA at home with a blow up pool in a backyard with a beach umbrella
When you don’t feel it’s safe to go out with friends

I chose these sponsored links for you to create your own oasis at home:

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Safe travel to your own French bistro

When our kids were younger, and we couldn’t go out much, my husband and I created ways to have date night at home. On Friday nights, I would feed the kids a quick dinner and then put a movie on for them. We would usually wait for the little one to be in bed. Then we would head to our screened patio where we would share a bottle of wine and some appetizers while listening to music. Eventually we got a dart board and incorporated that into our date night. We have since created a man cave in our garage where we moved the dart board and have more comfortable furniture and a refrigerator. We have also been known to move date night to our front patio and sip wine at our bistro table.

Shows safe travel USA at home with a bistro table with two glasses of wine on a front patio
Our private bistro
Outdoor Furniture

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Traveling Abroad at Home

Another great stay cation idea is cooking a foreign meal together, using the fancy plates, and looking up themed music on your phone to give the dinner atmosphere. One time my husband and I cooked Moroccan food together and then played a cd I had from when I took a belly dancing class. Recently we tried out a recipe for Vietnamese shrimp rolls with peanut sauce. Cooking ethnic food at home is a great way to have a unique restaurant experience if you are not comfortable right now braving the crowds in an actual restaurant. This also doubles as a great date experience when funds are limited. I happen to collect foreign cookbooks, but Pinterest or Google are great sources for foreign recipes as well.

Shows a picture of vietnamese spring rolls made at home instead of going to Thailand as a way to safe travel USA
Shrimp rolls with peanut sauce

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Virtual Experiences are Safe Travel

Finally, you can travel virtually via your television or computer. During the pandemic, Airbnb has added a new experience section where you can cook gourmet food, learn meditation, tour foreign cities, and mix drinks on line.

We have tried four of these experiences to date. First we went forest bathing in Kyoto and visited the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Next we learned about the indigenous people of Kenya. Then we traveled to Ireland for some history and Irish Whiskey tasting. Our most recent expedition included the wineries of South Africa.

These virtual experiences are interactive, and they encourage participation and questions. They provide a fun way to travel safely without leaving your home. I will be following up with posts of our experiences in the near future.

Here are some additional posts I have found with great ideas for using your travel time wisely during Covid-19. The first is Covid-19 Preparing to Travel Again by Exploramum & Explorason. It talks about ways to prepare for a time when you can travel again. Also Samantha Brown is a travel favorite of mine. She just wrote a post entitled How to Combat the Winter Blahs During Covid-19. Here she focuses on travel options that are less risky. If you would like further reading please check them out.

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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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