You’ve been working hard and deserve some summer travel fun, but your plans may be in peril.
Is it safe to travel during the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across not only the United States but the entire globe?
The truth about summer travel isn’t so cut and dry.
I’m not going to tell you not to travel, because it’s your life and your choice.
Like everything else when it comes to Final Girl Survival I’d like to make it so you’re as prepared as humanly possible for what’s in store for you.
Here is all the information you need to know in order to weigh your options.
Will summer travel be any fun this year?
Or will it be too much to risk?
The Current Summer Travel Terrain
The world has currently surpassed the five million mark for confirmed cases of COVID19 on May 20.
353,049 people have died from the virus.
What’s the virus exactly?
The jury still seems to be out on that, as new data to emerges weekly.
So far the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that the virus causes a fever and symptoms of the upper respiratory system, like a sore throat, coughing, and a runny nose.
Coronaviruses can cause more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, bronchitis, pneumonia, and sometimes death.
Brazil, the United States, and Russia are currently the top three countries for highest infection rate.
As things stand, coronavirus outbreaks continue to flare up across the globe. International travel restrictions are still in place. Airlines are grounding many airplanes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on May 26 that the world is currently in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic.
It doesn’t exactly feel like the time to hit up a crowded beach or tourists attraction.
So, does this mean that you should just stay inside and get really cozy with your television for the summer?
Where Are You Allowed to Go?
The CDC is still advising against any nonessential travel.
With that said, there are a number of states in the U.S. gradually reopening. There are also a number of countries doing the same.
Canada has extended its closing of land borders from May 21 to June 21.
Mexico closed its land borders to nonessential travel until June 22.
Popular tourist destinations however, like Cancun and Los Cabos, are eyeing the beginning of June for opening.
If you were thinking about heading to Europe any time soon, think again.
Europe’s borders will remain closed until June 15.
Aruba’s borders will tentatively open between June 15 and July 1, while the Bahamas is targeting July 1.
St. Lucia is allowing tourists only from the U.S. with proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of getting on their flight.
Puerto Rico, a popular tourist destination, is open. They are enforcing screening and temperature checks upon arrival.
Visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days. This is also the case in Hawaii.
A good list of where each state in the U.S. stands on reopening can be found here.
With all that said, it means that traveling to other states, countries, and territories is a possibility.
Dr. Anthony S Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, told the press in April that summer travel “can be in the cards.”
All hope is not lost!
It just seems that a worry free vacation (which is the whole point of a vacation in my opinion) may not be in the cards for some time.
How Will You Get There?
Now that we know there are some options on the table for summer travel, the other element to consider is transportation.
Is it safe to fly? Can you take the train? Would it be easier to just travel by car? What’s up with boats?
To know if any of those options are safe choices one needs to understand the CDC guidelines for preventing infection of COVID19.
As of right now the CDC advises at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and anyone you don’t live with.
The CDC also says washing hands frequently is a necessity, as the combo of soap and water is the best way to destroy the outer casing of the virus so that it doesn’t transmit into your nose, mouth, or any other open surfaces of your body that can cause infection.
Wearing a mask is also recommended to protect others around you by blocking potentially infected droplets of the virus you may spread unknowingly.
Lastly, you need to make sure the surfaces around you are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
The question then is, do any of the regular ways of travel allow for these safety precautions?
Types of Transportation
Air travel– Although viruses won’t spread easily within the plane’s air due to the way air circulation occurs inflight, that doesn’t mean you’re completely in the clear. Security lines can be hard to social distance in. You also may end up sitting less than 6 feet away from someone else on the flight.
Train or bus travel– Once again, unless the company you’re riding with has rules in place, you may end up sitting too close to someone.
Car travel– Perhaps the safest travel because you can clean it yourself, and are most likely traveling with someone you know and have vetted for health. The issue here is that long drives can result in you making pit stops to public restrooms and gas stations. This increases your chances of being exposed to possibly infected people and surfaces.
RV travel– Similar to car travel with the added bonus of having your own bathroom. Still, you may need to stop occasionally for gas and supplies which can expose you to infected people and surfaces.
Boats and Ships– If it’s your private boat, then the rules of the car and RV apply here. A cruise ship on the other hand is a BIG no NO according to the CDC.
Where Will You Stay?
If you’re not staying with family or camping in your RV then you’re going to need to find a place to stay when you travel.
Are hotels safe? Hostels? Airbnb?
The same rules for transportation apply in housing as well.
Are you going to be able to stay 6 feet away from others? Will you be able to clean and disinfect surfaces often? Wash your hands regularly?
- Hotels– You may be able to manage your private room. Usually, when I travel, I put the “do not disturb” sign on my door knob for the duration of my stay. This way there is little traffic in and out of my room by hotel staff. (Note: I still leave a sizable tip for the staff at the end of my stay for cleaning up the room after I’m gone.) Bring your own antibacterial disinfectant spray (click the link for my easy to follow article on how to make your own spray). Do your own wipe down when you check in, and that should help. Well, almost anyway. That’s because you won’t be staying in your hotel room the whole time. The lobby, hallways, elevators, and common areas are minefield for coming into contact with potentially infected people and surfaces.
- Hostels– Similar to the hotel for common areas, and on top of that hostels are usually dorm room style so you often share a room with. You also share a bathroom. Probably the least safest on this list for potential COVID19 exposure.
- Airbnb– This may be your best bet as you have the option of a private residence, like a secluded cabin or apartment. It still would be a good idea to bring your own antibacterial disinfectant spray to wipe down surfaces regularly and upon arrival.
The Bottom Line for Summer Travel?
Currently, it isn’t looking too good.
That’s the current truth, and I wouldn’t want to paint a rose-colored picture made of fake flowers for you.
Until there is a vaccine for this virus most of us are going to have to get really creative on how we spend our summer vacation.
If you do travel you should follow the safety guidelines by the CDC.
May the odds be in your favor Final Girl.
Are you still planning to travel this summer? If so, what extra precautions are you taking? Let me know in the comments.