The COVID-19 pandemic is making most travel plans look a bit different this summer, forcing many people to rethink preferred destinations. Unfortunately, after being quarantined for several months, a getaway is exactly what some of us want right now.
The good news is that, even though the health concerns, entertainment venue closures, and financial impact of the virus may make travel a bit more challenging, that doesn't mean you have to cancel your summer plans entirely.
The reality is that there are plenty of great deals available currently, although options may be somewhat more restricted. Many flights have been grounded but the ones that are still scheduled are, for the most part, only a fraction of their original cost as airlines try to lure back air travelers.
For summer-specific travel, a driving trip might be the best option. Taking a car provides added flexibility as to scheduling and eliminates some of the restrictions related to air travel. And, while social distancing requirements may prevent a large family or friend reunion, a driving trip with your immediate family could result in some great memories and bonding time.
With states reopening to some extent, there are many options worth exploring and most hotels, airlines and rental car agencies are offering flexible cancellation options. Be sure to keep checking online sources for the latest information regarding what is open and what amenities are currently available.
To travel safely, do your research beforehand and consider the following:
- Take your protective personal equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. It may be difficult to find these supplies while you're traveling.
- If you can, pack cleaning supplies such as disinfecting wipes or sprays.
- Limit stops along the way if you're driving.
- Follow CDC guidelines for safe dining.
- Be sure to investigate the rules for where you're going.
To minimize the expenses of the trip, consider the following tips:
- Do your homework. Explore vacation options online, including promotions that may be available through such discount hubs as GroupOn.
- Be spontaneous. Lodging booked at the last minute may come with significant discounts, as business owners may be looking to avoid the cost of a vacancy.
- Consider less traditional lodging options. A privately owned cabin, apartment or condo booked through something like VRBO or HomeAway may be less expensive than a hotel or resort room and provide a less populated setting.
- Book lodging that includes at least a small kitchenette to expand cooking options that don't require going out to eat.
- Pack plenty of snacks and beverages. This will save the cost of buying them at a higher cost through a vending machine or onsite at a hotel or resort.
If traveling to an out-of-state destination or staying in a hotel or rental property doesn't feel like the best option for you, think outside the box. Plan a few day trips! Chances are there are destinations close to home that you haven't explored and now is a great time. You'll still want to do your due diligence to see what is open and available to you.
Without a doubt, this year's summer vacation may require a bit more creative planning. But by being proactive and taking the time to explore options, you and your family can still have a great experience!
The information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither Cortland Bank or its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering you any tax, accounting or legal advice.