Here are 6 simple tips for vacationing during a pandemic to consider before leaving home for that much needed get-a-way or vacation:
1. Bring Plenty of Face Masks
I have found that hotels and restaurants still require that you wear masks while you are on their premises. Despite the State’s option to mask up or not. You can take it off when you are inside your hotel room, but you will see the signs posted everywhere that masks are required. When in doubt, pack extra masks for your trip.
2. Pack your own Wash/Face Cloths
At the last two hotel stays, we were missing wash cloths among the other towels in the bathroom. We inquired about getting wash cloths, and the hotel staff indicated that they do not provide wash cloths right now. For the life of me, that’s one I could not figure out and how COVID impacts that, especially if we are still provided hand towels and bath towels. If you like using wash cloths to clean up, make sure you pack them. I suggest two per person, depending on how many days you will be traveling for.
3. Morning Cup of Coffee – Tea
There used to be a time when we had several options for getting a hot cup of coffee or tea in the hotel. It seemed like the coffee fragrance took over the air in the morning at the hotel. You could either find it in the lobby, breakfast cafes, or you could use the portable coffee maker in your hotel room to make the coffee and use it to make hot water for tea. If you are like me you prefer the first two options. During the last trip there was no coffee served in the lobby or breakfast cafes. I resolved to using the portable coffee maker in the room. There were no teas to speak of and only one package of coffee. But, what if you don’t know how to use the in-house coffee maker? Be prepared to have someone in your group go out for coffee.
4. Travel Journal
Despite the multitude of areas to sight-see, restaurants to experience, and drinks to savor you won’t remember where you were or what you ate that will keep you wanting to go back for more. What about that great tasting drink you happened upon? If you don’t write it down or have a designated place to keep the information, it just gets lost in the memories you thought you would have to refer back to. I’ve tried collecting menus, business cards and referring back to local newspapers to find where a place was that I visited and want to go back to. only to give up on it because I just couldn’t remember how, when, or where. A travel journal is what I use to keep track of those details, a book to use for those kinds of memories and reminders.
5. Hotel Gym Closures
A lot of hotel gyms are still closed or have restricted access at this time. The last few hotels that I was a guest at had not reopened their gyms yet to their guests and one hotel had restricted times, required scheduling appointments and no more than one-person access at a time. Make sure you pack your sneakers anyway. This might be a great time to take a nature walk and experience the surrounding wildlife. Some hotels even have walking trails that give you a tour of the grounds. This may even turn into a great time to get in those 10,000 steps in. Make sure you check before booking if you require a gym for your stay.
If you’re like me I check the weather forecast for the travel week several times before leaving on my trip. Despite the weather forecast showing great weather throughout the trip, the weather always changes without warning. You may see cloud activity in the atmosphere on the first day, none on the second day, but by the third day the clouds darken, the moisture in the air overtakes you and the next thing that happens that you were not prepared for, is that torrential rain. Maybe or maybe not so hard at first, but it eventually comes. Always pack a compact, and light-weight umbrella in your bag, for those unexpected weather events.