According to the CDC, traveling safely during a global pandemic comes down to two basic things: avoiding close contact with strangers and following a few common-sense precautions.
With much of the United States slowly easing travel restrictions, research from the U.S. Travel Association reveals that 71% of Americans miss travel and are eager to travel again. Still, most surveyed said they would approach future travel with vigilance, and they rate cleanliness and hygiene as more important than ever.
So, what should travel-anxious Americans consider as they begin to enjoy the great wide open once more?
The first thing is how you’ll get to your destination. The experts at New York Presbyterian Hospital say traveling by car is safest, but if air, train or bus travel are necessary, health experts recommend taking a direct route to your destination.
And then there’s the question of where you’ll stay.
“It’s imperative, especially now, to understand and trust the cleaning protocols a facility follows before, during and after your arrival,” says Sherri Silver, chief marketing officer at Hilton Grand Vacations. “For example, we participate in Hilton CleanStay, which follows enhanced cleaning schedules for our rooms and suites and all public, high-touch spaces like front desks and lobbies. Because we only use hospital-grade cleaners and seal our rooms after we clean them to ensure no one enters before guests arrive, our visitors tell us they have real peace of mind during their stays.”
Other lodging considerations Silver recommends include:
- Will you have a private kitchen and dining area, or will you need to eat out at restaurants each day?
- Can you do laundry easily and safely, if needed?
- Do your accommodations provide complimentary face coverings, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer?
Lastly, carefully consider your activities. The safest options are ones you can do outdoors like bike rides, hikes and visits to open-air attractions like botanical gardens. If you opt for indoor activities, check to make sure the establishment limits crowds, enforces mask-wearing and cleans often.
- Travel during weekdays and avoid holiday travel. Off-peak times mean less crowded rest stops and airports.
- Pack snacks and drinks. Having snacks on hand will help you avoid standing in line with strangers or any possible cross-contamination.
- Go contactless whenever possible. Whether it’s checking in digitally, paying by credit card over the phone or opting for an e-signature, take advantage of any opportunity to avoid direct contact with others.
- Wear a mask when in public. Face coverings are now mandatory in most states and in all indoor public Hilton spaces.
- Stock up on hand sanitizer and use it whenever you can’t wash your hands with soap and water.
- You’ve no doubt heard it a million times but stay at least six feet away from others. It’s one of the most surefire ways to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“As you would expect, we’re big proponents of travel,” says Silver. “And, research shows that when people take time to rest and recharge, their physical and mental health can improve. People need to unwind in order to be their best selves.”
Visit hiltongrandvacations.com/plan-your-vacation for additional travel resources to help you plan your next great (safe) adventure.