We hope you are continuing to stay healthy and safe. As summer approaches, travel exploration is on the rise—in part because summer is a popular time for families to travel, and also because a certain percentage of people are “travelers at heart,” these individuals are most likely to research their options for safe travel. Many studies have shown a strong link between vacations and life satisfaction, mental/physical health and improved productivity. The bigger question is how this can be accomplished during Covid-19.
Although many restrictions are still in place, travel is starting up again. Many domestic and international travel warnings in place at the time of this writing require 14 days of post-travel self-isolation, regardless of symptoms. According to Dr. Lin Chen, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of Cambridge’s Travel Medicine Center at Mt. Auburn, if everyone follows the World Health Organization’s guidelines, “the risk of transmission aboard planes and anywhere else is significantly reduced.” The key here is using common sense 24/7.
Here are a few common-sense tips to safely navigate your travels:
- Re-visit Your Travel Plans
With borders closed and flight schedules cut back or cancelled, your upcoming trips may have to be cancelled outright, with refunds that are channeled into future travel credits rather than to your credit card. Consider re-directing your cancellation refund into an entirely new or refreshed plan for 2021. For the most adventurous, air travel is possible this summer even though it will be a very different experience than usual. The need to isolate upon entering a country will remain a limiting factor for destinations. Flying internationally will take some careful research. IATA provides an interactive map of the latest regulations for destinations worldwide.
2. Consider a Creative Stay-Cation
Stay-cations—particularly for families—have taken creativity to a new level. How do you get creative with a stay-cation? Here are four basic guidelines:
- Set boundaries – Treat it like a real trip. Stop your mail, turn on your away messages, do a final lawn mow, clean the house, and create an itinerary with your travel-mates. Got a few favorite destinations that will probably have to wait? Re-create them where you are.
- Choose a theme – This is like creating a trip in “make-believe” only you’re choosing real destinations without logistical limitations. For example, Monday could be a virtual visit to Disney World followed by a delivery of hamburgers, fries and milkshakes from your favorite burger joint before tenting under the stars and sharing scary stories. Tuesday could start with a virtual visit to Singapore followed by lunch delivered by a terrific Asian or Chinese restaurant.
- See the sights (virtually) – Travel anywhere through a number of viewing platforms including Netflix or Planet Earth streaming. Travel movies are another great way to feel inspired. If your budget allows, consider virtual reality (VR) world travel with Oculus or Samsung Gear VR. A number of museums now offer virtual visits including the Louvre, the Vatican and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You may even want to learn something—a language, how to play an instrument or how to paint in a particular way.
- Eat like you’re on vacation – Make your own sushi rolls or luscious desserts. Try new recipes everyone can have a part in crafting. Invent crazy drinks and try them. Order foods from an online Asian or European food market. You may be surprised at the cost savings—and may even come away from your stay-cation with an around-the-world recipe book!
3. Choose Crowd-Free Destinations
If you do travel somewhere, the key is to maintain a 6-foot social distance and avoid crowded locations such as theme parks, malls, outdoor events and the like. Many domestic destinations offer abundant wide-open and safe spaces to visit, however. Begin your search with AirBnb’s Most Remote Listings or try VRBO’s Remote Cabin Getaways. One of the best crowd-free destinations might be your own backyard, complete with a small kiddie pool, hot tub or open-face loungers for all-around tanning, or simply relaxing with a good book. Don’t forget your reef-safe sunscreen!
4. Consider Parks or Outdoor Camping Options
There are many health benefits to being out in nature, and “the risks of contagion are relatively low,” according to Joe Allen, assistant professor and director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard School of Public Health. Parks across the nation have recently re-opened and offer great get-away options. If you enjoy driving, renting a clean disinfected vehicle or RV expands your options further. Look for rental / RV agencies that demonstrate how they exceed CDC guidelines and can explain clearly how this is done. Visiting a local park and making a fun afternoon of it with picnicking, playing charades or discovering nature through nature journaling or a nature scavenger hunt can be extremely memorable—and repeatable at new locations.
Is Creativity the Emerging Normal?
Over the next months and into 2021, we will witness a wide variety of creative solutions around everything from business practices and social issues to meeting the needs of everyday living. This is also the time to use your common sense 24/7. Maintain safe, 6-foot social distancing, avoid touching anything directly in public spaces and restrooms (assuming they’re open) and make copious use of gloves and sanitizer. For more due diligence details, click here.
Planning to hire a new team member? Call or email us today. We will meet or exceed your hiring needs with top talent and valuable insights.
As always, we welcome your feedback on this unprecedented journey and look forward to hearing what works for you, your friends, and your family.
- The Artizen Staffing team
written by Catrina Walker
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