Tips for Smart Travel this Summer
Are we there yet?
6 Tips for Traveling Smart in Summer 2021
Like most of the world, your travel plans last summer probably got overhauled—or just plain squashed. Everything from family reunions to big, bucket-list adventures had to be re-imagined or postponed. But now what? As vaccines meet arms and Covid rates dip in some places, what’s a travel-craving human to do? Are we back to trips as usual?
While we don’t have definitive answers, we do have good news and great advice based on our own germ-fighting prowess as well as up-to-the-minute advice from health and travel pros we trust.
Here are our top six tips for creating stress-free adventures this summer as we re-meet our big, beautiful world—with care—during unusual times.
1. Plan Ahead for High Demand
Happily, the airline, hospitality, and travel industry as a whole is expecting a surge in bookings this summer compared to last year. They’ll be delighted to see your shining face at a ticket window soon. That’s the good news.
However, in some cases, they’ll still be ramping up and re-staffing after having to trim and downsize during the height of the pandemic. Generally speaking, the supply will be rushing to meet the reinvigorated demand. Plan to make dinner reservations and book flights, hotels, and vacation rentals well in advance—just like the old days. This is particularly true if you’re intent on visiting popular destinations like state and national parks, theme and amusement parks, campgrounds, RV parks, or coveted resorts. If you’ve been craving it, others probably have been too. So don’t forget to plan and book ahead.
2. Consider Travel Insurance
While we’re all eager to embrace freedom and normalcy again (we’re so close, right?), we’re still living with a bit of unpredictability. There’s probably never been a better time to consider travel insurance, especially if you’re booking expensive airline tickets or a rental home that may or may not have a last-minute cancellation policy. Double check and read the fine print when it comes to your flights.
Also, consider taking out an independent travel insurance policy to support you in the event of a fender bender, injury, medical bills incurred abroad, or the need for 24/7 assistance for any reason. Rates may be lower than you think these days as the travel industry gears back up again, and insurance providers are eager to play a part.
3. Keep on Keeping the Germs Away
Even with needles to the arms, we can’t forget that germs are always prowling. Let’s ensure bacteria and viruses don’t hitch a ride with us this summer. Mask mandates continue and hand washing will never go out of style. But what else can we do?
We have an idea. An essential on our packing list is a portable UV disinfection device. We’re bringing our very own PhoneSoap Go, the most travel-friendly version of our best-selling UV-C light disinfection tools. Complete with a rugged travel case, this rechargeable unit disinfects 99.99% of viruses and bacteria on your phone or other small items in just 10 minutes.* It even charges your phone while it’s at it. It’s a no-brainer for the savvy, germ-deflecting traveler.
4. Stay Flexible
As mentioned, the travel industry will be heating up and greeting you with open arms. That said, staffs have changed and may still be smaller than usual thanks to the massive reshuffle in 2020. As new staff trains and engagement ticks upward, keep a flexible mindset. Expect that lines might be a bit longer, processes a bit slower, and teams a bit rusty. Some businesses are running differently than you remembered on past trips.
Keep in mind that travel-dependent companies, as well as local and small businesses, are recovering from a massive financial hit. Consider preparing your family—and especially children—to take last-minute changes or less than ideal experiences in stride. Give business owners a smile and the gift of your patience.
5. Scout the Local Situation
Covid has been anything but fair. Some regions and groups have been hit harder than others and bringing rates down in some environments has been tricky. Across the U.S., state and local health departments have scrambled to follow the science, buffer the hardship for businesses, and make good choices for their region. To that end, policies still vary. Before traveling in the U.S., check on the local health status and what kind of mask, distancingm or occupancy policies are in place by visiting the Directory of Health Departments page on the CDC website. There you can learn what to expect in the town or region you’d like to visit and come prepared to meet local rules.
If you’re planning a trip abroad, you’ll also want to check out the local details and requirements. Many European countries just re-opened their doors, provided visitors are vaccinated. But how open is open—and how does each country feel about masks and other essential gear? What will count as proof of vaccination? Consider checking out international policies through a travel service such as Kayak. Many offer the latest travel requirements for each country. Revisit these services early in your trip, while planning, as well as right before your trip, as conditions and rules may change.
6. Hug a Tree Instead
This summer may still be a great time to focus on outdoor gatherings and outdoorsy destinations. This is particularly true if you’d like to organize a large party or reunion. The CDC has noted often that germ-spread is considerably reduced outside. In addition, as of the time of this post, that agency has proposed lifting mask requirements for many outdoor gatherings, depending on state, local, and tribal policies in any region. As we round the bend, turn the corner, watch that light at the end of the tunnel grow, consider the great outdoors a true friend and ally.
In addition to our new-found appreciation for fresh, freely circulating air, the original health benefits of open, green spaces may be more helpful than ever after our lives in quarantine. Consider the many studies that find a connection between time spent outdoors and lower risks for heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Time in nature is a chance to ease stress and shake off the pandemic blues (and possibly pounds) with loved ones from far and near. Rouse them from their quarantine capsule and share something tasty on the grill before hitting the vitality-boosting trails.
We hope you enjoyed the tips. Please go forth and re-greet the world with confidence, patience, joy, our UV disinfection tools, and a smile for your fellow travelers who are just as grateful as you are to be out and about.
*PhoneSoap Go has been tested by an independent, 3rd party laboratory to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, H1N1, Coronavirus 229E, Staphylococcus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus. It has been tested on actual phones, Apple watch, headphones, credit cards, and keys. PhoneSoap 3 has also been tested to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, H1N1, rotavirus, and rhinovirus using a modified ASTM E1153 and ASTM E1053-11 for efficacy of UV light on general hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, metals, and plastics. Real world results may vary depending on size, shape, and material of phone or phone case.