Covid has had quite a dent in our summer holiday travel plans this year and most definitely our upcoming holiday plans as well, don't you think? Taking off on a plane or even heading out to a restaurant or the pool has become a matter of a health risk and simply put, a pain in the butt. Maybe you had plans to go somewhere on a plane or even just out to eat... news flash! the world had different plans. Point is, I think we are all getting a little bit of cabin fever. So, I'll give you some ideas and pointers on how to give yourself the gift of releasing your stress and getting out safely this year .
Safe outdoor activities during the coronavirus pandemic are those that allow for social distancing and don’t go against any ordinances in your particular area to do them. For instance, if you live in an area where nonessential travel is advised against, it wouldn’t be a good idea to drive to an outdoor space. (Restrictions on movement are also thought to help prevent the spread of disease from high-case areas.) Some cities or towns may have also closed outdoor spaces like parks, beaches, or outdoor fields and athletic courts. So outdoor activities that don’t pass muster right now include group activities in highly populated areas.
8 Ideas for Getting Out and Inspired During Covid and Staying Safe
Simple Outdoor Activities
1. Neighborhood Activities:
link, but take a look if you live in an urban area, you might have the same thing. In a 2020 study published in Environment and Behavior, people experiencing chronic life stress who spent 40 minutes walking outside in nature experienced greater decreases in the stress hormone cortisol than those who walked either indoors on a treadmill or who watched nature programming on TV for the same amount of time.
2. Explore your town from your car window.
Tips for Travel During Covid
3. Camping during Covid:
Tips on camping during Covid:
Going to a National Park or Campsite
- Make sure where you want to go is open! Check the National Park Service’s find-a-park website to see if the park is closed or partially closed (restrooms and food services, in particular), for limits on numbers of visitors, and other rules like mask-wearing. Avoid group activities that involve close contact and practice social distancing at camp sites. (We just had a recent story of coming back through Yosemite from Death Valley. We thought we'd try to bi-pass going all the way around the mountains which would add on 2 hours and go through the Tioga Pass. NOPE. We traveled 20 minutes into the ranger station, only to discover that they were not letting people pass through unless they had a resie. WTF!?! Well, just be prepared and read up is my reco!)
- have a backup plan: Camp in your backyard! We've done it, it's not too shabby and an adventure for everyone, plus you are close to a nice indoor bathroom whenever you need it.
- try to contact the BLM (no, not Black Lives Matter, but the Bureau of Land Management) to find places that are off the grid and are still available to camp.
- Rent an RV or Airstream. This way, the only thing you need to worry about is stopping for gas. Lots of RV sites are open along the open road. Stock up on food before you go and you're all set!
4. Stay in Your Backyard
5. Not a Camper, Glamping during Covid.
6. Airbnb and Hotels: Prepare yourself with Precautions to take during Covid
Number One Tip for Staying in an Airbnb, Hipcamp or Hotel
We live in a crazy time. There is no passively "pussy-footing" around it, we need to be screening people, friends and potential places we stay on their cleaning protocol. It's actually pretty refreshing that we can be so bold. So, call up the place you're staying. Ask whether properties are cleaned according to public health guidelines, such as the WHO’s accommodation sector advice.
7. Out for the Day
Take a trip to the beach or to wine country (like in our own Napa Valley). Again, take precautions and call before you go. Many wineries are doing private masked wine tastings. At some beaches, that are still open, there is a strong recommendation to stay 6-feet away. I personally like this beach (pictured below) in France where they've taken the measuring tape out of the equation for you. Let's be honest, most people are not as careful as we are. If you want to dine out, call in advance and ask if they can accommodate you outside, if their tables are 6-feet apart from others, and if the waiters are masked. Make a yummy picnic to bring along or buy our gift box Summer Picnic to start off your travel picnic accessories.
Photo: Clement Mahoudea
8. Road Trip
Many people are taking to the road this year. Rentals and purchases of travel vans and Winnebagos are up. Get your groceries delivered before you head out, you have a bathroom on board, and RV spots at campsites are way easier to find off the side of the highway. I know many families, ours included, that planned ahead. We planned meals before we left (instead of going out to eat), kept a cooler of ice on hand for the road, invested in an external storage bag from Thule for our Prius, and only stopped for gas where we went. We researched before we left and had an Airbnb as a final destination.
Travel during Covid is risky. Before you go find out more about groceries, gas stations and rest stops (size and cleanliness of bathrooms there). Traveling to another city or country—requires new protocols. Follow policies about lockdown restrictions and mandatory quarantines, both at home and at your planned destination. The CDC provides links to the rules of each state’s and territory’s health departments. Many international borders remain closed to nonessential travel, and some countries also limit domestic travel between regions.