The year 2021 promises some positive changes in the travel industry as the world works tirelessly to make conditions safe. Though progress has been made toward resolving the international health crisis at hand, there are still many unknowns. As the situation progresses, travelers must still be careful to stop the spread.
So before you start packing your family’s extra large canvas tote bags for a fun weekend, look before you leap. If you take measures to make your trip socially-distanced and safe, you can have a great time. Here are the best socially-distanced travel ideas for 2021.
The best way to make sure you’re in as little contact with people as possible is to drive or rent a vehicle. You’ll be in total control of who you travel with, where you go, and when you depart. Though it takes longer to drive, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of exposure to possible germs that could happen in-flight or on a long train ride. To pass the time, bring electronics in your laptop bags so that everyone can watch downloaded movies and play video games.
Though many hotspots are making it safer to go on vacation, they are still not risk-free. To be safe, try to avoid places where there will be crowds and lines. A safe vacation spot would be somewhere remote or exclusive, such as an all-inclusive resort, a rental beach house, or a hotel by the beach. These all-inclusive destinations also enable you to pack light, with just a backpack if you prefer, because many conveniences and entertainment are onsite.
As the temperatures warm up, spending time outside provides some of the safest conditions for socially-distanced travel. Consider an adventurous camping trip where you can get plenty of fresh air and spend the days hiking, fishing, swimming, and grilling. Costs stay low, and you can wear all your favorite comfy hoodies by the campfire on cool nights.
If you’re into daycations, take a stroll through one of America’s famous national parks like The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Even if there are a fair number of visitors, the open air and sunshine make it easier to keep an appropriate distance and be safe. Be sure to keep your masks and hand sanitizer with you for when you can’t avoid keeping a six-foot distance.
Want to do something fun, relaxing, and away from everyone? Rent a boat or jet skis and enjoy the waters in solitude. There are many peaceful lakes all around the country — so head over to one near you and check out what resources are there. Many lakes are near campgrounds and have marinas from which you can rent boats and jet skis.
If you plan on spending time with people from other households, testing can give everyone peace of mind. As tests become more available and convenient to access, you can get great peace of mind when your entire travel party confirms a negative test. Be sure to isolate yourself before and after the test to make sure you’re not taking the risk of additional potential exposure. Things will get easier as time progresses, especially after vaccines become available. Plan your trip to happen two weeks after your intended vaccination date, which is when the antibodies should be in full effect. Still, even with these measures, continue to wear your mask and keep six feet apart if the airline service you're using requests it.
Pro tip: If you want to go to a different country, be aware of their rules before you book your flight. Some countries may mandate testing before you can enter, which makes it imperative that you confirm a negative test before you go on the plane in the first place to not waste time.
One of the biggest hits to travel happened when the cruise industry was interrupted. This year, though, more safety precautions will be in place. So far, cruises are still in the early phases of reopening, so more options will become available in the spring of 2021 and beyond. If you do decide to go on a cruise — and show off that amazing new swimsuit — be sure to get tested before your trip and to stick to all their social distancing protocols on board. As the situation around the world develops, current regulations will be reevaluated. No matter what happens, travel with caution.
There are plenty of ways to vacation safely when social distancing advisories are in place. We hope you plan something fun for 2021.