After months spent indoors at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear that many people are itching to get back out there and take a vacation. This is with good reason. Staying isolated for too long can take a substantial toll on one’s mental health and well-being, according to the American Psychological Association.
If you still feel uncomfortable with going far from your home for a travel experience however, traveling domestically can be a step in the right direction. There are lots of great places to visit a few hours’ drive from your home that you probably didn’t think of! Whether you’re looking for a beach stay, or some nature, exploring options close to home can allow for an escape you and your family want, and in a safe environment, such as an apartment or home vacation rental. And it’s an increasingly popular choice. According to trivago, a global accommodation metasearch provider, the share of users clicking on deals for such vacation rentals increased by 5 percent from February to June 2020, both in the U.S. and internationally.
As you book and plan your travel, here are a few tips to consider to help ensure you have a healthy and safe experience:
• DIY CLEANING: If you are worried about cleaning standards, consider seeking out accommodations where you don’t have to worry about someone else coming into your space during your stay. Bring your own wipes, anti-bacterial soap and other supplies and wipe down surfaces when you arrive, and as often as needed. Of course, you should always check with your accommodation provider about their hygiene standards to make sure they meet your expectations. Major hotel chains have announced special cleaning protocols in light of the coronavirus.
• BEATING THE CROWDS: From beach houses to mountain cabins, try to look for a vacation experience away from densely populated city destinations — a good choice for those wanting to beat the crowds.
• STAYING ACTIVE: Getting away doesn’t have to mean staying indoors somewhere new. Take a leisurely stroll on a beach. Go on a hike in the mountains. Explore a national park you’ve always wanted to see. Brunch at a small local café. There are plenty of ways to stay active and have fun, all while following social distance guidelines.
• CHOOSING YOUR DESTINATION: So where is everybody going? The current most popular U.S. travel destinations by click share according to trivago are:
- LAS VEGAS
- MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.
- PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLA.
- VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
- DESTIN, FLA.
- MIAMI BEACH, FLA.
- OCEAN CITY, MD.
- GALVESTON, TEXAS
- SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS
- ORLANDO, FLA.
- KEY WEST, FLA.
Whether you hit up a popular destination or head somewhere remote, make sure you adhere to local health guidelines when traveling. And above all, stay safe and healthy.