During COVID-19, many travelers have taken to the roads, planning road trips and day trips where they can control as much of their travel plans as possible.
Even more, have opted for local ‘staycations’- these may be simple day trips to outdoor locations or a short overnight, not far from home. Just enough to have a change of scenery.
The trouble is that many people are heading out on road trips or staycations and not sharing them with family and friends for fear of travel shaming.
We have friends from the northeast who traveled to Walt Disney World after seeing all of the precautions they have in place and then headed to a boutique hotel along the Gulf Coast. They have gone as far as a complete blackout on their social media, sharing nothing with family and friends until well after they arrived.
Being as close as we are to Walt Disney World, we have friends in the travel industry, who are Disney Cast Members, and others who are locals with Annual Passes. Looking at our social media, the number of people Disney-shaming is CRAZY!
But, it’s not just Disney or Florida. People are looking at friends and shaming them for taking road trips or going to beaches and attractions. We’ve done trips to local outdoor nature preserves, a local private beach, and a short staycation, waiting weeks before sharing anything publicly for fear of shaming.
Local Outdoor Dining and Your Comfort Level
Everyone traveling has a comfort level. A lot depends on your health and the number of at-risk people you might be around.
Personally, Chuck and I opted to cook a majority of our meals at home. We order takeout about once a week from places whose websites, social media, and reviews took appropriate precautions. However, we also resolved that if we went to pick up food and people were not wearing masks; we were leaving regardless of the financial cost.
We upped our game and got outside by visiting three local nature preserves. This allowed us to change the scenery, get some fresh air, and still stay physically distant from people. Wearing masks as necessary. Even with these local afternoons out, we held our photos and social media posts before posting.
On a few occasions, we have eaten dinner outside, which is not too hard to do as close as we are to the beach. We’ve walked out of an outdoor restaurant where servers were not wearing masks and completely avoided indoor dining.
Socially Distant Day Trips
Eighteen weeks after our initial lockdown, we took the next step. We made a day trip to a local museum and sculpture garden. (check out an upcoming blog).
We researched the property and knew that they required masks for entrance to the property. Entrance numbers were limited, and they had eliminated trams, some tours, and added sanitizing stations.
While people were permitted to remove masks in outdoor space, people were exceptionally mindful of anyone near them, and the gardens were practically empty. Indoors we found just a small number of visitors in each gallery.
And still, we did not share on social media for fear of people’s comments.
A Staycation and Your Comfort Level
We planned a socially distant day trip/staycation, traveling less than two hours from home with all outdoor activities and dining.
For us, we looked at many things to make us feel more comfortable.
1. We drove. We knew we were not ready to fly anywhere. It was our vehicle and a short drive.
2. We selected a larger chain hotel with a very detailed list of safety protocols and precautions listed on their website.
We felt as though if you are not taking time to post precautions on your website, you probably aren’t that serious about having them in place.
3. We looked for a private beach and other local outdoor activities where safety protocols were posted on their site.
4. We also chose a location with lots of local outdoor dining options. Takeout was an option as we purposely chose accommodations with a living room/dining option.
With all that said, we took bleach wipes and antibacterial spray and wiped down the entire hotel room when we arrived. Masks were a must, and we avoided any place where social distancing was not being practiced.
Have you taken a day trip or staycation during COVID-19, and how has your comfort level changed?