When it comes to traveling during the COVID pandemic, here are some helpful guidelines and some great ideas to wanderlust away from big crowds.
This is not a complete list and you should always check with your doctor for considerations tailored to your individual situation.
Helpful travel info
Your vaccination status may impact your travel. It’s important to research all local requirements, restrictions and situations for your destination; and understand policies and procedures when traveling by air or transport options. See the CDC guidance on traveling during COVID-19.
To help you get ready for travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, here are a few tips that can help. In addition to packing all your travel essentials; it’s recommended that you also pack some supplies such as:
- face masks – the CDC offers mask guidance on their website to help you learn more about what types of masks are appropriate and under what conditions
- alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
- disinfectant wipes (at least 70% alcohol) for surfaces
Like other medical decisions, the decision to get a vaccine is best made in partnership with your healthcare provider. The National MS Society also provides COVID-19 vaccine guidance for people living with MS. You can review the guidance and discuss with your doctor if you have any questions about what’s right for you.
Can you plan around the unexpected?
One way to limit COVID-19 exposure is avoid big crowds indoors. So now’s a great time to wander “off the beaten path.” Here are a few suggestions to help you literally think outside the box. And remember that many attractions—whether indoors or outside—are taking reservations during the pandemic to limit crowd size. So do your research and reserve early to ensure your spot!
Want to see some great art? Consider visiting an outdoor sculpture park or art installation. These are often great ways to experience art without close indoor contact. You can also research accessible options for viewing, such as wheelchair accessible paths.
Daytime a little too warm for a stroll? Zoos today are getting very creative with special nighttime exhibits. They may have special nocturnal animal viewings, but even more so, many offer great temporary exhibits involving specialized art or performances (such as artist-carved pumpkins in the fall, or Chinese lantern exhibits designed for nightime viewing).
Looking to take in some history? There are many unique ways to explore local history. Look for local walking tours that provide accessibility options. There are tours designed to taste local cuisines, explore local architecture, or if you like a bit of local lore, look for ghost tours and the like. These are usually a fun and whimsical way to learn about local history. You can also explore a historical site dedicated to sharing indigenous peoples, cultures and trades crafts, or viewing re-enactments of local historical events.
Ready to be entertained? Outdoor amphitheaters offer a great range of performances that include music, theater and comedy. Many outdoor performance areas allow you to bring in your own food and beverages for a great picnic under the stars…and while experiencing some great entertainment.
Just need a change of scenery? Today, many unique vacation rentals are a great option versus staying in a hotel. It can be a house, loft, cabin, or even RV. These unique options often have fully functioning kitchens, so bonus! You may be able to avoid eating at restaurants for every meal as well. But as the saying goes, buyer beware. Do your research, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable renter or firm, read up-to-date customer reviews (lots of them), and make sure there are no surprises like a five-story walkup you weren’t expecting!
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely uprooted pleasure travel. But with a little knowledge, planning, and the desire to seek experiences off the beaten path, you might just learn to love the wanderlust again.