LaConner, WA

#24HR Tripper COVID Version

I started 2020 on a new path.  To travel more and write more about it. I even coined the hashtag #24hrtripper on social media. Then we all know what happened and the travel industry is decimated. As places reopen people have slowly begun to travel again, but can we travel safely….

LaConner, WA
Bridge in La Conner WA

What is unfortunate is that some people refuse the slightest inconvenience of wearing a mask. Before this goes into any finger wagging I want to share a podcast from research and shame expert Brené Brown called Shame and Accountability. One takeaway for me was this: people will do anything to avoid feeling shame. In other words, shame is the least effective tool to get people to change their behavior.

If you are traveling for business or personal reasons the CDC has some recommendations here. While hotels, airlines and destinations have instituted cleaning protocols restrictions are not lifting for many destinations. If you’re choosing to travel click over here for some recent experiences from some travel experts. And here are some suggestions:

Be Accountable and Be Prepared

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Wear your mask in public, in restaurants, in parks and hiking. Yeah if there’s no one around I have taken mine off. But when I can’t stay 6 feet away, it’s on, hiking or not. I also have sanitizer in my purse, in the car, wipes in the bags. I also have a first aid kit, extra medication, extra mask, extra everything. I have paper maps in case I’m out of cell phone range. I have alternative spots to visit in case an area is crowded. Are you prepared to use the most disgusting porta potty on the road? And can you trace where you’ve been in case a contact tracer needs that information? Yep, be that prepared and accountable.

Travel Local

Road Trip within your locality. Stay close to home so that you aren’t stuck a plane ride away and with the potential to make others sick if you get sick. You’re also supporting your local tourism industry. Can anyone say “Reading Vacation” while staying in a cabin in the off-season? Or stay at that local resort that you’ve always wanted to stay and order room service?

Pack Food

We selected lots of dried fruits, jerky, PB & J sandwiches and other less perishable items, along with a cooler full of ice, fresh fruit and some frozen water in bottles. Not only are you saving funds, but you’re limiting your exposure. Oh, and now you have those extra PB & J sandwiches to take on the trail of the hike that was a little longer than you thought.

Stay Local

Boreas Inn, Long Beach WA

Stay at a small B&B. Look for rooms with their own bathroom. The less people you are exposed to, the better. Stay masked unless you’re in your room. Keep your windows open if you can. And you’re supporting local people running a small business. Or can you find a VBRO with a kitchen so you can buy some groceries where you are and cook? You’re putting money into the local economy, a winning idea.

Play Outdoors

Instead of museums see mountains instead. Go for that long drive through the mountains. Find those remote beaches that aren’t built to the seawall, more rural lakes and rivers. Find that state park in the middle of no where and take a walk in nature. Just because there aren’t 5 star reviews somewhere doesn’t mean it’s not worth going. If you’re taking a mindful hike, the journey is the payoff, not the destination. Maybe there are less amenities but that also might mean less people. Fly a kite. Enjoy a bike ride. Take all the pictures you want! Outdoor yoga on the beach, yes!

Discovery Trail, Long Beach, WA

Do Less

I’d like to call this the anti-travel list part. The definition of vacation is an extended period of leisure. Instead of covering hundreds of miles in a day plan a trip around spending hours reading, relaxing and unwinding. Stress contributes to illness. Spend less time on completing a travel itinerary and more time sleeping in.

Check Before You Go

We went to an area not knowing it was a hot spot. We figured out quickly why: massive amounts of mask-less people on packed trails. It was stressful. We went back to our hotel room and hid for the rest of the trip. The next time we adventured, we researched and found a great place and had a great time.

A few months ago I attended a virtual summit put on by the Travel and Adventure Shows. One of the key takeaways for me was until there is some form of rapid testing, we are going to have to learn to live with this virus for a while. So when in doubt, I’ll be staying home boosting my mood by planning my next travel adventure.

#24hrtripper #24hrtrips #travelsafely #travelaccountability #travellocal

Published by

Jennie Olson Six

I'm an actor/writer who loves cats enough to become a crazy cat lady but my husband won't support my habit.