While the COVID-19 vaccinations have been going well so far, the general public may not yet get their first doses until May 1, at least in the U.S. As such, many Americans will greet spring without the immunization. But still, the future’s looking bright, considering the growing number of people getting the shots. Even if you’re not yet immune now, your chances of acquiring the virus from going out are already reduced. But of course, that’s not your cue to take off your masks.
If you really want to travel this spring, you definitely can, but not without observing health protocols. As with before, the wearing of masks and social distancing are still highly encouraged, and even required in many business establishments. New cases are still rising, after all.
To avoid contributing to the new cases, make your vacation extra safe by choosing places and activities with the lowest risks for COVID-19. You can still have your friends or family join you, but consider their risk levels as well; if you’re traveling with a senior adult, or someone with a compromised immune system, that’s another reason to keep to the safe places and activities.
The Safest Types of Vacations For 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider hiking on local trails a safe form of exercise during the pandemic. As long as you keep your distance from your fellow hikers, and wear your mask, your risks for catching the virus will stay low. If you need a buddy, it’s wiser to choose someone from your household, or those very close to you with no previous exposure to the virus.
Avoid places where hikers typically gather, like picnic tables. Choose a rest or eating area that’s open and sparsely crowded. Try to avoid using public restrooms as well; the reason the CDC specifically stated that “local trails” is so that you can stay close to home. If you’re camping on your trail, consider a primitive location where you can relieve yourself in the wilderness. The risks may be lower in those types of trails. However, if other hikers are in the same area as you, then just opt for a local trail near home.
2. Yoga Retreat
You’re surely still stressed from everything you went through last year — the uncertainties, decreased income, being away from your friends, and more. As such, a yoga retreat will nourish your soul and restore your optimism.
The big changes you’ll see in yoga retreats are less crowded classes, fewer classes on the schedule, contact-less in-person classes, mask policies, bring-your-own equipment mandates, and possibly, higher prices. The mask policies may actually force many studios to remain closed because deep breaths are crucial in yoga. So if masks disrupt your yogi breaths, consider sticking to online yoga classes for now. But if your area has already lifted the mask policy, book your first in-studio classes in months, and don’t forget to socially-distance.
3. Private Vacation Rentals
If you want to swim, grill barbecue, sing karaoke, and more, just rent a private vacation house to enjoy all of those without risking others. Hotels may be doing their best to stay virus-free, but the fact that you share the space with other guests puts you at risk no matter what. However, a private vacation house may not be as safe either if you share it with people from other households. So to ensure everyone’s good health, rent the place with your housemates or with your close friends who live close.
4. Horseback Riding
Trail riding will be safer if you use your own proper horseback riding equipment. If you have to borrow a saddle and a bridle, at least wear your own gloves, and of course, bring your hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes.
Again, avoid trail riding with people outside your household, and handling the horses they’ve ridden. Also, steer clear of public hitching posts when you need to tie your horse. If possible, tie your horse to your own trailer.
Choose less-traveled trails to avoid the throng of other horseback riders. If you’re riding with a group, maintain your distance, unless you’re all from the same household. Ensure that you’re used to horseback riding, because getting injured may force you to seek care from a hospital, which may be filled with COVID-19 patients.
5. Fishing or Hunting
Fishing is a calm outdoor activity that doesn’t require close contact with many people. In fact, a lake is probably the safest place to be in right now, as per Neil Schaffner, M.D., an endocrinologist based in Opelika, Alabama. You’ll only face a risk when you use the gas pump because other fishers have used it too.
Hence, Dr. Schaffner advises keeping your hands protected while fishing. Wear gloves, preferably surgical ones, but work gloves will also work. Use a paper towel to hold the gas pump, so that you can keep your gloves as clean as possible,
It may be a little more inconvenient to travel now because of the health protocols, but this might be our normal for a few more years. It’s better to be extra cautious than sick.