HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY THIS SUMMER

Summertime and the Living is Easy—Perhaps Not So Much

“Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine”

                        Seals and Croft

To all my BoomerGal followers, if you’re joining us this week the good news is that you’re here and hopefully healthy and safe.  I am fortunate in my family that we haven’t had anyone test positive for the coronavirus, nor have we lost anyone through our friends and business colleagues groups.  Several times a week I speak to the nursing home where my parents are both residents.  At this time, no one has contracted the virus and my parents are still doing quite well and being well-cared for.  So, ‘whoohoo’ for all the good news!

Now, for what we will be facing this summer.  We should be enjoying our summer months filled with all kinds and varieties of travel as we’re used to doing, but unfortunately, this summer is vastly different.  We have been in the throws of a national and global pandemic and shutdown and our lives have been disrupted in so many ways.  Businesses are still shuttered; restaurants are open on a take-out or outdoor seating only; government and health experts continue to differ on proper hygiene and virus prevention techniques; large gatherings are a hot spot for transmission of viruses and germs; cruise ships are idle; airplane transport is active but with limited capacities; and travel in general during what we would normally associate with summertime is sporadic and quite uncertain.

How’s that for an overview of doom and gloom.  And, in a way, it is gloomy.  Nearly 48% of those living in the United States have cancelled summer travel plans due to the coronavirus.  The financial impact on those folks suggest nearly half lost money on non-refundable airline, hotel bookings and travel tours.  Upcoming plans are being reconsidered as well.  Here are several interesting facts as supported by my sourcing.

  • Roughly 43% reporting feeling more negative about the industry as a whole, and only 15% feeling more positive.
  • And a whopping 52% being fearful of overseas travel and accommodations.
  • Additionally, 55% indicating they were less likely to take a cruise once the pandemic is over, assuming that we exit out of this nightmare.  
  • 61% – 65% of baby boomers are less likely to cruise and travel internationally post pandemic.
  • Good news for the insurance industry—40% of consumers said they’re more likely to purchase travel insurance for future trips.
  • And this one really hurts, more than one third of Americans don’t expect to use all of their paid time off this year—the stay at home vacation or single day trips are becoming the rage, and many are reallocating funds to cover other expenses.

All this being said, not everything is so doomy and gloomy.  Many boomers are planning a celebratory trip once the pandemic is over, somewhere between 6 months to a year out.  And those same boomers are contributing to record recreational vehicle sales.  Never before in the industry has there ever been this amount of excitement for the family getaway.  Driving trips, regardless of your choice in vehicles, are still in vogue.

I just had to throw in a picture of how we used to travel…ah the good times.
The family getaway–dry camping at its best.

‘Make Your Own Sunshine’

Anonymous

Here at BoomerGal, we tend to focus on the celebratory side of things.  That certainly doesn’t mean jumping on just any bandwagon and booking your wanderlust.  It means taking it slow and being sensible.  You might want to book as far out as possible and make certain you use a credit card that offers insurance.  If for some reason your credit card does not offer travel insurance, then go to a third-party travel insurance company.  This will at least give you some peace of mind to help satisfy your desire to get out.

If booking this kind of expense is a bit too robust for your thinking, then I suggest you make use of the surroundings where you live.  So often we overlook the hidden gems that nature has provided along with other sights and sounds right out your front door.  Several weeks ago I posted a “day trip” blog that featured some of the finest vineyards in southern California, namely the Temecula Valley Wineries.  It was a simple effort to jump in the car loaded with plenty of water and snacks to go visit these magnificent vineyards and tour the adjoining hotels, restaurants, wine tasting, and in some cases, the barrel rooms themselves.  Of course, not everyone has access to such grandeur ten minutes from their home, but I have friends living all over this fine country that have the same proximity access to equal beauty.  

My best friend who lives in Ilwaco, Washington has the Pacific Ocean out her front window and some of the finest hiking beaches in the world.  If you live nearby, the beaches in Oregon and Washington can be an easy day trip and be sure to bring your kites, so they can fly unencumbered.  

My good friends in Michigan have a world of fun things to do, either as day trips or weekend excursions—kayaking, visiting some of the most spectacular sand dunes in North America, taking in the finest car museums, traveling to Mackinac Island and the famed Victorian Grand Hotel and jumping on a bicycle because cars are not allowed and a whole bunch of other worthwhile ventures within a day’s drive.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island–an absolute treasure.

My husband’s best high school classmate friend lives in Helena, Montana with the environs of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks inside an easy day or two drive.  

The unimaginable beauty of Glacier National Park

My sister lives in Colorado Springs.  Wow…there is so much to do within an easy day drive:  The Air Force Academy (you can never tire of this); the old mining towns such Durango and Cripple Creek; the elegant Broadmoor Hotel; red rock country and The Garden of the Gods; the fine selection of museums in Denver; the ski towns whether during the summer or winter are always an attraction; and the list of day trips goes on and on.

The Garden of the Gods, just outside Colorado Springs

The point being, there is so much outside your front door to explore, and even do it again if you’ve done it before.  You’ll always see something new and memorable.  If you absolutely have to book a major trip, then by all means do it.  If not, and if you wish to error on the side of caution and lower risk, take a day trip and do it with just you, or include a family member or good friend.  The other really important factor of taking day trips is that you don’t have a hotel, AirBNB, bed and breakfast, or other accommodation in which you feel compelled to clean and disinfect upon arrival.  Remember, we’re still living under the canopy of COVID-19, and all bets are on when it comes to your health and safety.

Oh, and don’t forget to pay special attention to your little loved ones, puppies and kitties, dogs and cats.  It’s hot out there, so make sure they stay cool and have plenty of fluids to protect their little bodies.  

Be sure to tune into my next blogs over the coming weeks when I feature several more interesting day trips.  Just by reading and viewing the photos will hopefully inspire you to look outside your window and explore.  

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see”

Theodore Roethke

Editorial contribution by Jacqueline DeMarco; and sourcing provided by http://www.valuepenguin.com/news

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