The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the travel industry. According to World Nomads, many countries have closed their borders to tourism. Plus, the public is generally wary of the heightened risk of infection that traveling brings. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have any adventures in the age of COVID. There are ways to see the world safely – and they don’t require a private jet.
Despite the pandemic, modern technology generally allows for safer, easier, and more cost-efficient journeys than in the past. CityPals is uniquely designed to connect holiday-goers with locals. It is one great example of how tech simplifies vacations. Read on for more tips, tools, and tricks to plan a COVID-friendly holiday on a budget.
Make your car your primary means of transport
According to the CDC, certain modes of transportation pose a higher risk of infection. Air travel is one culprit because it requires standing in lines and waiting areas with large groups of people. Also, sitting in a plane means sharing a confined and poorly ventilated space with a crowd. Look for destinations you can get to via car. VroomVroomVroom offers a list of road trip hotspots across the U.S., from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway to the Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon.
When preparing for your road trip, take steps to ensure a safe and cost-efficient journey. For example, you can download the GasBuddy app to find the cheapest spots to fuel up on your route. The Local Tourist has more ideas on how to save money on a road trip, from planning a route that skips tolls to bringing a cooler so you can easily bring your own snacks. If you’re a coffee drinker, packing an electric kettle and ready-made coffee can also save big bucks.
Look for apartment-style accommodation to save money and stay healthy
Staying in a hotel presents COVID problems. For example, in high-rise accommodation, you’ll have to take the elevator – a confined space with high-touch surfaces. According to CBS News, hotels are among the highest-risk places for getting and spreading COVID. Instead, look for apartments via platforms like Airbnb. Ideally, you will have your own entryway and a kitchen. As Vagabond Journey points out, this also allows you to prepare meals yourself and save money on food.
Invest in COVID-friendly safety gear to minimize infection risk
Regardless of how you travel and where you stay, traveling in the COVID-19 age requires some additional safety precautions. NerdWallet recommends packing disinfecting wipes, gloves, and hand sanitizer. It’s also worth investing in a contactless credit card if you don’t already have one. You can save money on this kind of gear using internet coupons and promotions. For example, reputable retailers like Kohls often offer deals online.
Find affordable activities via local resources
Avoid tourist trap prices when traveling by looking for local attractions. Wherever you go, take a look at an area’s cultural institutions, and museums for ideas on what’s going on. Whenever possible, get tips from people who live in the area. CityPals is one way to do this, allowing you to meet local people and find fun experiences nearby. You can easily search by location to find out what’s going on in an area. This increases the odds of finding activities off the beaten path, which are likely to be more affordable.
COVID-19 has definitely changed the way people travel. It doesn’t mean travel is impossible, however. Follow the above tips and you can still plan an affordable and fun vacation.
Written By: Jesse Clark from Soulful Travel