Is it Really Safe to Travel?

*Article featured in the October 2021 issue of Scoop Magazine.

Travel is back and booming! With so many people anxious to get away after the lockdowns from covid, airlines are finding it difficult to keep up with the demand. While lots of people have been several places domestically and internationally since the end of quarantine, others still have concerns as the coronavirus continues to develop into different variances, claiming the lives of several thousand monthly.

So, is it safe? The best approach is to research the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations at www.cdc.gov. Next, allow that information along with your inner gauge to be your guide. We are all different, so discovering the comfort level of you and your family is key to having not only a safe but an enjoyable vacation.

Consider this, would you rather go on a cruise along with about 5,000 people or take a five to 22 day U.S. coastal cruise on a smaller ship that has a maximum capacity of 190 people? Yes, there really are several smaller cruise ships that tour only in America. Would you rather take your kids to the nearest amazing water theme park or book a hotel a few hours away that has a waterslide attached to the pool where they can play for a friendlier price?

Currently, travelers regardless of vaccination status must have a negative covid test to enter the U.S. This includes citizens. Therefore, would you prefer to travel internationally knowing that if you test positive for COVID you may find yourself staying longer than expected vs. domestic travel to destinations you and your spouse have never seen or experienced before? There is no right or wrong answer. The main thing to remember is you have a plethora of options if you are willing to be flexible and think outside the box.

When contemplating if you should travel and where you should go, a big consideration should be your mental and emotional state of mind. Can you hold out for the rest of 2021 and possibly 2022? If you are worried about a crowd at a resort, can you rent a beach house? If flying or driving to the beach is beyond your means, why not try a lake or cabin rental?

The Midwest is full of lake houses and cabins, even right here in the state of Indiana. Have you ever been to Colfax or Michigan City? It may seem strange, however, Michigan City is in Indiana and home to the Indiana Dunes National Park and Washington Park Beach.

The options for travel are limitless. There is no need to plan something extravagant unless you desire. Just keep it simple and safe! Now, while you are thinking about traveling or continuing to travel, be sure to watch for travel scams. We will talk about this next month! Happy Traveling!

Solo Female Travel

It is more common than you think. According to Forbes Magazine, nearly two-thirds of today’s travelers are women. The internet is full of captivating and vibrant travel destinations for solo women. Also, there are plenty of suggestions on ways to stay safe and tips to keep in mind. As a travel lover, travel agent, and someone who is working to become a successful travel journalist,  I have got a few tips and tricks of my own.

  1. Safety First. Although you may not have any fears or apprehensions about traveling alone, always make sure someone knows where you are going, when you have arrived, and when you plan to return. Also, give specifics like what hotel you will be staying in just in case something happens to your mobile phone and you are unreachable.
  2. Do not rely on your GPS. It seems like we never think they will fail. However, it does not take much for the signal to become interrupted and to hear the dreaded words, “GPS signal lost.” Be shrewd. Keep a printed copy of the directions and review them before you leave home if you are driving. If you are flying and plan to pick up a rental, it is still a good idea to have in mind locations you would like to visit and directions to and from the hotel.
  3. Watch for strangers. This is obvious but even more so when you are traveling internationally. Some areas are not safe for solo travels, whether you are male or female. Less savory people exist everywhere and prey on travelers, especially those who are alone. Be aware of your surroundings. If you are renting a home for your vacation and not a hotel, learn about the owner. The owner has a key. Sadly, there have been instances.
  4. Do your homework. Research the area you intend to travel from top to bottom. Know what to expect. Use Google Maps and study the area. Ask your travel agent as many questions as possible. Learn all you need to know until you are comfortable.
  5. Be prepared. As we try to understand what the “new normal” is and how to adjust it is important to have a plan for if the worse should happen. What if you get sick while traveling? It may be a wiser decision to travel domestically at this time. If you become sick your family and friends can get to you a lot easier if you are in need. Just calling overseas can cause financial hardship on an individual, and what if you become sick enough to become hospitalized?
  6. Get Travel Insurance. I cannot stress enough the importance of travel insurance. Should the worse happen, sickness, loss of luggage, flight cancelations, depending on the plan, you are covered!