We came back to British Columbia in March and hunkered down for 3 months during the major uncertainty of COVID-19. As things opened up and travel throughout BC and Alberta become possible, we immediately jumped on the opportunity. We have learned a lot during this time. Here are our top 10 tips for safer travel during COVID-19.
In Airbnb’s, especially independent homes or cabins we have much more control over our surroundings. There are no common spaces and therefore much less possible exposure.
2. Location, Location, Location
We research each destination as it relates to COVID cases prior to departure. Since our main priority is nature and trails we are able to choose smaller locales with less people and hopefully less transmission.
With smaller towns, we also research the proximity and availability of health care should anything go wrong.
We request that the windows to our accommodation be left open prior to arrival. If that is not possible, we leave the door and windows open with a fan going for an hour upon arrival.
4. Stairs over Elevator
Since COVID is a respiratory disease, droplets “hang” in small unventilated spaces for a long time. Elevators unfortunately are some of the most dangerous spaces in a building. So get some exercise and take the stairs.
All accommodations claim to disinfect prior to arrival. Yet, someone is doing the disinfecting and touching the surfaces. So just in case, we bring our Lysol wipes and wipe down door knobs, switches, TV clicker, bathroom fixtures, headboard and all surfaces prior to bringing our things in.
6. No Housekeeping
We always have the DO NOT DISTURB sign on our door. This has been our rule even pre-COVID. Since some accommodations do not provide such a sign, we always carry one with us. If you need anything, the front desk will provide whatever you need.
7. Cooking Kit
We car travel with a cooking kit. In it is an induction hot plate, a 2.5 litre pot (with a straining lid), a frying pan, BPA free containers, cutting knife, flipper, flexible cutting board, spices and some cutlery. Everything fits into a collapsible zippered bag. This way we only have to expose ourselves to one grocery store visit per week instead of multiple restaurants per day. And it is a heck of a lot easier with my vegan diet.
8. Longer Stays
Instead of exposing ourselves to many new places (and the travel stops in between), we stay for longer periods of time. If a hotel does not offer a longer stay discount, it never hurts to call and ask. We have been pleasantly surprised. As an added bonus, Airbnb usually has a discount for stays of a week or longer.
9. Mask on, 2 meters Apart and Kindly Vocal
Prior to leaving the car or the accommodation, we mask up. We make sure to stay 2 meters (6 feet) away from others at all times. Occasionally, others are not as vigilant. We kindly ask others to give us the space to pass, stop and wait for others, jump off the trail, etc., Sometimes in an idyllic place folks forget about the virus – that is a good thing. A gentle reminder usually does the trick.
10. Choose Activities Wisely
As we have learned, outdoor activities (with proper social distancing) are safer than indoor ones. Our travel is usually focused on nature and the great outdoors. We research the trails and park information in advance of our travel to make sure that we can stay safe. High up in the alpine, on our mountain bikes the closest beings to us are usually bears, wild horses and deer. And we love that!
Have you been traveling safely during these COVID-19 times? Do you have any tips to add? We would love to hear from you.