It's that time of year where Idahoans will begin to plan their fall/winter vacations.  Most of us, will be very happy to see 2020 come to an end.  According to our friends at AAA in a new release, 3 out of 10 of us are planning to take a vacation between now and the end of the year.What does the mean for folks in Idaho?  How many of us will fly, drive, or use some other method to getaway?  AAA says over 500,000 Idahoans will take a rest.  How will Covid restrictions impact our ability have a good time?  (I cancelled my annual trip to the Oregon Coast because Lincoln City became a Covid hot spot.)

What about theme parks? Are they open?  AAA says Florida is open, but California is under restrictions including theme parks.  National Parks and ski areas expect to be the place where most folks will look to spend time away from home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to advise that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  But for those who make the very personal decision to travel, AAA recommends checking with state and local authorities for any restrictions that may be in place, including at their end destination and any stops along the way.

AAA has provided a safety list for pre-holiday and holiday travel. 

Planning a road trip during the pandemic

Travelers need to adapt to the “new normal” to protect their health and safety:

  • Plan ahead. AAA.com can help you determine which rest areas, gas stations and hotels are open along your route.  AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map also has the latest state and local travel restrictions.
  • Call ahead. Hotel and restaurant capacity may be limited during the pandemic.  Call ahead for restaurant reservations or to learn about curbside and carryout options to reduce your contact with other people.  Double-check the hotel’s availability and cancellation policy.
  • Bring the PPE. Pack face coverings, hand sanitizer, and a thermometer to check temperatures as needed.  Don’t travel if you’re sick.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean high-touch surfaces in hotel rooms, like light switches, remote controls, door handles, and phones.
  • As always, make sure your vehicle and emergency kit are ready for the road.

 

At the airport

  • TSA currently allows one liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice.
  • Don’t travel if you’re sick.
  • Stock up on snacks. Buy beverages and snacks once you’ve cleared security – many airlines are suspending in-flight beverage service.
  • Practice social distancing at the airport. Leave some space between you and other passengers even if you’re waiting in line to go through security or to board the plane.
  • Rental car companies have adopted extra sanitization measures in the wake of COVID-19.