Summer is right around the corner, and with that comes the itch to satisfy your wanderlust. Perhaps, more than any travel before, hopping on a plane and reaching a tourist destination will feel so much more gratifying these days. After months and months of lockdown restrictions, Americans can largely breathe a sigh of relief. We’ve got news for you. A host of travel-worthy destinations are now welcoming Americans with open arms. These include Aruba, the Bahamas, South America, and Europe.
That’s the good part. The not-so-good part is you really can’t put your guard down these days. To boot, the federal government recommends you get fully vaccinated. As much as you want to spend your much-needed vacation and have the time of your life, you really can’t afford to lose your head while the virus is still out there.
Top of the list of essential things you need to do is book a hotel — unless you want to backpack in the countryside and sleep whenever tired eyes find you. However, especially these days, staying at a hotel is a safer bet—the right ones to be exact.
It’s easy to forget what matters most when you’re on an adventure. That’s why having a hotel checklist should serve your purpose. After all, it may be second nature for men to see the world. But these days, it’s best done with wary eyes.
Choose a Destination Wisely
This is a big one. No amount of safety protocols can help you if you book a hotel in a country teeming with COVID-19 infections. So, be strategic about it. Do your due diligence and research the place you’re about to fly to. Better yet, you can refer to government authorities and give them a call. You’d rather exert some effort to keep yourself safe now before you fly than be caught in the middle of a virus-ravaged city.
The death of Govind Kant, a leading solar power Australian businessman, who failed to book a plane from India back to his home country after catching the virus is one such recent example.
You still need to take the necessary precautions even if you find a good place to stay. Hotels in a country with minimal COVID-19 infections have a lower risk. Nevertheless, you can’t let your guard down as people from different countries check into the establishment.
Know the Hotel’s COVID-19 Protocols Ahead
A good next step for you is to check ahead to determine the hotel’s safety protocols regarding virus safety. To boot, you need to know if they’re enforcing wearing masks and social distancing. Are these guidelines well advertised and on display, or are they just paying lip service? How about the hotel staff?
Additionally, you need to know if there are safety protocols if someone gets sick. You really can’t afford to be left on your own in case you’re not feeling all too well. So, check if the hotel has medical staff on call just in case. Also, know if there are medical centers nearby.
Sanitize Your Room ASAP
You really can’t be so trusting. Although it’s a common practice for hotels to sanitize rooms, doing it yourself is best. Sanitize high-touch areas (e.g., doorknobs, remotes, bathroom handles, and tables). While you’re doing all the cleaning, make a habit of washing your hands as well. That way, no virus will ever touch your face and enter your respiratory system.
Additionally, there’s no need to worry about HVAC spreading the virus. There’s really no solid data that show the virus can spread through air conditioning units. So just sit back and relax. The industrial air conditioning system in your hotel is there to keep you as comfy as possible. If you really want to improve the air quality, let fresh air in (assuming you can open the windows). Good ventilation decreases the risk of airborne disease spreading.
Wear a Mask and Keep Your Distance
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a place where CDC guidelines are not enforced. You should still wear a mask and keep your distance—at least 6 feet. That way, you stay protected. Even if you’re on vacation mode, the pandemic is still a reality we have to contend with.
Beware of People
Keep your exposure to a minimum. The rule of thumb is to avoid human encounters as much as possible, at least with people you don’t know.
To implement this rule, you can decline housekeeping services. Or if you need cleaning, then make sure the hotel staff wears a mask. But don’t be so sure. It’s best you don’t engage in small talk. Improper use of masks can mean cause droplets to spread.
The biggest threat that you may encounter is when you’re eating. You really can’t put your mask on when you do that. So, as much as possible, avoid the hotel’s restaurants and bars—instead, order room service.
It may sound as if you’re a hermit avoiding any contact with strangers. But you’re better off safe than sorry. Think about it. When you’re healthy, you can enjoy your vacations to the wide range of destinations out there.