Have you been thinking about traveling now, or this summer ?
Here is what you need to know....
Besides the possible concerns of cancellations, delays and general upset from COVID,(Previously explained atouristlife.com/2020/06/08/the-new-normal/ ) the attitude of those around you is a major factor.
Over the Summer I decided it was time to do a road trip. 3200+ miles later, as expected, experience is key.
Many states had started lifting their COVID restrictions. This means, no longer requiring masks in public or by kitchen staff in restaurants. Several changes became effective as of April 4th and are not easily discoverable. Nearly a year later and again we are faced with daily confusion and mis information.
In my business I have access to tools that give COVID numbers by state or country and restrictions generally updated daily.
I also recommend only Hotels following strict protocols for cleaning and require masks by staff. ( let's see how well they really are doing)
Of these hotels, a few were in States that do not mandate masks.
In Pennsylvania we stayed at a Marriott Property and the protocols were followed well, however there were many dusty things in the room. Not sure if this was because they were still keeping rooms empty for 24-48 hrs. or they did not clean to the standards they promised to uphold. ( Prior to COVID I have often witnessed 4&5 Star properties lacking detail in cleaning unused items such as light fixtures & coffee makers).
Stopping along the interstate, I walked into a tiny rest area
with many unmasked people, what a wakeup call. I knew that the State (Georgia) did not have a mask law but that does not change the uncomfortable feeling after spending the last year in Hibernation.
We stayed in a IHG Property in North Carolina (a mask state ) and the staff followed protocol but did NOT enforce masks with the guests. We also wandered downtown and it was about 50/50 those wearing and not wearing a mask. The pub we ate at did follow the guidelines. There are plenty of wide open places to roam. Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway
www.blueridgeparkway.org or visit the Black Mountains.
Florida; we all have heard the horror stories and yet families walk around like nothing is wrong. Most stores have a mask required sign but nearly half the people do not follow it.
The numbers of positive cases per 100K is actually less in Florida than in NY State, even with the large number of spring breakers that had invaded the Miami area.
After being among the locals for a while it is easy to let your guard down. If you live here and have to work, it is impossible to be careful or safe. You are expected to tolerate everyone making their own choices. As a visitor, the option to be safe is especially difficult. Our final destination, another hotel on the list of COVID safe (adhering to safety rules) is very good, but not perfect.
Although many places offer outdoor dining, this is not an option in the evening with the bugs.
The majority of places do not require mask wearing by employees; some wear under their nose or under their chin.
In an area of approximately 100 miles, only ONE place was attempting to be safe. Wallace's Greenhouse wallacesgreenhouse.com/ All staff was wearing masks, tables are spaced apart and everyone is expected to wear a mask moving around the establishment.
I had researched the information before we left home, most do not keep their Websites or Facebook Pages up to date. The County health department does not have daily numbers like we do in our region.
If you have a major health concern, plan to take N95 masks or visit a region like Cooperstown where the Village has a mask mandate in addition to the New York State Law.