Traveling to the Mountains during a Pandemic
Tips for Traveling During a Pandemic
As the world begins to reopen after the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many travelers are considering planning their next vacation. However, we all know that traveling is going to be very different than it was in the past. Long gone are the days of booking last minute vacations and traveling by the seat of our pants. Now, we are faced with potential travel complications, the increased need to prepare and plan ahead, and to reconsider the many “what ifs” that travel already gave us.
We know that travel seems unnerving at the moment, and that absolutely makes sense. The health recommendations change almost every single day, so it is important to make sure that traveling is the right decision for you at this time. At Rocky Mountain Getaways we are proud travel experts and we’ve been monitoring COVID-19 since it came on the map in December 2019. We want you to make thoughtful decisions when deciding to travel and we put together this guide to help you in the process. In addition to this guide, you should also refer to the current CDC Travel Considerations for the most updated information.
Pandemic Travel Tips
How to Plan for Travel Emergencies
We haven’t had to consider travel emergencies in the US as seriously as we do now since 9/11. We had to navigate 9/11 travel precautions with our customers and we are ready to do it again with COVID-19. The first thing we want to recommend to travelers is to purchase Travel Insurance. Even a simple policy can help tremendously if something goes wrong during your trip. While a cheaper policy may not cover you if you decide last minute that you do not want to travel, it will cover some of your expenses if things start to go wrong.
In March 2020 when the ski resorts in Colorado started shutting down, many of our clients relied on their travel insurance to make sure they could return home safely and receive some compensation for their adjusted travel itineraries. When planning ahead and seeing the value in travel insurance while traveling during a pandemic it is important to read your policy carefully to make sure you are covered in case of an emergency. Many policies will cover medical expenses if you need to visit a hospital or cover unexpected travel expenses if your plans change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Our next piece of advice is to make sure that you are working with a Vacation Consultant. We don’t just say that because it is our business, we say that because you will need an advocate if something goes wrong. When the ski resorts closed in March 2020, our customers had someone that could not only book transportation home quickly and safely, but could also fight for their refunds and to reschedule their trips. As you plan ahead with a Vacation Consultant you can trust that they will be booking your vacation with reputable airlines that have proven to be flexible as well as with property management companies that have flexible and forgiving cancellation policies. The travel industry is operating in a time when using automatic booking websites like Expedia or Booking.com isn’t your safest option for travel. While they are convenient, traveling during a pandemic requires reliable travel plans and quality customer service. Having the guidance of a Vacation Consultant will pay off in the long run.
Before You Travel
As you begin to pack your bags and prepare to enjoy your trip, you will need to consider a few things in order to travel responsibly. While we are a travel business, we also live and recreate in small mountain communities and it is important to us that our local population stays safe as well as our customers. Here are a few questions you should ask your group before traveling:
- Is COVID-19 spreading in my community?
- Is COVID-19 spreading in the community I am traveling to?
- Will anyone in my group be at high-risk if they get sick?
- Does anyone in my group have symptoms?
If you answered NO to all of those questions you should feel confident to travel safely, as long as you follow government health recommendations at your destination and when you return home.
If you answered YES to any of those questions, you may want to reevaluate your travel plans. Reach out to your doctor and your Vacation Consultant to discuss your options to travel safely or reschedule your trip.
Preparing to Travel
As many of us are aware, stores have been struggling to keep their shelves stocked with essential items and mountain communities have certainly felt the effects. For that reason we have a short list of items you should plan to bring with you when you travel to ensure your group and the community you travel to is safe.
- Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content
- Cloth face masks for everyone in your group
- Disinfectant wipes
- Cold & Flu medication to keep on hand
We are very excited to welcome guests back to the mountains. After all, we founded this business on the desire to share the incredible experiences that the mountains have to offer. We feel lucky that skiing is an activity that has always encouraged a mask, goggles, and gloves and that we will have the opportunity to ski & ride again safely. During these challenging times we have been itching to get back to the mountains and we can’t wait to do so with you, responsibly.