Hey guys! So as most of you know Stephen and I just got back from visiting his grandma, Missy, in New Smyrna, FL. It was such a fun trip and I’m so glad we went! However, there were a few things that we thought about before going regarding COVID and just how safe it was to travel. So for whatever it’s worth, I thought I would share some of the thoughts that went into our decision to travel as maybe it will be helpful to you if you’re in the same boat. I’ll say up front, this is just my personal opinion. Yes, I am a nurse so I do have some medical background but I honestly think so much of responding to COVID just comes down to having common sense and doing what makes you comfortable (as long as you’re taking the proper precautions).
Before I get into what went into our decision to see Missy, I can share what we currently feel comfortable doing in regards to traveling:
-Right now, we don’t feel super comfortable flying. I know it can’t always be avoided, but right now we’re holding off on any trips that require us to fly. Anywhere close enough that we can drive is fair game.
-As far as the actual location, we’ve felt more comfortable going somewhere that we know we can do activities outside. Obviously social distancing is much easier to do outside than inside/in a confined space, so any trips that have outdoor activities we can do is a plus. Same goes for eating outside. We have yet to go to a restaurant during COVID in Raleigh where you can’t eat outside, so the same rules have applied to us when traveling too. Again, the more space and distance between us and others, the better. (This isn’t to say that eating inside a restaurant is wrong, this is just something that we have personally chosen to avoid for now).
-Where to stay. For us, we feel most comfortable staying in Airbnbs or at someone’s house. I don’t think there is anything wrong staying at a hotel, as I’m sure rooms are being diligently cleaned and that people are required to wear masks, but I just feel like Airbnb’s are a little bit safer because you don’t have as many people walking around, and going in and out of rooms. You also don’t have to be around people going in and out of an Airbnb vs. in a hotel you may end up in elevators with others, etc. And then if you can stay with friends or family during your trip that is obviously a great option too.
-This one is obvious, and I hope I don’t need to say this but wear a mask. Whenever we went to see Missy (and any future trips we go on) the only time we didn’t wear a mask was when we were in the car, at her house, or once we were finally seated at an (outdoor) restaurant.
In regards to us visiting Missy, we had to think about a few things given that Florida isn’t just a quick drive, it’s been a hot spot for COVID, and the fact that Missy is older! Here are some reasons we ultimately felt comfortable going:
-First & foremost, Missy’s comfort level. We were supposed to go earlier in the year but postponed because of COVID until August. Well, clearly things haven’t gotten any better so we had to make the decision whether we would go now or postpone until later. We left this decision up to Missy. Bottom line she wanted us to still come (as long as we were comfortable), but that was the first thing we checked on. She has also been going out once a week for dinners (sitting outside), so it’s not as if we were forcing her to go out when we were there –she was already doing this on her own.
-We felt comfortable because we were able to drive. Stephen’s siblings were supposed to visit at the same time but they were going to have to fly, so we all ultimately decided that it probably wasn’t the best idea if they came. Another thing that went into this decision was because of the amount of COVID cases in Florida–having to go through a Florida airport didn’t feel as safe vs. just driving through Florida. Missy’s town in general had a very low number of cases, but since they weren’t able to drive directly there we all decided it was probably better that they held off on coming.
-Precautions we took driving there & once we were there– Again, I hope this is obvious lol, but anytime we had to stop for gas, coffee, etc. we would wear our masks outside the car and sanitize our hands frequently. When we were there, we wore masks unless we were at Missy’s house, in the car, or seated at an outdoor restaurant, etc.
-Other things we considered was the amount of people Stephen and I are around on a regular basis. Basically, we really only see 2 other couple’s that we are friends with so it’s not like we are constantly exposing ourselves to a bunch of other people. We rarely go out unless it’s grabbing takeout, eating outside somewhere (which is very rare), or running errands.
Unfortunately, COVID isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so I think we have to learn how to adjust to this new normal. I don’t necessarily think at this point it’s realistic to stay home 24/7 like we had to the first few months of quarantine but at the same time, life still looks very different this year and when we do go out of our homes we need to take the necessarily precautions (ie. mask, hand washing, social distancing). It ultimately comes down to what you feel comfortable with, and I think as long as you’re taking these precautions and using common sense, that’s really all you can do!
Have you guys travelled at all yet? How do you feel going out to eat? xxC