Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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5 things to know before traveling in a pandemic

Judge me if you must, but I’ve been roadtripping with family for the last several months in quarantine to domestic locations that are increasingly open to tourists.

This is what I’ve learned from that changed, strange, but still worthwhile experience of traveling in a pandemic: 

  1. It’s completely legal in many areas now. Because so many areas depend on tourism for their economy and a growing number of people are increasingly over COVID, you might be surprised to learn just how many places are welcoming tourists now. It’s wonderful to see the world opening up again!
  2. It’s probably not as risky as you think (but you decide). COVID right now has a dwindling death rate of .6% of those infected, which is admittedly more than the “fractions of 1%” that the season flu kills, according to the CDC, but significantly less than the much more serious Spanish Flu which killed 2% of those infected. It’s a concern, but not worth living in fear of. What’s more, travel hasn’t shown to be noticeably more infective than staying at home.
  3. There’s still a ridiculous number of places to visit. By my estimation, it’s over 80% of America, if not more. Although international destinations are still less than 15%, there’s still so much of America that I haven’t seen, and I’ve been to over 40 states, but even those states I haven’t fully explored yet! Although travel access isn’t as good as it once was, it’s still really good.
  4. Restrictions still apply, which can hinder your enjoyment. Unfortunately, not every place that is “open” is truly open. For example, my family and I booked a trip to Glacier National Park this summer, only to find out that more than two thirds of the things we wanted to do were closed for covid. So we cancelled and will try again later when it’s fully open.
  5. It’s still worth it (i.e. limited travel is better than no travel). I don’t regret a single trip we’ve taken this year. While there were some annoying things, there was also a lot of understanding and nice people that didn’t judge or shame us for traveling. I suspect the greatest number of shamers are just scared people who point the critical finger online from the comfort of their own home.

Readers—what do you think about quarantine travel? Is it still worth it?