Social Distancing Vacations
While you may have hit pause on this year’s Mediterranean cruise, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation in 2020. Like much of the world, you’re probably ready to get out of the house and enjoy some scenery other than your living room, and there’s no better place for it than the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to book a last-minute summer vacation or planning a fall family getaway, there are plenty of social distancing activities to partake in while you await your next great international adventure.
Outdoor-friendly vacations have surged in popularity due to the recent coronavirus pandemic. Spending time in the great outdoors allows travelers access to fresh air and sunlight, the ability to social distance from other travelers, and, when done together, enjoy popular destinations that are still open to the public. Whether you’re traveling to a tropical island or road tripping to a remote spot in the woods, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before your escape begins.
The current pandemic has caused us to consider our exposure everywhere we go and every way we travel. In terms of air travel, the CDC states that the majority of viruses and germs do not spread easily on flights due to the HEPA air filtration systems on commercial planes. While social distancing can prove difficult depending on airport traffic or how full your flight may be, many carriers are taking as many steps as possible to limit close contact. Delta has committed to blocking out middle seats until January 6th, 2021 to encourage social distancing on flights, and face masks are recommended, or required by several airlines. Be sure to check with the airline you book your tickets with for any additional required safety measures.
Looking to avoid planes and crowded hotels? You’re not alone. RVShare bookings report a 650% increase in bookings from 2019 to 2020. If you’re unfamiliar with RVing, RVshare operates on a similar platform to AirBnB and VBRO; you have the option to rent either a drivable or towable RV, motorhome, or even a full tour bus. Some RV rental companies will even drop your RV off at your campground so that you don’t have to drive or tow it yourself. Recreational vehicles give you freedom on wheels while also allowing you to control your environment for cooking, relaxing, and sleeping. Bonus: you can even bring the family dog.
Once you select your RV rental, it’s important to book your campsite ahead of your travels. Campsites are in high demand, so it’s smart to reserve your spot as soon as you book. There are many different lodging options when it comes to camping. National and state parks are best for the true adventurer looking to immerse themselves in the elements, while “resort” campgrounds include pools, mini golf courses, and even WiFi. Campendium is an app that provides reviews and recommendations on campsites near your selected destination that can be extremely useful in choosing your ideal campsite. Campsite prices vary based on amenities, time of year, and demand, so it’s best to choose a few options in your desired area and then pick the one that is best for you. If you’re headed to a State Park or are a first-time camper, it is recommended to reach out to a park ranger or someone at the check-in desk to walk you through everything you need to know before your arrival. Helpful hint: it’s much easier to find your marked camp site before dark.
According to Statista, national parks are seeing traffic like they’ve never seen before. Golden Gate National Recreation Area recorded over 15 million guests in 2019 and they are on pace to shatter that record before the end of 2020. Enjoy waking up with an unbelievable view of the Golden Gate Bridge to start your day and end it stargazing under the redwood trees at Kirby Cove Campground in Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The White Sands National Park in Alamogordo, NM is one of the newest national parks, added as of December 2019. This New Mexico haven will have you doing a double take – is it sand or snow? It’s sand, and yes, you can sled down the dunes. Filled with hiking and separate biking trails, you’ll want to allow for extra time to learn about the environment and snap some epic pictures along the way.
Often referred to as the “Third Coast,” Lake Michigan is a summertime oasis in the Midwest. There are 15 state parks along the lake that offer hiking and camping. If camping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of beautiful cottages and bed and breakfast spots available. Swim, sail, kayak, or even rent a boat for the whole family to enjoy a day on the lake.
Speaking of boats, Dale Hallow Lake, Tennessee was voted the #2 Lake for Houseboats by Houseboat Magazine in 2019. Dale Hallow is known for its clear waters, surrounding trails, and fantastic fishing. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go down a waterslide every day on vacation?
If you prefer a bit more luxury, but still want to stay active outdoors, a dude ranch is a perfect solution. Luxurious cabins, horseback riding, fly fishing, and cattle drives are just a few of the many activities offered at dude ranches. Celebrities such as Gwyenth Paltrow and Vince Vaughn, are regular visitors of Montana’s Ranch at Rock Creek. With many outdoor-friendly activities, you’ll return home with memories to last a lifetime.
What happens if I need to cancel my trip?
IMG’s iTravelInsured travel protection plans offer trip interruption and cancellation benefits to protect your prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs should an unexpected injury, illness, or other covered peril occur. Our iTravelInsured LX plan also offers optional Cancel for Any Reason and Interruption for Any Reason coverage.* This is especially helpful with the unpredictable nature of today's world. Benefits are also provided for travel delays, baggage delays, and emergency medical treatment while you’re away from home. Find out more and get a quote here.
Don’t forget – additions to your usual packing List
Packing lists for trips in 2020 have a few extra additions. Make sure to prepare the following items so that you can enjoy your vacation with ease.
- Mask/face covering – many states have enacted mask mandates. Depending on where you are going, it may be required to wear a mask
- Hand Sanitizer – hand sanitizer is useful when you don’t have access to soap and water
- Disinfectant spray/cleaning supplies – If you are renting an RV or a house, it’s a good idea to sanitize the high touchpoints such as door handles, light switches, steering wheels, and countertops. Cleaning wipes also come in handy if you stop at a gas station on your trip.
- Debit or Credit Cards – You can disinfect your card much easier than cash.
Perhaps by discovering the great outdoors, you can create a new tradition of camping, or crossing a national park off your bucket list. Wherever your adventures may take you, we will continue to ‘Be There’ for you while you’re away from home. While we hope everything goes smoothly on your trip, we know that accidents can happen, and with IMG, you have the peace of mind to enjoy your trip without worrying about your trip investment.
Insurance benefits in IMG’s plans are subject to limitations and exclusions, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. The above is a summary of insurance benefits that are part of IMG’s Lite and LX travel protection plans. Please review the plan document for a detailed description of the terms, conditions and exclusions. Availability and benefits may change per state. If you are not satisfied for any reason with the coverage, you may return your plan and receive a full refund within 10 days from the effective date of your coverage, as long as your trip departure date has not occurred and you have not filed a claim. Plans are non-refundable after 10 days. These benefits could change at any time, may not be available to all residents, and IMG makes no representation that these are the current benefits offered by these airlines or their insurance partners.
*The trip cancellation benefit is determined by the amount of your trip you elect to protect, up to the maximum benefit stated above. **For CFAR, the following additional terms apply. Your payment for the iTravelInsured LX plan and enrollment form must be received within 20 days of the date that your initial trip payment is received. You must insure 100% of the prepaid trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and also insure within 20 days of payment for those travel arrangements the cost of any subsequent travel arrangements added to your trip. You must cancel your trip 2 days or more before your scheduled departure date.
Travel Assistance Services are offered by iTravelInsured and are not insurance benefits. Insurance benefits are underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2018. Anyone looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact IMG at +1 (317) 655-4500.
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