Tips For Hitting The Road or The Friendly Skies This Summer

This summer will be unlike any other, specifically because it’s going to be like every other summer. After a weird 2020, as vaccination rates rise and pandemic restrictions lift around the country, Americans are excited to get back to “life as usual.” However, as any service member who’s returned from deployment will tell you, it’s hard to acclimate to regular life after a break from it.

If you’ve been stuck inside or haven’t traveled in a while, here’s some of the latest tips and advice for hitting the road or the friendly skies this summer!

Can Americans Travel Outside the Country?

The answer is a highly-qualifed “yes.” 

If you’re ready for an adventure, you need to know where you can go.

The European Union is recommending that its members start to lift its COVID-19 rules against American tourists. Check out the rules for each country, and to find out more about their vaccination and quarantine requirements.

Countries in Africa, South America, Asia, and various other popular tourist destinations each have their own rules.

Plan Your Road Trip

Ready to hit the road this summer? If you’re not quite prepared to head out of the country, there’s still plenty to see in this great nation of ours.

There is plenty to do and see. The national parks are open, although the U.S. National Parks Service still requires people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors and under certain other conditions.

Watch Prices at the Pump

Another thing to keep in mind as you gear up this summer: gas prices are going up. The reasons are complicated, but basically, you can also blame the pandemic for that. Major oil suppliers cut back on production due to low demand. Now, as people are ready to get back out there, demand has increased and there simply isn’t enough to go around. 

So make sure to budget for filling your gas tank as you go!

Safely Take Flight

During the height of the pandemic, a Department of Defense study asserted that the HEPA filters on airplanes actually made air travel one of the relatively safer activities. Of course, fewer people were flying during the height of the pandemic, which likely helped increase a sense of safety for travelers.

However, if you aren’t vaccinated and are vulnerable to infection of COVID-19, you should be aware that more people will be flying during the busy summer travel season. Although social distancing will be pretty much impossible, masks will still be required, even for the fully vaccinated.

Make sure to factor in longer wait times at checkin and in the TSA line when planning your itinerary!

Keep Your Vaccine Record With You

Anecdotally, at least, while most places require unvaccinated people to wear masks, not every place asks you to produce your vaccine record. One exception includes New York, where residents have the option to register for an Excelsior pass, a vaccine registration tool that helps them access concerts and sporting events with digital proof of vaccination.

If you want to go mask-free, make sure you have your vaccine record handy in case someone asks to see it. You might be tempted to laminate it, but since we don’t know yet whether or not a vaccine booster will be required for the fully immunized, consider holding off for now!

Same Rules Apply

Pandemic or not, the rules you grew up with still apply–cough into your elbow and wash your hands. People got sick while they were travelling before COVID-19, and they will continue to do so. No one was ever sorry they washed their hands, so take the extra time to do it and protect yourself and your family!

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