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    Vacation during Pandemic

    My wife and I were supposed to take a 2-week vacation on Europe back on March but of course, that got cancelled. We do have about 3-4 weeks of PTO that we haven't used yet and we really need to take a break from work and refresh.

    We are one of the pessimist people out there regarding COVID so we've been staying home (and working from home) since mid-March. Some of my friends and co-workers are already taking vacations (going to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, etc.)

    One thing that we haven't done yet is to drive across America from west coast to east coast and visit some states. I think this is the new normal and I don't see the virus being gone anytime soon. I think we can do it more safely by just visiting National Parks, less restaurant take outs and maybe bring a portable stove and canned goods (camping style). The only thing that I foresee that is not on the safe side is staying in a hotel. We are young and healthy so I am not so worried about getting it, but more worried about spreading especially to our parents.

    Anyone planning a vacation? How should we go about it?

    #2
    Originally posted by Leo View Post
    We are one of the pessimist people out there regarding COVID so we've been staying home

    Anyone planning a vacation? How should we go about it?
    First, I see absolutely nothing pessimistic about this. Acknowledging science and facts and risk associated with a huge public health emergency isn't a sign of pessimism, it's a sign of intelligence.

    The regulars here know that we love to travel. Our last trip was February 7-9. We have nothing planned at this point until October 2021.
    We also love to eat out. We haven't seen the inside of a restaurant since March 6 and don't expect to until sometime in 2021.

    That said, I do think travel is possible if you take appropriate precautions. Stay away from areas that are still seeing high rates of COVID. I know a few people who have recently traveled to New England and reported no problems at all. Also pay attention to how the area you are going to has been dealing with COVID. Are they following the science? Are there mask mandates? Or is it like Georgia or Florida where the government has failed every step of the way.

    Focus on locales that aren't getting big crowds. I've heard that the national parks are attracting a lot of guests because everyone thinks that will be safer. You might be better off in a little lakefront town renting a cabin.

    We did have the occasion to spend a night in a local hotel last week due to the hurricane and power outage. I have to say that I felt 100% safe there. They were operating at a reduced capacity so there weren't a ton of people there. I didn't see a single guest or employee without a mask on. Instead of the usual breakfast buffet, they had grab and go bags lined up on the counter which we took and went back to our room to eat. There were signs everywhere reminding guests to practice social distancing and limit elevators to one party or 3 people. We're actually thinking about doing a few local getaways just to do something different. We got takeout for dinner that we ate back in the room.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      Take a vacation, just stay away from the big crowds.
      We've been doing lots of short 3-5 day trips.

      A cross country trip and camping makes great sense right now.

      Comment


        #4
        To further what DS said, hotels have added a ton of precautions and additional sanitation measures.Combined with the fact that big chains like Marriott and Hilton now have mobile check in where you can get your key right on your phone, I don't think you have to rule out hotels. Bigger concern would be state to state quarantine requirements. Some places (Chicago, NY) are requiring mandatory 14 day quarrantine for visitors and locals who travel outside the area. I imagine you'd be extremely limited in what you can do in some places. While National parks may seem like a great way to keep a distance, I've read a few articles about them being exceptionally crowded this summer due to limited travel options and closed facilities like pools, etc. Not at all trying to discourage you from going, but just some things to consider while you're planning your trip.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Leo View Post
          My wife and I were supposed to take a 2-week vacation on Europe back on March but of course, that got cancelled. We do have about 3-4 weeks of PTO that we haven't used yet and we really need to take a break from work and refresh.

          We are one of the pessimist people out there regarding COVID so we've been staying home (and working from home) since mid-March. Some of my friends and co-workers are already taking vacations (going to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, etc.)

          One thing that we haven't done yet is to drive across America from west coast to east coast and visit some states. I think this is the new normal and I don't see the virus being gone anytime soon. I think we can do it more safely by just visiting National Parks, less restaurant take outs and maybe bring a portable stove and canned goods (camping style). The only thing that I foresee that is not on the safe side is staying in a hotel. We are young and healthy so I am not so worried about getting it, but more worried about spreading especially to our parents.

          Anyone planning a vacation? How should we go about it?
          I've taken almost 60 days of "vacation" this year, enabled because of Covid. I've been working from the road remotely while traveling the US in a motorhome staying in a mix of state parks and private RV campgrounds.

          The RV allows DH and I to self-contain and limit our exposure to others, because we are COVID pessimists also. On the road, we pull off and use the bathroom in the RV. No rest area buildings or public interaction. Cooking/eating, sleeping, showering, all done in the RV. Our exposure is basically limited to grocery shopping every other week, stops for fuel, and sometimes you have to pop your head in at the office to check in at an RV site, but most of them are contactless.

          The caveat... everyone and their mother has taken to the open road this year. RV campgrounds are packed, and it's been hard to get reservations this summer.. Lots and lots of first timers...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
            I've been working from the road remotely while traveling the US in a motorhome staying in a mix of state parks and private RV campgrounds.
            That sounds amazing.
            we are COVID pessimists also.
            I think the term should be COVID realists. There's nothing at all pessimistic about what you're doing.

            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ua_guy View Post

              I've taken almost 60 days of "vacation" this year, enabled because of Covid. I've been working from the road remotely while traveling the US in a motorhome staying in a mix of state parks and private RV campgrounds.

              The RV allows DH and I to self-contain and limit our exposure to others, because we are COVID pessimists also. On the road, we pull off and use the bathroom in the RV. No rest area buildings or public interaction. Cooking/eating, sleeping, showering, all done in the RV. Our exposure is basically limited to grocery shopping every other week, stops for fuel, and sometimes you have to pop your head in at the office to check in at an RV site, but most of them are contactless.

              The caveat... everyone and their mother has taken to the open road this year. RV campgrounds are packed, and it's been hard to get reservations this summer.. Lots and lots of first timers...
              How is your internet reception for work? That's our biggest concern is needing internet fast enough to support Video calls.
              LivingAlmostLarge Blog

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post

                How is your internet reception for work? That's our biggest concern is needing internet fast enough to support Video calls.
                Yeah, good question. We can't do truly remote (geographical) trips while working, but some could be possible with a satellite internet connection. Most of where we stay right now is within cellular coverage areas or where the park has an internet connection, specifically so we can work. When I've looked into cost and bandwidth issues for satellite connection, for us it's not worth it (especially just for the RV).

                We DO use reviews on Campendium which rates RV parks, sites, and the quality of cellular carrier reception at those specific places. We've had good luck and found the information to be accurate. Free or paid Wifi connections at the parks themselves range from horrible to great, if they offer it. Some have good connections and will support remote VPN connections all day including video calls.

                We have cellular as our failsafe. We use a device called a Cradlepoint with high gain antennas which pick up much more signal than a traditional cellphone. It can then broadcast that as a wifi signal to all the devices in the RV. It also has dual sim slots, so we can utilize a different carrier if one carrier has service in the area but the other doesn't. We currently only use Verizon and haven't had a problem. A cellular LTE connection will support remote VPN connections, videoconference, etc all day long. Bandwidth is a little pricy, and we find that with two people connected during the workday, we might use a gig of data per day.

                We literally just wrapped up a month long RV trip out west and both of us worked 5/7 days per week using a combination of park wifi and our cell connection. The cell connection came into play when we stayed at state parks - they do not offer wifi connections.

                Comment


                  #9
                  that sounds amazing. My friends in yellowstone are getting spotty internet so no way they could be working. At least that's what her text implied.
                  LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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