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As places slowly begin to open back up, taking a summer vacation with your family looks more and more like a possibility. Despite this, federal guidelines state that travel still isn’t recommended, though, with relaxed restrictions, it’s your choice as to whether or not you’d like to venture out somewhere new. Outdoor attractions are going to be the most popular destinations this summer for sure, but you’ll want to avoid large crowds, which means finding somewhere that everyone else isn’t going to. 


Here’s what you need to know about taking a summer vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Where to Go


Currently, beaches in Los Angeles, Maryland, Florida, and more along the East Coast have opened back up to the public, though many have restrictions in place to keep within the federal guidelines (a prime example being social distancing). Hotels, in turn, have slowly begun to pick up in occupancy after a tremendous drop the past few months, and many people have started to fly nationally again. Transit services have opened themselves to tourists again, and restaurants and bars have made themselves tourist-friendly destinations as well (albeit with restrictions as well, such as having outdoor seating only, requiring reservations, limiting how long a party can stay at their table, and requiring masks be worn whenever anyone goes indoors).


Landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park have reopened to the public, while others such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only have plans to reopen thus far. Other big-time attractions, including the Empire State Building and the Walt Disney Company theme parks, face more uncertainty, even as they do plan on reopening as well. 


Luckily, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines to help along with the reopening of businesses while protecting against the spread of COVID-19.


How to Prepare for Travel


The CDC recommends staying home as much as possible, especially if you’re immunocompromised and more susceptible to falling ill with the virus, but there are still things you can do to offset catching the virus if you choose to travel anyway. Wash your hands thoroughly and practice social distancing at least 6 feet away from others. Wear a face mask while in public, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and when ordering food, use a drive-thru or curbside pickup.


If you’re planning a road trip, take nonperishable food and water with you just in case you can’t find any open restaurants or stores on your route to your destination. Rest stops may be closed, so be prepared for that, and plan any lodging you may need well in advance. Make sure to disinfect any surfaces that may be touched a lot, and keep as clean as possible to lower the risk of exposure.