While life has changed throughout the world in the past 10 months or so, people are still traveling for vacations and enjoying time spent with their friends and family. However, the way we travel has undergone some changes that we all need to keep in mind. If you plan to travel soon, it's important to keep in mind these precautions in order to help protect everyone's health and safety. One of the most important differences we all must adopt is a slightly different mindset. Meaning, don't let your guard down just because you're away from home on vacation. Granted, vacations are typically the time for people to intentionally forget about certain responsibilities such as: their jobs, cleaning house, watching what they eat, or working out. In fact, some might say the whole point of a vacation is to let your guard down. However, during this global pandemic, it's important to stay vigilant about protecting your health and safety, even while on vacation. For the most part, that means simply continuing the practices you've probably been following for the last 10 months or so. If you think about it, there's nothing about being on vacation that prevents you from wearing a mask out in public, maintaining six feet of space between you and other people as much as possible, or washing your hands with soap and water several times a day. Also, since it's important to keep your immune system in top shape, it's a good idea to maintain good health habits while on vacation. Make sure you're getting enough sleep. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and include some type of exercise every day. And try to keep your stress levels down, which, being on vacation, can actually help; read more about that here. Air Travel There has been a lot of discussion about whether it's safe to fly during this pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has said, “most viruses do not spread easily on flights.” This is because commercial airliners filter the air in the cabin with hospital-grade ventilation systems that fully exchange the air every three to five minutes. Still, flying puts a lot of people into a fairly tight, enclosed space when the plane is at capacity. That's why it's important when booking a flight to ask a few questions about the airline policies. Find out, for example, if the airline is selling every seat on the plane, or if they are leaving the middle seat open as some airlines do. Ask them how strictly they enforce their mask policy, especially if someone refuses to comply once the plane is in the air. It's also a good idea to use the restroom in the airport before you board the plane since the terminal restrooms are larger and less cramped compared to the ones on the plane. By having more room, it'll be easier to avoid touching surfaces that have potentially been touched by others. Lastly, avoid crowding in with other passengers when you are boarding and deboarding the plane. Your vacation isn't going anywhere, so be sure to maintain social distancing whenever possible, and this includes boarding and de-boarding the aircraft. Pack Smart Deciding what to pack when you go on vacation is always a challenge, especially if you're flying to your destination. A major factor in determining what you should pack is where you're staying. If your accommodations are at a nice resort, like Exploria Resorts, you'll have access to a washer and dryer, therefore you won't need to pack as much, since you can easily do a load or two of laundry during your vacation. Another important “packing factor” is the weather at your vacation destination. Don't just guess. Go online and look at the extended weather forecast for the location you're going to vacation at. Clearly, if it's going to be cold, you'll want to include some warm clothes, such as jackets, sweaters, and long pants, along with the shorts and t-shirts. On the other hand, if the weather is going to be warm and sunny where you're vacationing at, leave those heavier clothes at home! And don't forget to pack your swimsuit and suntan location! If you're traveling around the holidays, you will need to consider what to do with the gifts you want to bring with you, especially if you're flying. Taking large, or even medium-sized gifts on a plane can be difficult; smaller presents may fit in your luggage but be careful not to pack anything fragile in your suitcase! In these circumstances, it might not be a bad idea to order presents online and have them shipped directly to the gift receivers' home, or to your Exploria Resorts destination. Consider a staycation or a short road trip Last month, we shared tips on how to plan the perfect staycation, or local road trip. There are a lot of great reasons to consider this as your vacation option. For starters, staying local means you can avoid air travel completely. Additionally, a staycation, or short-distance road trip, is less risky because it limits the number of people and inanimate objects you may potentially interact with. Plus, this type of vacation has an additional advantage – Saving money! Obviously a staycation or local road trip is going to be less expensive than flying to your vacation destination. So, for people who want to enjoy a change of scenery during their time off but are also budget-conscious, this is a great alternative. There is no air travel involved, and there's no need to rent a car because you're either staying home or driving your own car to your vacation destination. Saving money already! Enjoy Your Vacation Most importantly, enjoy your vacation! Ready to plan your trip? Exploria Resorts has lots of destinations to accommodate your specific vacation style and keep you safe during this pandemic. Visit our website now to discover our rental specials, or discover how you can secure yearly vacations at today's rates by becoming an Exploria Resorts Club Member.