It's time to vacation again!More than seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it's become clear how adaptable our society is during difficult times. Remarkably, millions of people have adapted to working from home and holding virtual meetings online. Most people have gotten used to necessary safety measures, like social distancing, frequent handwashing, facial coverings, and more. In fact, many people have done more than simply adapt. They've thrived. As the old adage says, they've taken all those lemons and made lemonade. How we take vacations is a perfect example of this can-do (and will-do) attitude. Indeed, leisure travel has changed along with the rest of the world in 2020, but as with many other aspects of life, we have adapted and continue to adapt. In many ways, the reasons people want to take vacations during the current global pandemic haven't changed. Getting away from home and leaving your routine behind, are great for your mental health and stress relief. And with everything that has gone on in the world lately, those needs have probably intensified. Naturally, people may wonder how it's even possible to enjoy a vacation, and there are a few steps you need to take in adjusting to the current environment. For example, you may be wondering where you should go and if the destinations you really enjoy are even available to you. While there are restrictions that make it really difficult to travel abroad, most destinations in the U.S. are open for business. In Orlando, for example, the theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando are open with limited capacity, and advance reservations are required at the Disney theme parks. Guests will also notice several safety protocols at both venues, including: Physical distancing among guests and employees Highly enhanced cleaning procedures by employees Face coverings being required inside the parks Temperatures checked upon entering for guests and employees In addition to Orlando, other destinations are available. When deciding where to go, though, it may be a good idea to focus on destinations with a lot of outdoor activities, such as the Smoky Mountain National Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A beach vacation in New Smyrna Beach, Florida is also a way to spend more time in the open air. Getting there. Most of the options you had before the pandemic are available with a few restrictions and protocols to follow. By car This is probably the safest option because your contact is limited to your traveling party or family. That said, be sure to put on a mask and follow safety protocols when you stop at restaurants, filling stations, and rest areas. By plane Do your research up front because every airline has slightly different protocols, even though they are similar. Some airlines are blocking middle seats, for example, to maintain social distancing, but others aren't. All airlines are requiring facial coverings on all passengers, including small children. So, if you think your toddler won't tolerate a mask, flying may not be a good idea. By train Amtrak has limited seating to maintain social distancing and face coverings are required on all passengers, including children. Masks with breathing valves are prohibited. Also, Amtrak is using highly enhanced cleaning protocols on all its trains. While you're on vacation, be aware that the activities you want to enjoy may be a little different than what you're used to. Smaller attractions, for example, might be closed or have changed their hours. Even some of the larger attractions are operating with limited capacity or requiring advance reservations. It's a good idea to anticipate these possibilities and do a little research online or over the phone before you jump in the car and head out for the day. If you just show up, there's a possibility that you will have driven there for nothing. From a health and safety standpoint, it's a good idea to look for outdoor activities where you can have fun in the open air. Be prepared, though, if you get to the beach and it's packed with people, it may be wise to get back in the car and go somewhere else. And if you choose a theme park or other activity where there could be crowds, make sure they're enforcing protocols like social distancing and masks if you want to stay safe. Doing your research is also a really important step in the planning stages before your trip. Make sure you know what the health restrictions and protocols are so you can be prepared. While some attractions or activities may provide masks, others might not so it's important to pack your own. And you might want to call ahead or check online to make sure the activities you want to do are available. Also, it's important to have a plan in place just in case someone in your family or traveling party gets sick. Talk to your doctor or other trusted health care professionals and get their feedback. Also, call your insurance company so you will know exactly where to go and what to do in the unlikely event someone in your group contracts COVID. What we're doing to protect your health and safety at Exploria Resorts Exploria Resorts is open and welcoming Members and visitors every day. For the safety of our members, guests, and employees, we are constantly monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and adhering to their guidelines in order to provide an environment that is safe, as well as welcoming. We are following enhanced cleaning protocols that include more frequent cleaning and sanitizing of spaces throughout the resorts, disinfecting high-traffic surfaces with hospital-grade products, and placing hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes throughout our resorts. Read more about the extra precautions we are taking to keep our owners, guests, team members, and all who visit our resort locations safe here. We are also enforcing local and state ordinances, such as those that require coverings and temperature checks, especially in common interior spaces such as registration areas, lobbies, clubhouses, preview centers, activity centers, and restaurants. Out of an abundance of caution, modifications to resort amenities may occur, including adjusted hours of operation or closings. At Exploria Resorts, we are dedicated to making sure your experience as a guest at our resorts is safe and your health is protected while you are having the vacation of a lifetime! 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