I´m sure you have heard: many countries are welcoming tourists again since June and hotels have reopened. It´s basically up to us now, travelers, if we feel safe enough to start traveling again. To be honest, I wasn´t fully convinced….but my husband gave me the push I needed and, I gotta say, it was so great to enjoy something new again after months of isolation – even though we did not leave Germany. We drove to Bavaria to enjoy 4 days of total relaxation at a wellness hotel near the Alps.
If you want to grab that cool deal you saw online too, but feel hesitant like I was, this post is for you. Today I will give you tips you can follow in order to make your trip safer and the whole experience more stress-free. It definitely worked for us!
Though we were up to flying somewhere nearby, we decided that for our first trip after all this madness we should start carefully. Thus, instead of flying to Munich and renting a car there to drive to the small town we would be visiting, we decided to drive all the way there with no rush and enjoy a relaxing ride. Additionally, we heard that Munich had to go a few steps backwards and reinforce some rules that had already been loosed because of the increasing contamination numbers…so, we also thought it was a good idea to avoid the city.
If you have a long ride ahead of you, like we did (around 4 to 5 hours), you can pack snacks to avoid stopping on the way to grab lunch. Still, a bathroom break will probably be on the menu anyways, so make sure you have hand sanitizer and a mask in the car with you.
CHOOSE THE REGION WISELY
You can follow the news to be informed about regions that are having problems controlling the virus and avoid them. So many places need our support right now, that I bet you can find a nice destination that is fairly safe. Somewhere around nature is always a good choice!
Having said that, you should also research how full these destinations are during that specific time of the year you want to go there. If you plan on staying at a small hotel and enjoy its facilities, great! Then that information is not so important. But if you are planning on visiting some tourist attractions and strolling around nearby cities, you should definitely take a look at this data.
This is a mistake we did and it did put us in hot water in one particular occasion. We had bought tickets online to do a boat ride around Königssee, but we had no idea they would pack the boat as much as they did. Yes, the use of masks was enforced, but I felt extremely uncomfortable sitting so close to strangers, something I had been carefully avoiding for so long.
So, this is definitely something you should be looking out for, because, in the end, it doesn´t matter if you avoided hopping on a plane and chose a hotel with strict health measures if, all of a sudden, you are forced into a situation like this by others.
CHOOSE YOUR HOTEL WISELY TOO
Before you book a room, you should read the hotel´s cleaning guidelines (which many are sharing in their website) and health measures, like the use of masks. If you can´t find it online, write them or call them to ask about it. I´m sure that if they don´t have a ready document to send it to you, they will still be glad to explain their preventive actions.
You are also totally entitled to ask about social distancing in guest common areas, like the breakfast and dining rooms. By the way, the more open areas, the better! The hotel we stayed in was totally integrated with nature with tons of outdoor relaxing areas – there was plenty of room for everybody and, most of the time, we were basically alone.
Though breakfast was served as a buffet – something that did concern me at the beginning, they provided gloves at the door, so you wouldn´t have to touch the same utensils as the other guests directly. To be on the safer side, you can just take your own gloves. Another great measure for buffet breakfasts is to arrive early – very early! If you are there right when they open, only the staff has been around the food, decreasing the chance of contamination. It is also important that the hotel ensures that the guests are wearing masks in the common areas, especially if offering buffets. During corona times, you definitely don´t want people breathing on the food everybody is sharing.
Though I know this is not the most comfortable choice, you can also waive the cleaning of your room while you are there. We did this, and after two days we just asked for new towels. We thought that this would decrease the chance of contamination, since the cleaning staff is entering many different rooms in a day.
PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Oh, do priorities change…lol. Before corona my essentials were basically concealer, eye cream and moisturizer. Now they are hand sanitizer, masks and sometimes also sanitizing wipes (aren´t they helpful?! I love them). For this very short 4-day trip, we took small hand sanitizer bottles and about 3 masks per day, each. Additionally, we also took a bigger bottle of liquid 70% alcohol in order to clean surfaces upon arrival and objects that had been outdoors with us when strolling around.
A good idea to pack with these essentials is hand lotion. We finished this super short vacation with our two small hand sanitizer bottles basically empty – A+ for care, but an F for the health of your skin. So, do your hand a favor and carry a hand lotion with you in order to avoid early skin aging.
Though I know that having to take so much care during vacation can pull you a bit out of the relaxing state of mind wished for in a getaway, these measures are necessary. It´s all about compromise, isn´t it? We need to adapt. After all, if you stay healthy, you can always come back home and plan your next trip! Safe travels!