What does your first pandemic vacation feel like? I just took 5 days off and traveled to a new location, stayed at a hotel, ate in restaurants, played golf, walked in parks and on a beach. I was able to chat with others at a distance or behind a mask and by Day 2 it all came together: We can do this and enjoy it. 

Here is what I found:

Every place had hand sanitizer and it was used! Many also had hand wipes with adjacent disposal bins. What a difference from last March when sanitizer was unavailable, and frantically hoarded. It is hard to remember those first days of toilet paper and Purell frenzy, right?  

People everywhere were respectful and masked. At first masks felt Mardi Gras-ish. Then they felt comforting and safe and quite ordinary.  Many places had masks handed out graciously if needed.

Without being told, people distanced or, when possible, stayed in the open Summer air. Most places had marks to indicate distance; those that did not, were equally distanced.  Most adults can estimate 6 feet, right?

Restaurants were able to seat everyone who wanted to eat, even at peak times. Diners ate at a distance or under a tent. The parking lots were turned into fun spaces with flowers and plants like an outdoor wedding. Meals felt like picnics, casual and accessible. Even at service plazas along highways, meals were ‘normal’ and menus complete; served by masked and gloved staff. 

Stores like Walmart or supermarkets had short lines, carefully monitored. Those on line seemed content to look through their phones or chat. No crazed pushing or shoving. 

Bathrooms were as clean and fresh as have ever seen or experienced in the US. The pandemic has brought to us a new level of sanitation which hopefully will become the standard. Even those at service plazas were sparkling. Again hand sanitizers at each sink and the soap dispensers were ample. 

Outdoor spaces like beaches, parks, even museum type parks were open and again visitors minded pandemic regulations or distanced. We realized how little in the past, we appreciated the wide open spaces in our country. 

The best part is we could all be anonymous. No makeup, no coiffed hair, no special clothes. The feeling of being in this situation together was enough to unite everyone we saw no matter what they looked or dressed like. 

This vacation was safe and truly relaxing and fun. And very overdue. See you soon on the road ladies. Vacation is like riding a bicycle, you will get back on and roll on down that vacation-street.

Travel Tips from The Women’s Travel Group.

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