Travel Tips For the Risk Averse, from Creative Force Maps

WHERE TO GO: Consider staying close to home, maybe somewhere you wouldn’t normally stay overnight. I chose Sarasota, a little over an hour away, and even took a scouting trip the weekend before to make reservations at restaurants with outdoor seating.

CHOICE OF HOTEL: Major chains have put a lot of effort into designing cleaning procedures and check-lists. Hilton has a special sleeve for the TV remote that says sanitized and an actual seal that you break when you enter the room on the door. It made me feel better.

When you enter your room, wipe down enough surfaces to make you feel better. I did the high-touch surfaces, including the lamps switches and the safe keypad. Now forget about the pandemic! Put your supplies away because you’ve pushed the pandemic out of your room and into the hallway. Now take a vacation (yes, it is an alternate reality). One more thing: even if you have a five-night stay, decline housekeeping services. Keep a pad by the phone and call down for whatever you need, once or twice a day.

ELEVATORS: This is the most uncomfortable part since you can’t avoid other people jamming their luggage and faces in next to you. Request a low floor if you can use the stairs, and keep in mind the busy times when the elevators are in use (such as the “free” breakfast hour). You should definitely skip the “free” breakfast. Don’t stand by the buttons, step away.

DINING: It turns out you can eat outside in August in Florida. I’ve lived here for over 30 years and never even thought to try it. Scope the restaurant out and ask for the table you want. In my situation, it was the one with the breeze. Make sure you have an extra mask with you. Chocolate covered pineapple inadvertently transferred by my fingers left a nasty stain on my light-colored mask.

DO A LITTLE RESEARCH: Find out the local rules, such as masks, by city and county. COVIDActNow has a warning system that you can access your risk by county.
And the CDC COVID Data Tracker has important information.