Travel after COVID-19

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Hitting the road

So, how are you feeling about hitting the road? I’m kind of in the middle. I took a small survey. Is it a scientific one that will stand up to a data run? The answer is definitely not, but did it tell me some things about how people are feeling and provide me with insight into what you may see as we move into summer and fall? Yes I think it does.

Who answered the questions?

A few I polled in person and the rest were questions I posted on Facebook. I had a few answers from family members. Several respondents are travel writers, others are frequent travelers and some are tractor collectors that travel a lot to shows over the summer months. But all are people who hit the road on a regular basis. Most of these people were from the 50’s to above.

Survey Results

I had 20 people respond to the questions. Most were from Illinois with one Canadian, one travels and lives Internationally here and there, and one is from Iowa, and one from Indiana,one from Wisconsin, one from Florida and two from Missouri. Here are the questions and the answers.

Will you leave the country? Eleven say no, nine say yes.

Will you travel out of state? Six say no, fourteen say yes, the same response for traveling out of town.

Will you stay in a hotel? Six say no, fourteen say yes, will you stay in a cabin got the same result. This surprised me, I thought more people would be willing to stay in a cabin than hotel because of the privacy of a cabin and stand alone measure of cabin life.

Would you be willing to stay in an Air B&B? Seven said no, thirteen said yes.

Would you be willing to take a plane? Ten said no, ten said yes, same answer for train. Only two people said they would not take a car on a trip otherwise taking a car was a unanimous yes.

Telling detail about answers

It is interesting to note that most of those willing to travel (not in all cases) come from south of I-80 while those with more concern are north of I-80. For those reading not from Illinois or the Midwest, this is pretty much the dividing line between the Chicago area and what they term “downstate”.

It makes sense that those closer to Chicago where COVID-19 numbers have been higher have more concern about hitting the road.

Details about travel

One writer was traveling as early as this weekend. She was heading East. She had planned to go South, but COVID numbers had been high and she found she could find the same thing she was looking for in a more remote area east. Another was planning immediately to travel to Florida.

Another friend is traveling out of the country in June, but she is going home to see her family.

Then one responded she had a family member with compromised health and they like me lived in a state that had not yet opened up. They had no plans to travel now or in the near future. My Canadian friend also is not traveling this year. But a Springfield, Illinois friend said the same thing.

Comments about travel

The main concern about travel was health and safety. Marie Hernandez of Seriously Travel Tribe explained what I think many feel, “I feel that, as long as I am practicing safe travel habits, I’ll be okay. My concern right now is the uncertainty of other’s practices.”

Like Marie, a friend that is a retired nurse expressed the concern that other people and business will not maintain social distancing and follow proper cleaning protocols. She also was concerned about , “disdain for we who believe public health facts…”

A friend that lives in the country like the retired nurse worries about people “practicing safety measures appropriately” and although she is ready to hit the road from state to state for her that means outdoors in “unconfined spaces”.

My tractor collector friends were especially anxious to hit the road in any direction to see tractors. Some are more independent spirits than others. One friend says they travel “where and when they want”, and another says “we take a risk every time we get in a car and don’t avoid driving”, so I am finding it is all in a person’s perspective.

Another friend has one international destination on her radar, but if that isolated opportunity does not come about, otherwise, she will travel in an RV, and RV only.

Observations

Comments about unconfined spaces and another friend stating, “This year we will try to stay clear of crowds”, makes it clear that National Parks, outdoor spaces and small towns are the places to be.

The friend that may travel in an RV looks to avoid hotels, restaurants “and any other possible contact with people as much as possible.”

So, I am finding that the Midwest is in for a bit draw if they play their cards right. Campsites, small museums and events might find they are the place to be during 2020 and for the next few years. The Midwest may be trending, and might no longer be the flyover states, but the fly to states.

For any trip, it is going to take a bit of planning, ensuring what is open, accessible and what your comfort level allows. Check out destinations, food, lodging and don’t forget about the bathrooms!

The Low Down

No matter how you feel, about travel these days is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer. It is easy to see that no one is quite on the same page and the decision to travel, or not has to be one that you make and that you have to feel comfortable about.

If you liked this article, read about staying fit for travel and other stories about travel!