Back from vacation in Florida!
Have you traveled outside the state, or flown on an airplane since March? I took a family vacation to Florida in June. People ask all the time about what traveling is like these days. For specific info on flying, I wrote an earlier article all about that. Mostly I’ll focus on other questions or concerns you might have about traveling out of state right now.
What states can I safely travel to?
The list of travel requirements changes constantly these days! Some states require a 14-day quarantine once you enter, or once you arrive back in your home state. Others require a negative COVID-19 test that was administered within a certain time frame. Still others don’t have any specific regulations. My best suggestion is to ask me before you travel; I’m happy to give you the current regulations for the state you’re heading to.
How are the airports and flights?
Click here to read about flights.
Do the hotels still serve breakfast?
Most hotels don’t serve the same type of breakfast that they previously did. In the two different hotels we stayed in, both offered only a sack breakfast with an orange or banana and a granola bar, plus a carton of milk or orange juice. Previously, these hotels served a wonderful array of breakfast items consisting of waffles, eggs, sausage or bacon, toast or bagels, sweet rolls, cereal, and oatmeal. It was a disappointment (especially for my kids) to receive a crunchy granola bar and a piece of fruit. In my opinion, hotels could continue to offer sack breakfasts which include individually packaged items such as hard-boiled eggs, cereal or oatmeal, or a sweet roll, along with a carton of milk or juice.
How is hotel cleanliness?
Hotels have stepped up their cleanliness procedures! Many of them have front doors propped open for hands-free entrance, to help slow the spread of germs. They also have implemented additional frequent and better sanitation methods in their cleaning protocols. I felt completely safe entering and staying in hotel rooms. With that said, if your stay is longer than one night, you notice the lack of room cleaning by hotel staff. No beds are made, garbage cans emptied, or soaps or shampoos refreshed on a daily basis. To have your garbage emptied, you leave the full can outside your room for pickup. You can request additional toiletries at the front desk. In that regard, our hotel stays were not what we are used to.
Are restaurants open, or are they closed?
Many restaurants were still operating on a take-out basis only, both the ones that normally offer table service and also the fast-food restaurants. In Florida, the table-service restaurants that were seating patrons, were operating on a limited basis, leaving tables empty between diners, to make for easy physical distancing. Masks were required except while eating. A restaurant recommendation, if you’re on Marathon Key in the near future, is the Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House. Superb food and service at this sit-down location!
Are other activities open?
Most other activities and shops are open, although it’s not uncommon to still see some closed shops throughout the state. Every public place, with the exception of beaches, required mask wearing. (Even our hotel lobbies enforced the wearing of masks.) However, we went on a snorkeling excursion in the Florida Keys which didn’t require masks onboard—probably because we had enough equipment to juggle with just our snorkeling gear.
What are wellness components like?
It depends! Some adventures and activities feel and look very much the same as they previously did, such as snorkeling, relaxing on a beach, or taking a hike. Others are available and a little different, such as wearing a mask while getting a massage, or doing yoga while distancing. Luxurious bedding and sleep amenities are still available for an incredible sleep experience. Many delicious and healthy food options are available, although you may have to search a little harder to find them.
My overall impression:
Traveling now, like day-to-day living, is different. In a way it feels more restrictive, such as wearing masks and getting carry-out at restaurants where we would normally sit down. Theme parks weren’t open when we were in Florida. Cruises weren’t operating. However, it’s also very comforting that travel is the same in so many ways. There are still amazing places to go, sights to see, and activities to experience. Beaches. Restaurants. Nature. Hikes. Connecting with our surroundings and with each other. I really loved being able to get on a plane, rent a car, stay in hotels, and make some incredible memories with those I love!
To me, it’s worth it. Traveling is still a joyous experience.