COVID-19 continues to impact travel in different areas around the globe, so let’s look at ways you can travel smart. Updated November 2020. Eight steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus. It’s a good idea to read up on local rulings in advance, Dr. Raymond says. Still, a lot of it comes down to your comfort level. T he modus operandi for booking vacation rentals has changed so drastically during the coronavirus pandemic that even many of us old vacation rental pros are feeling a little less confident about what the rules and restrictions are, what kind of properties are best to book, and the kinds of additional health and safety precautions we should be taking. For the week ending Aug. 15, U.S. weekly hotel occupancy occupancy was down 30% from the same period in 2019, according to data firm STR. The industry is also facing a historic wave of foreclosures, according to a report from trade group American Hotel & Lodging Association, which also noted that the number of delinquent hotel loans is higher now than even during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Worried about COVID-19 while planning your vacation? But they didn't want to go just anywhere over July Fourth weekend. Also, it’s still important to follow best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 when you’re on vacation, like practicing social distancing, washing your hands regularly, wearing face masks in public, and doing your best to avoid large gatherings of people. Still, when he stayed at the Swissotel in Chicago over the July Fourth weekend, he bought his own supplies and cleaned the entire room anyway. (However, they do include the caveat that experts are still learning more about the virus.). March 18, 2020 — Vrbo® has updated its COVID-19 Emergency Policy and shared new information with vacation home owners, property managers and travelers. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Still, short-term rentals have bounced back faster since the coronavirus pandemic pummeled travel interest in March. "We were very impressed with the social distancing and cleanliness measures they had in place," Alexander told USA TODAY. “People need to stay home. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said he was "optimistic" about travel's recovery. “Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean the virus is taking a vacation.”. An error has occurred and your entry was not submitted. Staying in a rental is not safe,” says Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician in Akron, Ohio, and an associate professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Booking sites like Vrbo and Airbnb have released guidelines for owners and property managers on how to properly clean their rentals, including making sure that cleaners use personal protective equipment (PPE) and prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces. Vrbo president Jeff Hurst with his kids and dog during the recent coronavirus confinement. You’ve probably already seen the Vrbo COVID-19 policy, but here’s what it says: Vrbo hasn’t forced its owners to refund stays during the pandemic. Rental occupancy fared better, dipping 45.1% for studio and one-bedroom rentals, and 46.2% for two- or more bedroom rentals. We then had picked Lake Placid, New York, but when New York placed a ban on people from states with rising cases, (we) had to pivot once again.”. The coronavirus will weigh heavily on travel through at least the first quarter of 2021, said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics. If you have to travel during this summer of COVID, a road trip staying in hotels is a relatively safe option, provided you keep some precautions in mind. While many travel operators offer more flexible booking policies during the pandemic, Airbnb remains an outlier in the hospitality industry, Mody said. Is It Safe To Rent a Vacation Home During COVID-19? The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. Also, while you’re probably focused on what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy, it’s important to remember that you could be putting the health of others in danger by packing up your family and heading to another part of the country. … Vacationer Mike Naypauer and his family mostly ordered food through DoorDash and ate in their room at the Hilton Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia, this summer, but also did some outdoor dining. Clean out expired products and clutter to make way for a healthier you. Some are also opting to stay in private homes where they can prepare their own food and won't come into contact with strangers from outside their quarantine bubble. Local rules and regulations still apply, whether you’re on vacation or not, so it’s important to read up on those in advance, Dr. Raymond says. If you want to do a joint vacation with family and friends, Dr. Raymond recommends having other people you’re planning to meet up with stay in another home nearby. Planning a ski trip during covid-19? Technically, you should be staying home as much as possible right now anyway, Dr. Schaffner points out. Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. For every guest who paid hard-earned money for a getaway they may not take, we know there's a host who relies on set cancellation policies to pay their mortgage and hard-working employees. Short-range airborne (or aerosol) transmission may also be … But then the pandemic struck. That average shot up to an unprecedented eight days at the end of March. If you do need to travel, the CDC recommends checking with state and local health departments on travel restrictions and stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders at the place you plan to visit. That means wiping down commonly-touched surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles, and faucets with disinfectant just to be safe—though he says it's not required if you know the place had been cleaned before you got there. Vrbo. Contactless delivery is the safest option, but picking up your food from the restaurant is another great option. Both hotels and short-term rentals have announced extensive cleaning measures and social distancing procedures to reassure cautious travelers that it's safe to stay there during COVID-19. You’ve probably already seen the Vrbo COVID-19 policy, but here’s what it says: Vrbo hasn’t forced its owners to refund stays during the pandemic. You've introduced some significant changes to your product today. Not only do you risk exposing other people, if you get sick with COVID-19 on vacation, you could be one of many others taxing the local health system. One infectious disease expert explains all the ways you can make temporary rentals safe during coronavirus. We applaud you for everything you’ve done for guests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vrbo's Covid-19 emergency policy is valid for reservations occurring through June 30, but extension beyond that date had not been confirmed at the time this article was published. Many hand-sanitizing wipes, meals and mirror selfies later, I'm here to tell you that staying in a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic felt generally safe… Here's why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be so frightening. © 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. Nope. Vrbo has introduced a new program to help its customers find a clean vacation rental closer to home. When we were coming on and noticed crowds, we actually took the stairs up 17 flights.". COVID-19 can spread anywhere where you may come into close contact with an infected person. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources. Guidance on what to do to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19 is always subject to change but, as of now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home as much as possible. Know before you go. Short-term rentals could make social distancing more feasible, with multiple bedroom-units and whole homes to rent. But, she points out, you should still practice social distancing once you get there. Bookings crept up in the following months, which researchers attribute to several factors: The average length of a guest stay has ticked up 58% during the pandemic. We applaud you for everything you’ve done for guests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do I need to be worried about ordering takeout during COVID-19? David Ige recently extended the ban on out-of-state tourists through September and reinstated the interisland quarantine rule. There’s also this to consider, per Dr. Weatherhead: It’s unclear whether quarantining before you travel does anything. In order to support Taos’ small businesses and our local economy, it is imperative that we all do our part to follow COVID-Safe Practices. “We were going to go to Florida and South Carolina, but as those states became hot spots, decided not to. We eat local; swim, surf and snorkel; hit the pool and grill at night. Renting a vacation home during the pandemic? Even despite their advance planning, the Naypauers couldn't completely escape crowds. U.S. hotel demand likely won’t see a full recovery until 2023, according to a forecast from STR and consultant Tourism Economics. And finally, Dr. Watkins recommends keeping this in mind: If you get sick on vacation, there’s a risk that you could be hospitalized away from home, with no chance of having visitors. ", 'Be vigilant':Hotel group condemns Trump administration's use of hotels to hold migrant kids, 'Feels like I'm dorming anyway':'Feels like I'm dorming anyway': Hotels housing college students in effort to social distance. 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