There’s not doubt that your summer vacation looks a little different this year, and it is hard to know exactly what to expect when you travel. Though you may not be able to take that fabulous international trip that was on your summer agenda due to COVID-19, there are amazing options right here in the USA when you are comfortable traveling again. And just like restaurants and retail stores have adjusted their policies and procedures, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, and tour operators have also revamped their protocols with your health and safety in mind.
Beth Flowers, Brownell’s Vice President of Leisure – Birmingham, recently went on a family getaway to The Henderson in Destin, FL. They had a wonderful time, even with the new protocols and differences from pre-COVID-19 stays. Beyond the enhanced sanitation measures and masks, Beth shares her top 10 things to expect during summer travel below.
Beth’s Top 10 Things to Expect When You Travel
10. If you love salt and pepper, be prepared to ask for it. There were no salt and pepper shakers on the tables.
9. Your mini-bar most likely will be empty, so just call Room Service for your ice, sodas, favorite spirits, and mixers.
8. Plexiglass check-ins at reception and maybe even the concierge will be standard fare for a while.
7. Housekeeping, yes please! It has always been optional to have someone pick-up after you on and make your bed on vacation, but now you could be asked if you’d like traditional housekeeping each day.
6. Do you love a great gym? Be sure to ask if you need to make a reservation. Most gyms are occupancy controlled with reservations needed.
5. Speaking of reservations. . .have your travel advisor help you understand which dining reservations need pre-arranging. Because of limited capacity, advance reservations can be important if you want to dine in.
4. Patience is truly a virtue…patience waiting on the elevator from six feet so people can exit before your party enters, patience with the staff taking extra precautions, and patience other guests while we all learn the new normal.
3. Hotels are open (sort of). There are still features of some hotels that may not be open during your stay. The Kids Club? The small coffee café? Club Level? Game Room? Your advisor will work with our on-property contacts to make sure you know what will be open and what won’t.
2. Grab a seat at the bar – just not in the traditional way with bar stools so close you confuse your neighbor’s conversation with your own. Bar tables spaced appropriately and lounge set-ups for small groups are the norm.
1. Did you know People smile through their eyes? While their mouths are covered with masks (and so are yours!), you still feel the warmth and genuine hospitality with the ladies and gentlemen at the hotel doing their best for you! Watching their eyes as they welcome guests back is the best feeling—you know they sincerely care about you being safe and having a fantastic time.
The situation with COVID-19 is fluid, and we are working closely with our travel partners to understand their healthy and safety guidelines as well as with our clients to make sure they have resources to know what to expect when you travel and to make informed decisions about their travel. Some clients are ready to travel as soon as they can, and others want to wait until they are a little more comfortable. We are here to help you plan, help you dream, and help you experience our beautiful world whenever you are ready.
If you have more questions about what travel looks like or are ready to start dreaming, click here to contact an advisor.