Traveling during a pandemic: Your guide to keeping the family happy and healthy

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In consumer news, “You’re now free to move about the country!” That Southwest slogan took on a whole new meaning on Thursday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has set us free, allowing us to travel across the good ole’ USA without having to quarantine when we get back. And it comes just in time for spring break.

I get it. During this pandemic, many of you have been pining for a pilgrimage to paradise. Actually, for some, it doesn’t have to be paradise, just any place with a beach and a beer. I get it. So let’s get you ready for that trip.

With the help of AAA, here’s Deanna’s Do List.

  1. Pack extra masks. Planes, trains, and busses all require them.
  2. Know the COVID restrictions along your route. It’s a necessity if you’re traveling a long distance by car. AAA has created a handy dandy COVID restrictions map of America.
  3. Pack snacks in your carry-on. Food and beverage service will likely be limited on flights. And you don’t want to be stuck at 30,000 feet with hungry kiddos.
  4. Consider travel insurance. When considering the cost of the insurance, ask yourself how much you’re willing to lose. If the trip is expensive, insurance is worth the cost. Many are now covering COVID-related cancellations, and Forbes magazine has compiled a list of the best.

As for my family, we may head back to the Adirondacks. A few months ago, I took the kids horseback riding and hiking. It was glorious and the kids had a blast. But I have a confession. I’m really frugal. Well, that’s likely an understatement. I’m cheap. So I found the cheapest hotel with the best reviews. And as always, I examined the room before we brought in the bags. When I walked into the bathroom I was greeted by a bathtub ring so caked with dirt, I first thought the tub was just old and discolored. So I put on a glove and scraped the ring with a fingernail file. The caked dirt flaked away. That’s a ring of dirt left from many guests who’d come before us.

I share this with you to stress the fact that online reviews can’t always be trusted. And especially in the age of COVID, we can’t skimp on the cleanliness of the hotel. Consider one on AAA’s list.

Their inspectors show up unannounced and inspect hotels across the country. And every year, they create a list of the cleanest hotels in America.

Happy travels!