International travel is always a great adventure, but with the pandemic and all the risks and requirements that come with going to a new country, over 70% of Americans are choosing to enjoy domestic destinations this summer.
The consequence of that is an immense surge of demand for rental cars, campers and RV’s, National Park passes, hotel reservations, flights and many other travel products. Fully vaccinated travelers need not worry about much other than wearing a mask (still required to all on planes, buses, trains, etc) and self-monitoring for Covid-19 symptoms upon their return.
According to the CDC, those unvaccinated should still avoid travel, but if a trip is necessary, the domestic recommendations are much less overwhelming than the international ones.
CDC recommends the following for unvaccinated travelers:
Our very own Nancy Fowler went on a domestic trip to California over Memorial Day weekend and was able to experience first-hand how things are developing.
How were things as far as lines, waiting and overall organization at the airport?
“At PDX, check in at the Alaska counter, security to Concourse C, and boarding was well organized. At STS (Sonoma/Santa Rosa airport): it is very small and construction has been ongoing for over a year. The check in area is tiny; 3 of the 4 AS self-check-in kiosks were out of service.“
You’re fully vaxxed. Were there any tests you had to take in order to be allowed to travel?
“Masks are required in airports and on planes. One direction I wore a mask from 715a-1245p: PDX, plane, SEA, plane, STS. That felt really long since Oregon has revised the mask mandates. Traveling to California nothing is required. No questions about vaccination status are asked. I carried my vaccination card just in case.“
Were there crowds?
“All flights I was on were full. Since flight schedules are not back to 100% of pre-COVID levels, I didn’t find airports crowded; just busier than over the past year. People are traveling – I’ve noticed an uptick in the past few months.“
From your recent experience, do you have any recommendations for those planning on traveling domestically in the near future?
“Use your airline’s app, and once in the airport keep a constant eye on your flight’s status; via the departure/arrival board and at the assigned gate. Beverage and food service onboard is slowly returning, but do carry snacks rather than rely on the airline. Kindness and sense of humor will take you far.”
So, where should you go? Luckily, the United States are extremely rich in beauty, nature and in variety of ecosystems and culture. Deserts, beaches, slopes, mountains, urban landscapes and so much more, it feels like more than just one country.
Thinking year-round? It’s hard to gauge when international travel will normalize again. Thankfully, the U.S. has places to visit for every season, taste and travel style. We’ve created a list of domestic destinations per season, so you can get the best out of your trip.
Summer: a good rule of thumb for travel in summer months is to head up north, as the southern states can be hot and humid during the warmer months. Some wonderful destinations include: Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Hawaii and Alaska.
Fall: the changing of leaves and all the colors it creates give a number of American destinations a beautiful autumnal glow, perfect for those that enjoy mild temperatures and being surrounded by tones of gold, red, brown and yellow nature. Some prime locations to experience the best of American fall include Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Oregon.
Winter: for the cooler months, one can go on two different routes: run away to the heat or run towards the cold. Some of the best warm spots to run away from the freeze include Hawaii, California, Arizona and Florida. As far as enjoying the winter wonderland, some excellent destinations are Aspen, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley and Park City.
Spring: the season of blooming flowers and mild temperatures! Nature is in rebirth and the U.S. has many beautiful spots to appreciate the colors and and freshness of spring. Some beautiful places to experience this season are Washington D.C., Skagit Valley, New Orleans, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas beaches.
It can be a lot of fun making a game out of visiting all 50 states. If you need any help planning a domestic trip, our agents have been all over the U.S. and have excellent insights and travel resources to help you. Contact us and get started on exploring the beauties of the United States!