There’s no doubt the pandemic has changed how we travel, but there are still ways to hit the road safely during the peak summer season. Here’s how families are traveling during school break – and beyond.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.
After a long 2020 with reduced attendance capacities, Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort have seen a huge uptick in attendance this year. Both parks hit capacity over spring break and will likely see a very busy summer season. Lines and wait times will be long: If you’re planning a trip, give yourself a few extra days to make sure you get to do everything you want to do.
Outside of the theme parks, head to nature – Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline, to be specific. The Florida Keys were among the most searched-for destinations this winter, according to Forbes. For an alternative, head to Cape Coral with its extensive parks and beaches, and nearby Sanibel Island for some of the best seashell-hunting in the country.
If last year was the summer of the road trip, this summer is set to be even more driving-oriented – but you don’t have to do it in your car. Rent an RV through a sharing service that lets you use someone’s RV when they aren’t using it, and you’ll be able to get a premium vehicle – one that lets you get out while still being able to keep your distance – for less money.
Long-term Hotel Stays
The new work-from-home lifestyle has added a surprising amount of flexibility to our lives. Many resorts, both domestic and international, are offering work-from-hotel packages that include use of office space or have educational programs for kids so parents can work in peace. Marriott hotels across the country are offering “Stay Passes” with check-in as early as 6 a.m. and checkout as late as 6 p.m. to accommodate work schedules in cities like Atlanta, Chicago and New York.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re taking a vacation you can afford is to book an all-inclusive resort. You’ll pay for everything in advance, and once you get there, the whole family is free to enjoy whatever they want without paying anything extra. Mexico, especially Cancun and Riviera Maya, has excellent all-inclusive options at all price points, but if you’d rather stay in the U.S., Florida has many all-inclusive beachfront choices.
Most Caribbean destinations, whether they’re U.S. territories or not, will require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test or of being vaccinated. A little bit of paperwork in advance will make quick work of getting into your country of choice. Turks & Caicos was one of the first countries to welcome tourists back, and this island paradise has made strides to simplify international travel. In addition, many hotels are offering free on-site COVID testing for guests returning to countries with testing requirements.
Plan your family getaway with a AAA Travel Advisor at AAA.com/Travel.