The states are starting to reopen. But is it wise to venture out?
[Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that originally ran on May 19.] Disclaimer: This is meant to be a general overview of how each state is reopening. It is not intended to provide every last detail regarding guidelines and restrictions; please refer to the government website of each state for specifics. In addition, please remember that even if a state has been given the green light for a category of businesses to reopen, individual businesses may choose to remain closed. As such, please be sure to contact each business or site before visiting to ensure that it is open. As the United States begins to relax its shelter-in-place orders and some emerge from their homes, many are counting the days when we can get back out there and travel, even if it’s by car to a neighboring community or state. But as we know, a very different landscape awaits out there than the one we left earlier this winter at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There are things travelers must consider that we never did before, including social distancing and personal sanitization. The big question is: Is it safe to travel in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pretty clear in its stance. It’s recommended that you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential. Social distancing still needs to be practiced, especially if you are in a higher risk category or an older adult. You shouldn’t travel if you feel sick, or travel with someone who is sick. And you need to protect yourself and others by knowing how to prevent the virus from spreading. Perhaps the most hopeful advice comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. According to him, summer travel “can be in the cards.” He urges caution, since we risk COVID-19 spreading rapidly if proper precautions are not taken. “When infections start to rear their heads again,” he says, “we have to put in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact trace, and make sure we don’t have those spikes we have now.” As long as we’re aware that “getting back to normal is not like a light switch that you turn on and off,” he says, we should be able to get back to some sort of normalcy. So the answer is: We’re not quite there yet. The best thing to do is pay attention to the several-phase reopening plans that each state has developed, outlining when hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, outdoor areas, etc., should be open for business and what precautions they must take. Some states are freer than others—and that’s something to consider. Do you really want to be on a beach where social distancing guidelines aren’t being maintained? It’s a whole new world that we’ll be navigating, literally. The guidelines are fast-changing and it’s hard to keep up, but here’s where they stand today, state by state.
Some of the weirdest, wackiest, under the radar places in Florida.
Florida is quite the destination–sometimes controversial, sometimes just plain weird, it’s hard not to hold a special place in your heart for the strange state. This is especially true when it comes to all of the wacky and…interesting…spots it holds. These ten treasures are the under-the-radar, completely out of this world gems the state houses.
Keep yourself entertained, fed, and safe on your upcoming road trip.
Whether you’re striking out on a day trip or making a cross-country trek, one of the keys to a successful road trip is being prepared. So while you’re making sure your snacks and playlist of crowd-pleasing jams are all in order, make sure your phone is similarly outfitted with everything you need to ensure you’re ready for any bumps (both metaphorically and the kind that can cause a flat tire) you may encounter along the way.
Here’s how to stay clean and safe while traveling.
Even when there’s not a Coronavirus lurking around, airplanes and airports can be like Petri dishes with some gnarly germs and grime. Only traveling while you’re healthy is the best way to help keep travel safe for everyone (c’mon people, stay home if you’re sick!), but sleepless nights and stress from travel can actually reduce the body’s ability to fight off antigens and leave you vulnerable. The CDC recommends being an alert traveler by avoiding contact with the sick, keeping your hands off your face, covering your coughs and sneezes, staying home when you’re sick (ahem, again we say, “c’mon people!”), disinfecting personal spaces, and washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Although the following items won’t guarantee you won’t come into contact with germs on your next flight, they can definitely help sanitize your space and reduce your risk of catching anything midair.
From laughs, to thrills, to true stories that are stranger than fiction, these audiobooks make a treat out of any trek.
You’re driving along some lonesome highway when the last radio station fizzles into static. What’s a bored road-tripper to do? Spotify? Good luck streaming your Discover Weekly playlist with the reception (or lack thereof) out here. CDs? That’d be great except the only one you have is a burned collection of Kazaa’s greatest hits circa 2003. Be left alone with your own thoughts? Not an option. Luckily, you thought ahead and downloaded an audiobook. These audiobooks are especially well-suited to keeping you engaged (but not so engaged that you can’t pay attention to the road) whether it’s through their particularly compelling subject matter, performances, or little touches that you wouldn’t get on the printed page. INSIDER TIPIf you listen to podcasts you’ve no doubt heard an ad for Audible before. But you can also get audiobooks for free through your library. Check and see if your library offers audiobooks to download through apps like OverDrive/Libby or Hoopla.