Experts are recommending that people don’t travel. But if you have the bug to get on the road and experience a change of scene, there are ways to protect yourself. Renting a vacation rental or AirBnb might seem risky, but take the following steps to decrease your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.
Ask your host questions about the space
It might seem rude to put your host through the third degree, but in times like these, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask about cleaning and previous residents. Make sure that your host takes advantage of the 24-hour gap between reservations to thoroughly clean the place. You should also ask about the previous guests. How many people stayed here last week? More guests mean more exposure and possible contamination.
Pick a city that isn’t a “hot spot”
Unfortunately, hotspots are cropping up all over the US. If you’re looking to get away, pick a rural spot away from crowds and large gatherings. Your best bet is to find an island or a small town instead of heading to a big city. Right now, the northeastern states are the safest regions, but make sure to quarantine yourself for 14 days after arrival. Otherwise, you could unknowingly transmit the disease to the locals.
Stay longer, don’t bounce around
If you expect to quarantine yourself upon return from your trip, you’re going to lose two weeks once you’re back home. But there’s no point in getting out of town for a single night if you then have to spend 14 days in quarantine. Make it worth the trip by making your vacation longer. Plus, if you take a long stay in a new setting, you’ll really get the chance to explore the area and settle into a routine.
Rent the whole place
It might be a bit more expensive, but renting the entire apartment or house is much safer than renting a private room. There are no shared spaces with strangers, which protects yourself, the host, and the other guests. You also don’t need to worry about wearing a mask when you’re making food in the kitchen or lounging in the living room.
Inspect the place when you get there
You’ve chatted with the host, you’ve booked an entire place, and you’re far away from hotspot cities. Now you’ve arrived and there’s one last thing to do: keep your mask on and give the place a thorough inspection. Focus on frequently-touched areas like countertops, doorknobs, and tabletops. If there is an issue and you feel like the place wasn’t properly sanitized, contact your host and AirBnb immediately.