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May 6, 2021, 3:36 p.m. EDT

8 travel tips for vaccinated seniors in 2021

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Judy Colbert

This article is reprinted by permission from  .

Talk to almost anyone who’s been vaccinated for COVID-19 recently and you hear about their travel plans, some more adventurous than others.

R.C. Staab, of New York City , is “going to Philly, Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma and Texas.” Yves Gentil, a Denver public relations consultant has a three-day trip booked to Santa Fe in May for his birthday, saying: “I’ve always wanted to go, and I prefer to stay close to home for now.” Sandy and Joe Colbert, of St. Petersburg, Fla., are thinking about where to drive around the country in their camper. “We don’t expect to slow down our travel plans,” said Sandy. “We are enjoying every moment we have together.”

Seventy-eight percent of people in a January 2021 American Express /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP +1.32% Travel survey said they want to get away this year to relieve stress from the pandemic. And a T-Mobile /zigman2/quotes/204659678/composite TMUS +0.39% survey found that 68% of grandparents plan to travel in 2021, often because they’ve missed seeing their grandkids during the pandemic. Jeanie Johnston, president of Jeanie’s Journeys Tours & Travel Company, says, “The vaccinated senior is part of the ‘silver wave’ of people who are ready and willing to go anywhere.”

But it isn’t really safe to go  anywhere  just yet. Many foreign countries have serious pandemic problems  and restrictions for travelers, though European Union countries will start allowing in vaccinated American tourists this summer . Right now, though, it’s best to consider booking vacations domestically, if you’ll travel at all.

See: New York City sets goal to reopen fully on July 1

Here are some ideas for traveling safely in the U.S. in 2021 and the best way to do it:

Ask questions.  Before booking lodging or transportation, find out what the company’s COVID-19 cleaning procedure is, whether there’s a vaccination and face mask policy and what happens if you decide to cancel.

Book flights soon.   Airline ticket prices have already shot up since March after months of steady declines. According to the travel booking app Hopper, in early February, the average price for July airfares was $278. Recently, it was $293. Travel experts expect fares to continue rising in coming months and that airlines will charge premiums for last-minute bookings.

Buy travel insurance.  Since the COVID-19 situation is so fluid and standard travel insurance likely won’t cover coronavirus-related trip changes , Johnston recommends buying what’s known as Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance for this year and into 2022. Most policies offering this feature will generally reimburse you 75% of your travel costs, according to the InsureMyTrip website.

Consider mostly outdoor vacations.  That’s because you’re safer from contracting the coronavirus outdoors than indoors.

RVC Outdoor Destinations  offers 13 pet- and family-friendly outdoor vacation properties in naturally beautiful environments from Yosemite National Park in California to Lake Raystown Resort in central Pennsylvania. You can stay in an RV, if you have one, or in one of the property’s cabins and cottages, yurts or tents. Each resort has a convenience store; fitness center; free cable and Wi-Fi; a pool; golf cart, bike, kayak, canoe and boat rentals and accessible options.

The camp sites are spaced farther apart than industry standards for a more private, socially distant natural camping experience. Guests are requested to wear masks in the main lodge buildings, even in states where the requirement has been lifted. Cancellation policies are flexible until the pandemic has passed.

Look for all-in-one resorts . For example, Marriott’s /zigman2/quotes/200170042/composite MAR -0.22% five Gaylord Hotels around the country offer an abundance of space for natural social distancing. They, too, have flexible cancellation policies.

Most of these properties feature the signature experience of an immersive water park, which just might include a multilevel treehouse water playground. For families, each resort has a Learn from Here program allowing children the opportunity to experience a “Wildlife Rescue” through augmented reality.

Also see: Even if you’re vaccinated, here’s how COVID safety rules can still put a damper on your travel plans

Gaylord has teamed with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to keep guests healthy during the pandemic. All vacationers and employees are required to wear a face mask in all public indoor spaces, including at events and attractions.

$ 168.21
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