Sunblock? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Disinfectant, masks and soap? Check.
Laying out vacation supplies looks a lot different in the middle of a pandemic. Some states have even warned against traveling across the country while COVID-19 cases rise. That's why experts say staying closer to home during the pandemic can help you have a getaway experience while protecting your family and those around you.
AAA Spokesperson Jenifer Moore said you don't have to board a plane or even leave your state to safely vacation. She said following state COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines is made easy using TripTik, AAA’s online travel site and mobile app that now comes with a coronavirus tracker.
“You can put in your destination where you’re thinking about going. You’ll be able to see all of the state, local restrictions/advisories,” she said.
That includes the latest travel advisory issued in Kentucky, as officials urged people traveling to nine states and Puerto Rico quarantine for two weeks upon their return. Those states include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.
While it isn't a requirement, health officials said self-quarantining can stop the spread of COVID-19 in cluster areas along the coasts.
“Based on TripTik requests we’ve gotten nationally and here, too, we’re seeing a lot of folks traveling to the beach areas," Moore said. "The coastal lines, Florida, South Carolina.”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also rolled back the number of people allowed for informal gatherings from 50 to 10 people. The limit does not apply to events held at professional venues, like weddings.
“Clusters created by our backyard barbeques, block parties. It’s because we have let our guard down. We have friends over. We think they’re doing everything right,” he said during his press conference Monday.
Moore said getting away doesn’t have to mean taking a flight to a beach destination.
“More people are opting to take the road trip. That gives them a bit more flexibility. They can control the planning aspect of it as opposed to traveling in an airplane. They can decide when they want to leave, and if they want to come home early, they can come home early,” Moore said.
Moore also recommended in-state excursions, too, especially with state parks and campgrounds open during the pandemic.
“Lakes are open as well. A lot of things that can be done locally that give you a trip experience,” she said.
If you do travel out-of-state, Moore recommends wiping down your hotel room right after check-in.
“We recommend you bring your own cleaning supplies,” she said. “That gives you the extra precaution during your stay.”
Working with a travel agent could also help you find which hotels are safest to plan your stay.
"You can look at the hotel, see what their rating is, precautions they’re taking for the pandemic, and plan accordingly," she said.