We all hope that the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic will be behind us soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t travel safely now. In today’s world, traveling requires some new precautions to protect one’s health. But with the proper precautions, it can be safe to travel, and many people are finding that travel can be more rewarding and enjoyable than before.
For those willing to fly, rewards come in the form of shorter lines, plenty of storage space for carry-ons, extra foot room, empty middle seats, and no armrest sharing!. For those who aren’t quite ready to hop on a plane, a road trip can provide a great way to reconnect with family or friends. Driving means saving money, which leaves more of your budget for lodging, dining, or activities and experiences.
While hotels and motels may mean shared spaces, hallways, or recirculated air, privately owned vacation homes offer contactless check ins, private spaces with fresh air, kitchens, living rooms, and locations that are often more attractive than hotels. Property management and housekeeping companies have had time to adapt to the reality of the Coronavirus, implementing policies and procedures to protect the health of employees, guests, and homeowners alike. So go ahead, plan a vacation, and when selecting your vacation home, here are some things to look for or ask about:
- What is the cancellation policy? The best companies purchase insurance so that owners can be paid while also refunding guests, even for last minute cancellations.
- Does the property’s headline or description mention COVID and or cleaning procedures? A good professional company will be proactively informing customers of their efforts.
- Is a 1 or 2 night vacancy “buffer” required between reservations? The CDC recommends but does not require vacant nights between groups. Some proactive property owners and company are putting people and safety before profits.
- Look at the property’s availability calendar. Most vacation rental properties will not accept 1 night stays. So look for properties that have a departure 1 night before your arrival date. So look for properties that have a departure the day before your arrival.
- Ask how is the property being sanitized, disinfected, and ventilated in between occupancies? Are CDC and VHRP cleaning guidelines being followed? Get in touch with the property manager directly. If using a site like AirBNB or VRBO, look for the company’s name and google them. Or inquire through the website, but make sure you’re communicating with the property manager, and not an AirBNB or VRBO employee.
- Are guests able to check in directly at the property? Stopping at a front desk or check in office increases risk. Electronic keypads and real estate style key lockboxes allow you to decrease contacts with others and spaces where lots of other travelers might be.
- Do bedrooms have duvet covers, or is triple sheeting being done? Duvet Covers offer a sanitized place to rest. Comforters are not normally washed between rental groups, but triple sheeting techniques enclose comforters for sanitary purposes.
- What is provided in the unit? Soap is standard, so look for properties that have gone the extra mile, and provide hand sanitizer and cleaning products for your use.
- Expect large cleaning fees. Book based upon total cost. Cleaning a rental property is a tough job. Good and thorough cleaning comes with a cost, particularly with extra steps and attention to detail needed in the era of COVID-19. So large cleaning fees should be expected or welcomed. Book based upon total cost rather than worrying about what makes up that total cost.
We all hope that the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic will be behind us soon. Until then, travel safely, and enjoy!