Travel Restrictions & Social Distancing

Roebling Suspension Bridge, Cincinnati

Luckily, Cincinnati has plenty of beautiful sights that I can still enjoy. This is the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

In this uncertain world of coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions, what is a travel blogger to do?

As I write this, I should have been in Brussels right now for a training program. Of course, if I had flown there as expected, I’d be scrambling to get home right now with the new flight restrictions implemented by President Trump.

If that weren’t enough, there are suggestions to cancel congregations of 250+ people. We’ve seen this play out across sporting events, Broadway shows, and universities all across America this week, and it has impacted some of the travel I haven’t cancelled yet. I just got notification that one of the tours I’d lined up in NYC has cancelled.

So, what’s a travel blogger to do?

I do realize that if I were to take a break from blogging, the world would not end. Most people would not even care, or notice. This isn’t how I make a living, so my livelihood would not be impacted. But as melodramatic as it sounds, I need to travel. Traveling to different parts of the world, experiencing new cultures, learning about new sub-cultures/sports/events/sights fuels me spiritually in a way that nothing else does.

Simply put, being a travel blogger is an essential part of who I am.

World-travel-countries-I've-been-to

One of my Christmas gifts: shows all the countries I’ve traveled to so far.

So again, what’s a travel blogger to do?

This travel blogger has come up with a solution for the immediate future. I will continue to travel to places closer to home and explore sights/experiences that aren’t dependent on businesses being open and groups congregating for tours.

I’ll hold to the idea of social distancing. I can travel alone in my car and avoid crowds for the most part. But I also want to spend money in local economies. The trickle-down effect of cancelled travel & tourism is going to be disastrous.

Here are a few U.S. statistics from the 2018 tourism certification class I took:

  • Travel is a $2.4 trillion industry nationwide; $6.6 billion per day!
  • Travel & tourism creates 15.6 million jobs in the U.S.
  • Tourism constitutes 1 of every 9 jobs in the U.S.
  • Tourism generates $164.8 billion in tax revenues, which saves taxpayers and estimated $1,300 they might otherwise pay in federal taxes each year.

Competition for tourism dollars is likely to become more competitive than ever as we see drops in travel and tourism around the world. This all trickles down to the hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and JOBS that our local communities rely on.

where-can-I-go-during-coronavirus?

I still want to explore!

So, here’s my plan while I can still responsibly travel close-to-home:

  • I will adhere to social distancing suggestions to limit interactions to small group settings.
  • In many cases, I will look for activities that I can do regardless of cancellations.
  • I will continue to support local businesses/restaurants/museums/hotels as I wander off-the-beaten path.

I like to think of my next upcoming trips as treasure hunts: what can I find to see and do on my own? I’m heading to Michigan soon. Wait and see…

How have your travel plans been impacted?

 

25 responses to “Travel Restrictions & Social Distancing

  1. Traveling to places within your country or state and supporting local businesses is a great plan. At this rate, it seems like almost the whole world is turning into a no-go area for travel.

  2. I was going to suggest road tripping! I’m sorry your imminent travels are canceled (ours too) but I hope this turns out wonderfully.

    • I think social distancing during this time is smart. Staying closer to home can be nice. I do worry about the impact this will have on so many businesses. So many jobs rely on “life as normal.”

  3. Great post Juliann! It’s hard to not be disappointed when a trip gets cancelled – I guess it’s fortunate you won’t face quarantine upon returning home. 🙂 We had a similar disappointment because we were heading to Africa … but not now. I really like your idea of spreading the “travel love” around locally! ~Terri

    • Thanks, Terri! I hope you don’t have to wait too long to get to Africa. That sounds like an incredible trip! I hope you find some local things to keep you busy in the meantime.

  4. These are great ideas, Julie. This is definitely a good time for a road trip and I think visiting local areas is smart too. I’m still holding out hope that by the summer/fall, thing will have calmed down enough to travel abroad again as New Zealand was a destination I was contemplating. In the meantime, smaller, more local trips will have to do!

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  6. We’ve only been slightly impacted. Lucky that we got back from Spain in the nick of time. The travel industry will bounce back…eventually! Hoping sooner rather than later!

  7. As I just moved across the country and bought a new house, personal trips weren’t impacted as I was staying close to home (because of expense) – I have a big trip in the fall that may or may not be impacted depending on how long this lasts. BUT a ton of business travel was canceled – Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Europe. I am staying close to home, working from home and social distancing as well. I am supporting travel bloggers by visiting more than my usual to give them page views in this time of need.

  8. It is definitely a difficult time to be in the travel industry. But it’s affecting all industries, not just travel, so it helps me at least to think that we are all together in a regard. I think you must have written this post a few days ago because now (in Michigan at least) we are told to avoid and cancel all gatherings of 10 or more people (just a few days ago it was 250). I also would say… as someone working in healthcare I would discourage all road trips and ‘travel’ – even locally – at this time. You can be a silent carrier and bring the virus into communities that aren’t prepared to handle it, with small local hospitals that may only have one or two ventilators and typically transport all their ICU patients to regional hospitals. I’ve seen a lot of travel bloggers promoting road trips or visiting national parks, and I know that sounds great right now but think of the gas stations, convenience stores, etc. that you might visit even just for a few minutes and the terrible consequences those short visits could have on entire communities.

    • Great points, Sarah! Yes, this trip was last week and now here in Ohio, we’re basically self-isolating. My heart goes out to all the people who are suffering economically because of this. I’m hoping that if we all pull together, it will pass more quickly.

  9. Lucky me, I came back to Dublin, one day before they announced the travel restrictions. It’s good to check the situation online before you decide to go somewhere.

  10. My travel scheduled has been fully cleared until the middle of May when I take my yearly trip with my mom. While I’m bummed I won’t be going to British Columbia or Kansas City, I’m looking forward to having some time to catch up on things around the house and tackle the to-do list. I’m sure I’ll get stir crazy at some point but luckily nature is never closed so I can get out and enjoy a few hikes to clear my head! Stay safe out there 🙂

  11. Stay strong and healthy. We have been cancelling trips left and right. First off, Jenn’s mom was supposed to visit. Then a trip to Orange Beach. Then my niece coming out. Then Estes Park Colorado. Then Puerto Rico. Instead we are working on a lot of long term blog projects that we were going to do last Christmas, but we put off to move to Alabama.

  12. I’m in the same situation! The only thing we can do right now is social distance, stay in touch virtually, and do some arm chair traveling. I plan to get outside to do some local hikes or bike rides that aren’t very highly populated to stay sane!

  13. As a virtual non-traveller I’m unaffected really. I think you’re right Julie. In a country as vast as the USA it’s possible to overlook the good things on your doorstep. Even this morning in our 9×5-mile island I jogged a few miles, taking pictures of little things both familiar and unfamiliar. Indeed a chance to get to know your locality more intimately. Stay safe.

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