The summer of 2021 looks promising, thanks to rising vaccination rates and fewer cases of COVID-19.
Many states have lifted travel restrictions and capacity limits, making domestic travel a safe possibility.
If you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can do many of the things you used to do before the pandemic—travel, hit the pool, eat out or get together with other fully-vaccinated people.
For those not yet vaccinated, including kids younger than 12, summer fun comes with caution.
The pandemic isn’t over, even though transmission rates are low. Unvaccinated people should continue the public health safety measures they’ve been practicing for the last year, including wearing a mask in crowds or indoors and maintaining physical distance from others.
Experts say spending time outside is safest for everyone, vaccinated or not, as the risk of viral transmission is very low.
If you’re planning to travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends unvaccinated people get tested for COVID-19 1-3 days before traveling, then get tested again 3-5 days after returning and self-quarantine for 7 days.
The CDC recommends only traveling internationally if you are fully vaccinated. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to research your destination to see what COVID-19 restrictions may be in place there.
Traveling by car with your immediate household is also a safe way to get out and about this summer. Masks are still required of everyone using public transportation, including airplanes. As the number of cases decreases, due to increased vaccinations, the safer it will be to use public transportation.
If you are the parent of younger kids who aren’t eligible for vaccines yet, you might be planning some staycations instead.
Instead of couch surfing and binge watching, try these tips to make this summer great:
- Disconnect from work. If you’re still working from home and are taking a staycation, be sure you’re off work mode during your vacation time. Give yourself a break from emails and phone calls, even if your office is at home. If you need to respond to emails or calls, try scheduling time to do that so you can enjoy the rest of your day work-free.
- Splurge a little and change the scenery. Buy some new plants or wall decor to make your home feel like a getaway. Splurging on a new set of bed sheets or comforter will likely cost less than a hotel stay and can give you that luxurious feel of a hotel stay. Hang a hammock in your backyard or a porch swing out front. A water fountain outside or inside your home can help you unwind to the sounds of nature.
- Plan an at-home spa day. Dig out your comfy robe and slippers and pamper yourself. Your day could include a soak in the tub, a facial, manicure or an eye mask while you nap. Set up a meditation area in your home with special lighting, a yoga mat or floor cushion and soft music. Enjoy the day and relax.
- Tour your town. Check out your local visitor’s bureau and tour your town, or a neighboring town, as a tourist. Visit a park you’ve never been to, learn about the town’s history at the local museum or check out some new shops while strolling the streets. Be sure to include stops to the local favorites for lunch, dinner or a scoop of ice cream.
- Try something new. Use your staycation to pick up a new hobby, learn to cook a new cuisine or finish a project around the house. Include the whole family and find new things to do together that you can all enjoy. You can also check out your local park district or your community college to see if they are offering any fun outdoor or online classes. Use the time to try something you might not otherwise do during your normal week.
- Camp out in your backyard. Set up a tent and enjoy burgers on the grill, s’mores by the fire and stargazing from your backyard. If the weather isn’t cooperating, set up camp inside your home. Build indoor forts out of sheets and set up air mattresses or sleeping bags for the night.
If your family hasn’t been vaccinated yet for COVID-19, Edward-Elmhurst Health has COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for ages 12 and older. Schedule your vaccine today.
Are you wondering whether to get the vaccine? Read our blog to learn more.
The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.