The US Winter Travel Guide

  • AUTHOR: DAKOTA ARDEN
  • POSTED ON: 10/Nov/2020
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Fall is generally considered one of the best seasons to travel around the USA but 2020 is different – mainly due to COVID – a virus that has transformed the way holiday traveling operated around the world. This blog isn’t going to be your typical annual holiday travel guide. In respect to the pandemic, we’re going to address the important guidelines that will reduce travel anxiety and help you enjoy your trip entirely. We’re also going to recommend the top places in the USA that you must visit at least once in your life, if not this winter.


 


As already discussed, traveling is excessively nuisance this year so you have to take several additional steps to ensure safety. For example, you’ll be asked to reach the airport extra early and also pre-book the parking spot at the airport in case you’re coming in your own car. Furthermore, if you were planning to wrap the gifts for your friends and family on your way back, forget about it. Currently, there are a lot of unnecessary restrictions that will only add to your frustration if you try and argue. 




At the start of this pandemic, most of the planes in the sky were empty. By the time summer arrived, airlines started blocking the middle seats and flew with limited capacity. However, that was then – fall is here and so is the holiday seasons, and no matter what the government says, people will try and travel back to their hometown to spend quality time with their families. What this essentially means is that airlines will be fully booked, even if they are booked on a limited capacity. Moreover, it is being predicted that most airlines won’t even block the middle seats anymore.


Source: BBC


Make sure that you book your flight now because the popular holiday travel dates are most likely booked. To be mentally prepared, you should, in fact, call the respected airline and inquire the level to which flights are getting booked. You should also ask if they’re offering any potential leverage, like flexible charges or rebooking policy – in case you change your mind last minute.


At first, the terminal you’re waiting in will seem busy. However, you’ll soon figure out that most of the retailers and food options around you are not open – and the ones that are open would have long lines and limited functionality and/or working hours.


Regular travelers wouldn’t find any difference in the airport lounges, but in reality, many lounges are closed. Therefore, you need to adjust and travel with tempered expectations. The most challenging restriction that may force you to drop your traveling plan altogether is that you may have to quarantine in a hotel for at least 14 days. The odds will obviously increase if you’re an international traveler. 


Source: Al Jazeera


The right way to travel under these circumstances is this:

  • Take your COVID-19 tests before leaving for the trip.
  • Spend 14 days at your home, quarantining, instead of risking the extraction of the virus.
  • When you travel, have travel insurance and a back-up plan to cover unexpected costs.

Now we already know that airlines and hotels have ramped up their cleaning efforts, but you still need to be careful. Don’t take unnecessary risks and bring your own sanitizing wipes. Some people traveling to Turkey pointed out that many airlines and hotels aren’t vigilant enough and have shown poor efforts to protect their customers. They’re not following the safety measures recommended by the World Health Organization.


Another factor that could potentially postpone your plans until next year is that you may not return to work immediately. Therefore, it’s essential that you keep official holidays, sick leaves, and 14-day quarantine in mind while devising your traveling plans. No matter what happens, you won’t be permitted in-door before your results come out negative. Of course, it may all work out in your favor if you’re still working and/or studying remotely by that time.


Source: NPR


Source: NS Medical Services


Recently, an unreasonable trend is being exposed to social media. People who’re sharing pictures of their trip abroad or anywhere in the country, they’re being travel-shamed by Instagram. It’s true that the COVID-19 cases reduced significantly a couple of weeks ago, but there’s another surge in the number in the last few days, indicating a second wave.  


Something that’s most bothersome and anxiety-provoking is that rules and restrictions can change at any time. You might be midair and they’d change the traveling requirements. The travel destination could either reduce or increase the mandatory 14-day quarantine.  Some areas are increasing restrictions meanwhile others are uplifting them – you could step out of the plane and be asked to isolate, even if it wasn’t initially part of the protocol. 




Many hotels have opened for business or are at the stage of reopening. However, many hotels have also decided that they’d prolong their closure or shut down again as they want to be responsible. For example, in Hawaii, the Four Seasons Lanai closed only a few days after opening because the cases surged intensely.


 


There are some new additions to your regular traveling bags. You can’t just carry clothes and headphones and be on your way. This time, packing requires attention and vigilance. You’ve got to bring your face masks, medical documents declaring negative test results, and sanitizers. You’re also recommended to travel with face-shields, pens, official forms, etc. because you never know when you’d need what. Face-shields are especially hard to carry because they don’t fit in small spaces, keeping them in your travel bags just seems impossible.  


Initially when lockdown started and virus spread, health departments weren’t experienced and struggled to manage large-scale lists of patients in quarantine. Ten months into the pandemic, technology and other resources have come to our rescue and made the management more aligned. This also means that you will be caught if you try to scratch your way out of quarantine. You may feel overwhelmed and overworked but technology can’t let you get away so easily. You’ll easily get busted to not following the strict quarantine instructions.


Another recommendation from us is that you talk to your family and friends to approach you with safety. It’s better to be prepared than sorry – thus, set boundaries and make plans beforehand. Make sure that you’re all on the same page otherwise conflicts can arise and you don’t want that. Ask them what they’d be comfortable with, like what’s the right way to meet when you’re all together? Regardless of what you conclude, make sure that you don’t put yourself in danger just because you don’t feel comfortable saying no.


Now that we’ve concluded what to expect when you’re traveling during a global pandemic, let’s come to the actual conversation: where should you travel to? USA is a beautiful country with a variety of climates and hotspots. You can enjoy true diversity and gain unimaginable cultural insight by touring around the continent.


Winter is a great time to snag worthy deals on hotels and restaurants that are the center of attraction during summer. No matter what you decide and wherever you go, the beauty of the USA shall surpass all expectations. Hibernation is for the bears, so put on your traveling pants and explore the big wild!

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Source: Travel Wyoming


Winter is considered to be the best time to get a full-blown Yellowstone experience. During summer, most of the park roads are occupied with regular traffic but by the time November arrives, this mode of transit is filled with snow, leaving an opportunity for cross-country skis and snow coach tours.




You’ll be mesmerized by the view of frozen lakes, white-frosted forests, and beautiful steaming geysers. Obviously, you’ll only get to witness this remarkable scenery if you choose to brave the frozen weather.


You must also head over to the nearby Jackson Hole – it hits the slopes at one of the three mountain resorts. Moreover, there is a lively après-ski scene where you may find lodgings varying from cozy log cabins to luxurious 4-star hotels. 

Magic Mountain Ski Area, Vermont

 

Source: New England Ski history


It opened back in the 1960s as a throwback to the small-scale ski resort which existed before treeless trails got normalized. This New England classic in Londonderry, Vermont is difficult for people who’re unaccustomed to traveling on steep, winding slopes as well as wooden areas. However, if you’re used to adventure and consider yourself an average skier, then you’d enjoy this challenge.


The lift tickets are surprisingly low-cost, along with other customaries compared to the price of mountain resorts anywhere else in New England or the Rockies. 




This place is children-friendly as there is a learning center and a place for adults post the slope to enjoy drinks in the tavern with live music overlooking gorgeously-standing scenery.

New Orleans

Source: NOLA


If you’re planning to visit New Orleans this winter, make sure you plan your visit in the month of February because that’s when the lively city celebrates its annual Mardi Gras tradition. If you’re hearing this celebration for the first time, then you should know that this celebration is basically a street party that is held one day before Ash Wednesday.


The celebration includes beads and booze, of course! At Bourbon Street, you’ll also find a colorful and traditional parade. Moreover, pageantry, krewes and king cakes will occupy the party – not only on Tuesday but you’ll see these rich celebration weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday! 




During this time, hotels are solidly booked so you’re advised to plan and book your room in advance. New Orleans is known as a place with a rich culture as you get to visit French Quarter that is filled with jazz history and neighborhoods like the Treme and Marigny. The weather will be pleasant and gorgeous all over!

Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska

Source: Expedia


Here the nights are long and cold but if you enjoy playing winter sports and absorbing the gorgeous snowy scenery, Alaska is a must-see! There are various ways you can explore the frosty surroundings of Anchorage – there are glacier hikes, dog sledging tours, and Iditarod race!


When you ride further in, you get to see the Aurora Winter Train that looks like it came right out of your Christmas card landscape! You’ll also find heavy snow and occasional moose leading up to Fairbanks. 


Alaska has a beautiful human history at Museum of the North where you get an educational experience so you must take your children with you. Next up you can give a feast to your eyes by setting eyes on the grand Northern Lights that are often visible only between September and March.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Source: Pinterest 


The place is named for its set of multicolored sandstone cliffs that reside long the Lake Superior in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula. The National Lakeshore is completely transformed by the snow in winters fiving us an otherworldly landscape right out of our fairytale imagination.


The caves are covered in icicles and give us crystal ballrooms meanwhile there are frozen waterfalls and towers of ice which climbers just can’t resist. 




There’s also an annual Michigan Ice Fest that is specifically designed for climbers – so you must book your tickets for February. You have the choice to either watch the scenery from sidelines or enjoy by getting in on the action – you get free classes even if you’re a total beginner!

Breckenridge, Colorado

Source: Pinterest

Interested in enjoying sights with a 19thcentury charm? This town is full of it! From gold mining to skiing Mecca, this area is occupied with restaurants and shop that preserve the building back from the Victorian era.


The main attraction is, of course, the long shot in Breckenridge Ski Resort. It is North America’s most popular spot as far as the winter recreational activities are concerned. There’s something for everybody in this town – making it a perfect place for family vacations.

Bottom line

Traveling is a crucial part of your being – when you grow up that’s exactly what you remember the most from your childhood experiences, especially when there are so many beautiful places to visit in winter in the USA or in fact best places to visit in December in the USA during winter holidays in the USA! Therefore, don’t let the pandemic stop you from creating memories for your kids and the rest of the family. In fact, enjoy your youth to the fullest with winter visits with friends! However, keep the restrictions and regulations in mind because the pandemic is serious and having up-to-date information and triple-checked information never hurt a soul. Dodge all curveballs this season and have the best winter of your life by visiting any of the aforementioned places!

Updated 2020-11-10 at 15:58:46

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