The US Winter Travel Guide

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: November 10, 2020

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

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 November 10, 2020
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