With news of Governor Whitmer's decision to increase capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings to 100% and no longer require residents to wear a face mask beginning June 22, you might be thinking of hitting the road for the Fourth of July holiday or a vacation later in the summer. But before you begin, there are some critical things to be sure you do—and don't.
- Be prepared. Even if you're sure you won't need any, continue to carry pandemic essentials like masks with you, just in case. You don't want to miss out on any awesome experiences simply because you didn't throw a mask in your bag!
- Stay in the loop. With news and updates coming at us almost daily, determine who your go-to sources for reliable information are and regularly monitor their communications so you're always in the know. If that seems overwhelming, google alerts and following specific hashtags can be helpful.
- Ensure your documents are up to date. Even if you're not going far, it's still vital to be sure any medical documents or passports (now that travel abroad is looking more possible) are current. After over a year of forgoing travel, it wouldn't be surprising for these items to not be top of mind!
- Make assumptions. Though we're making progress towards normalcy, rules and regulations may vary not only by country, state and city, but also by establishment. The majority of organizations and businesses have made essential information available on their websites and social media, so don't hesitate to do a quick double check so you always know what to expect.
- Think everyone's comfort level is the same. Communication with those you're traveling with or meeting—both before and during your trip—will be essential for an enjoyable trip, especially in the post-pandemic era. Showing you're willing to go the extra mile to make others feel comfortable is key for not only being respectful, but it's also easy (and the right thing to do).
- Be a jerk. Remember: Everyone is simply doing the best they can. That might mean waiting in line at the airport for a little longer or being patient with an overwhelmed server at an understaffed restaurant. Things will move a lot smoother (and be a lot more enjoyable) when you prioritize staying level-headed and graceful.
For more recommendations to be mindful of before you set out on your travels, see the CDC website.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.