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10 Pandemic Friendly Activities To Do On Vacation
With COVID-19 and variant cases rising, avid travelers are itching to get back to exploring and enjoying new destinations. Planning for a vacation in the “new normal” takes a new level of mindfulness, and one challenge is finding activities that presents an opportunity to social distance and stay safe while enjoying your vacation. We’ve ranked the top “pandemic friendly” excursions to do while on your next vacation no matter the destination. From low risk activities where social distancing is a breeze, to high risk activities where you will definitely need to wear masks – here’s our top 10 pandemic friendly excursions for your next vacation:
A tropical getaway is a popular choice now that many international destinations have stricter travel restrictions. If you’re interested in a low risk, and many times cost friendly activity, you should try snorkeling.
If you’re renting an Airbnb, you may want to pick a host that will provide beach and snorkeling gear at no additional cost. If your host does not provide snorkeling gear, you can easily rent gear for $8-$16 per day. Snorkeling is a beautiful experience and even those who are not strong swimmers can enjoy. Depending on your destination you can see various marine life while snorkeling like fishes, turtles, coral reefs and manta rays.
Unlike a regular day at the beach, snorkeling areas are typically less populated and there are tons of room to social distance in the ocean. If you’re looking for a full day experience that is not only cost friendly but social distancing approved – find the best snorkeling areas near you!
Now is a perfect time to find a trail and literally take the road less traveled. If you’re tired of wearing your mask all day long, hiking offers a chance to unmask and unplug.
Many outdoor spaces like National Parks and hiking trails recommend you still bring your masks, however they’re usually not required as you explore the great outdoors.
Hiking also provides an opportunity to explore less populated areas and is a scenic break from the tourist attractions. Depending on your experience level, you should research all hiking trails beforehand, bring plenty of water, your mask and sunscreen for this adventure.
3. Tide pools
Have you ever been to a tide pool? These unique swimming holes can typically be found in tropical places like Hawaii and the Virgin Islands however, they’re located all around the world like the Azenhas do Mar in Portugal and the many natural tide pools in Cape Town.
A tide pool is a naturally formed ocean side swimming hole that sits in the intertidal zone and is protected from the ocean. This outdoor activity will be less crowded than the beaches and gives you a chance to swim with fishes. Beware of sea urchins and high tides, which can make swimming in some tide pools very dangerous depending on the time of year. This is a very low-risk excursion for everyone from solo travelers to group trips.
Many water activities are inherently social distance friendly, from exploring waterfalls to a lowkey day on a boat. While you’re looking to explore water activities and sports for your trip, consider a day parasailing from the back of a boat.
If you’re afraid of heights, this is an adventure you might want to skip, or not! While parasailing, you will be 600 – 800 vertical feet above water. You can find parasailing tours in Brazil, Thailand and across the United States.
5. Horseback riding
More Black people should go horseback riding. You can find horseback riding experiences that take you through forests, beaches or on a simple trail. While you may be in closer proximity with staff and other riders, typically you ride far enough away from others to keep a safe distance.
Although this is an outdoors activity, some tours will require you to ride with a face covering or mask.
6. Hot air balloons
Renting a hot air balloon will take your vacation to new heights. Averaging $150 – $250 per person for two hours, this is a great way to see aerial views of your location.
Typically, fitting six to eight people maximum, you can keep this experience intimate or exclusively to your group. The hot air balloon will take you anywhere from 500 to 2,500 feet in the air – talk about social distancing!
7. Hot springs
If your ideal pandemic getaway isn’t necessarily a beach resort, check out natural hot springs in your area. Places like Utah, Colorado and Arizona boasts of beautiful natural hot springs right in the United States.
There are many hot springs around the world, some are man-made structures and others are nature’s very own hydrothermal pools that you can soak and sometimes even swim in. This excursion is more self-care and less turn up, which can be perfect for your next solocation.
Picture yourself (and maybe a group of friends) on a boat, in a thong in Dubai. This could be the highlight of your next trip. Boating or sailing costs can be a budget friendly way to spend hours creating your own personal vibe.
Some boating tours will include food, alcohol and even additional activities such as snorkeling or access to private beaches. This makes boating one of the best pandemic-friendly activities to do while on vacation.
9. Zip lining
If you’re a fan of hiking, outdoors and thrill seeking, then ziplining is a perfect opportunity to get all that and more.
Depending on your destination, you will be able to find tours that zip line over waterfalls and through forests. On average, a zipline tour may include six-eight other individuals including staffers. You’re not always in control of how many strangers will be part of your tour group, so it is best to keep six feet apart and wear masks.
10. Jet Ski
Have a high speed race on a jet ski for a few hours and get a good view from the middle of the ocean. The best thing about jet skiing is that you can choose to ride alone or with a passenger, making this the perfect low risk activity.
If you’re on a baecation or in a larger group, you can take turns riding the waves while being far away from other tourists. Rentals can average $60 – $180 per hour. Even if you’re not on an island you can still jet ski, destinations like the New York harbor in New York City offers a unique jet skiing experience.