Tips on Staying at a Hotel During Covid-19
Covid has you itching for a change of scenery?! Cabin fever setting in? For some people, yes but the thought of traveling can be scary. For me, getting on a plane is not an option right now, but a staycation and staying at hotel during covid is one that we have carefully thought about. Today, I am discussing with you what all went into our decision to take a little road trip, staying at hotels and what you should consider if you are thinking about doing the same.
ROAD TRIPS AND HOTEL DECISONS
So we for us taking a real overseas vacation is not an option for 2020. Australia and New Zealand was suppose to be my destination this fall, but we shall see how 2021 goes. We have seen some friends safely take little road trips with their families and then began considering safe options for ourselves. I had alot of vacation days that I had to burn and I refuse to use them by just sitting at home.
This road trip is different in the fact we don’t plan on doing the typical tourist stuff. We will be mainly staying on hotel property or visit a vineyard or park where we can properly socially distance. I am actually looking forward to just staying at the hotel because with all over our travels we never fully get to enjoy a hotel because we have to share the time with doing the typical sightseeing as well.
The most important thing we did is monitor the cases. If the cases were not showing a downward trend, we would not be going anywhere. Though hotel arrangements were made a head of time with cancellation policies in place, we actually did not finalize this until less than 2 weeks ago just to be sure things were not looking bad.
BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR HOTEL
Before you book your hotel, you should be very aware of cancellation policies. In the spring, when Covid first started, hotels were giving refunds left and right. Now due to the economic impact and that we understand Covid is not going anywhere, they are not as lenient. If you didn’t book a rate with free cancellation, they may not honor it. Why is cancellation policies important? If there is another sudden gov’t lock-down where you are or going, if you or someone who are traveling with displays symptoms or tested positive for Covid, you will need to cancel and you want cancellation protection.
The cancellation policy can be two fold. If you book with a 3rd party company such as my favorite Booking.com (click the link to save up to 15% on your hotel til Jan 2021) they have their own Covid cancellation policy that could be different from the hotel that you are actually staying at. Be sure to cross reference with hotel’s cancellation policy on their website.
Remember hotels want and need your business! If a 3rd party website had a better deal on their site especially if its a room with no free cancellation, call the hotel to see if they can match the deal and honor Covid cancellation protocol. It never hurts to ask.
CHECK THE HOTEL’S WEBSITE
First thing to also do before booking a hotel and go to the hotel’s website. If on the first page there is not a flash or a section speaking about what Covid protocols they are taking, that’s a red flag. All major hotels list out in detail what rules and protocols right are in place in light of Covid right on the first page. it should not be a 1 paragraph detail either. That would be a red flag too.
If you’re worried about protocols at your hotel, call them directly to get a better sense of how the hotel is taking precautions during the pandemic. You should call the actual hotel you’ll be staying with directly vs a 1-800 number.
Also find out what is their policy is on elevator usage. Some hotels have signs to one family at a time on elevators. It will mean it will take awhile to your room but at least you are safe. I talk about elevator concerns later in this post.
BOOK ON OFF PEAK DAYS
We all know about getting a cheaper deal during off peak seasons, but did you know about off peak days? Friday through Sunday room rates are typically higher because it is considered a weekend stay and they are usually more at capacity meaning you will be around more people. Booking Monday through Thursday are the days where hotels lower their prices due to low bookings which means less people at hotels that you will around.
People tend to travel on the weekend or do a weekend staycation so rooms are usually booked during that time and cost more. Sundays actually can be hit or miss. Sundays is still considered a weekend, but most people are checking out vs checking in so sometimes you can find some cheaper rates due to all the available rooms. So try considering using those unused vacation days that you have to burn to book your hotel stays during the week.
CONSIDER YOUR ROOM’S LOCATION
Room location is also key. If you are traveler that doesn’t have a room preference or a traveler that asks for a room with a view or upper level, you may want to rethink that during Covid. I always request for a higher level room. I don’t feel like I’m on vacation unless I know I am high up somewhere. But with Covid, you want to limit elevator use. It may be good to request ground level so no elevator use is required.
There are some ground level rooms that have garden views and you have to think about checkout. If you are checking out on a Sunday when EVERYONE checks out and you are on the 10th floor, how many floor stops will that elevator have to make before you hit ground level? Ground level or lower level room, you have the option of using the stairs. Whether you are at a lower or higher level room, ask the hotel for a room with less traffic such as not by the elevator where people gather.
Another tip when you book a hotel make a special request about the room they are assigning you too. Request that the room you will be staying in to be blocked off and unoccupied for 48 to 72 hours prior to your arrival. I would add it to the booking reservation when you book and then call the hotel directly and confirm it over the phone.
HAVE A SOCIAL DISTANCING BACK UP PLAN
So you are wearing you mask, you are staying socially distant, but some of the guests are not adhering to the rules or parts of the hotel seems uncomfortably crowded. Have a back up plan and be mentally prepared for this. It could happen and you would not want it to ruin your trip.
The hotels that we are staying at are resorts so huge property and enough that people can spread out. We know if the pool is full or lounge areas are becoming full, then we will be just fine chilling in our hotel room. Staying in your hotel room beats staying in your living room couch any day especially if you have a balcony.
Pack a blanket. The most secluded parts are the grassy parts and if the hotel is fine, you could have a beautiful picnic close to some pretty views. There is nothing that a blanket and a bottle of wine can’t fix!
Also if you think the hotel is not doing a good job monitoring the situation, respectfully speak up and say something. Covid is new and its hard and we cannot expect people to be perfect. Sometimes people forget. Just have options that you go to or do if a place that you want to go makes you uncomfortable this applies to whether it is a hotel or a place like a winery.
CHECK HOTEL SERVICES & AMENITIES AVAILABILITY
Call the hotel you want to stay at and ask them about what amenities and services are still available. Some hotels have different amenities listed on their website such as spa, golf, dining, buffet breakfast but with Covid some things are limited, revised and cancelled so they can control the flow of people better. So that way you are fully aware of what to expect it is better call ahead of time and possible before booking.
One of our hotels you have to have reservation to use the pool so they can monitor pool spacing. There are 3 reservation times which I think is great! In regards to breakfast, we may be opting to have breakfast in our rooms or if there is a private outdoor place where we can enjoy it.
AIRPORT TRAVEL TIPS
I have shared a lot of good airport travel tips for those who plan on getting on a plane on my Travel Essentials blog post that you can find here. Traveling in the airport is so different now and there are things to be aware of such alot of restaurants being closed and some airport safety essentials you should be bring with you to keep you and your family safe.
In addition to the tips shared in my other post, make sure you read all airport AND airline guidelines. Each airline may do things a bit different. One thing that is new that I have seen someone post when overseas is some airlines are not allow big carry on luggage. Only those that can fit under your seat.
I hope you found this post useful and helps you make good decision on your next hotel stay! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see where we are going! If you are looking for something tropical but still in the state of Texas, you want to stay tuned and follow along!