If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of connecting with loved ones. Most of us have had plenty of family time at home by now, and are yearning to find a way to get outside the same four walls. Finding a change of scenery, sharing adventures and laughter with friends, letting your little ones get out of the house and be around people their own age — this almost seems like an impossible dream. But there IS a way to make the impossible possible: Vacation Pods. This travel trend is all about minimizing risk while satisfying your urge to travel and your need for connection. Here’s all you need to know:
What is a Vacation Pod?
Vacation Pods (also called travel pods or quaranteams) are a new way of taking a vacation with others while minimizing the health risks typically associated with group travel. A pod is a group of families and/or friends (who follow and value the same safety standards) taking a trip together. This can include two or three families merging together or a group of friends. Typically, pods should be kept to 10 people or fewer.
By staying in the same group and with the same guides through the whole trip and not mingling with those outside your pod, you reduce risk. Of course, any travel will always carry some risk of infection and spread, and it’s important to stay vigilant, but pods can help you control that risk and keep it to a minimum. Pods also allow you to split the travel costs, making your vacation more affordable.
Pods offer you peace of mind and a sense of safety, while still sharing an adventure. They’re particularly great for families who want to give their children a chance to socialize and play with other kids. Pods are a perfect way to salvage that annual vacation you look forward to every year (as long as you make smart, thoughtful choices.)
[Photo Credit: Marc Tutorials via Pexels]
Keys to making your Vacation Pod great
Same risk-aversion attitudes: When considering who you want to travel with, make sure that you have the same attitudes, priorities and risk aversion thresholds. Find like-minded people who agree with your risk comfort level.
Trust: Forming a vacation pod with another family or two involves a lot of trust. You’re trusting your pod with your health and they’re trusting you with theirs, so you want to make sure to choose people whom you trust to strictly follow the guidelines the group has established.
Communication: When you’re planning any group trip you have to agree on the destination, the activities, and who’s sleeping where. With a vacation pod designed to minimize the risk, there are few more details you need to work out.
Discuss in detail the precautions you’ll take before the trip. It’s best to negotiate to meet the needs of the most at-risk person. What makes this trip possible for them? Whether it’s everyone getting tested a few days before or going through a two-week quarantine or both. Consider everyone’s habits and who they’re exposed to daily. Make sure everyone agrees to follow social-distancing guidelines and wear a mask when out in public or with people outside of the pod.
[Photo Credit: Tsunami Green via Unsplash]
After the pre-vacation arrangements are agreed-upon, it’s important to discuss the safety guidelines you’ll follow while actually on the trip. When are masks required? How much exposure are you willing to risk? Are take-away or grocery runs ok? Or do you want to buy all the food beforehand and cook it on-site? We recommend having a zoom call and writing down all the agreed-upon guidelines so there’s no room for misinterpretation.
[ Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash]
Finally, make sure you have some back-up plans in place. Ask yourselves if/then questions. What if someone tests positive? What if someone’s test results don’t arrive on time? Having a clear plan will ensure that your vacation is as relaxing and worry-free as possible.
Where Should You Stay?
These days, vacationers the world over are looking for private, controlled spaces, away from the crowds, and with plenty of outdoor activities. Vacation pods are no different.
Many resorts and hotels are offering pod-friendly accommodations, where you can rent out an entire floor for your pod! These pod packages often include room service, local take-out, in-room entertainment, balconies and large suites that can be configured to perfectly suit your group. Some places have private pod events like wine & chocolate nights or a murder mystery party. Others offer you a private elevator and dedicated beach beds.
Some hotels and resorts even offer detached villa-style rooms with private pools. Depending on the size of your group, it can work out to be the same price per person as renting a couple of mid-range hotel rooms.
[Photo Credit: Anam via Unsplash]
If you’re looking for even more control over your environment you and your pod can always opt to rent a stand-alone space. Choose from a cozy cabin, a luxury condo, a chill beach house, or a spacious Villa! The possibilities of where to stay with your vacation pod are endless!
[Photo Credit: Alex Hawthorne via Unsplash]
Utilizing the Experts
Ready to start but not sure how to narrow down the endless possibilities? We can help you find the right place to stay with the strongest health and safety protocols (and the right amenities) to make everyone in your pod happy.
Even before the pandemic, organizing a group trip meant juggling multiple opinions, priorities and budgets, but now you also need to know the ins and outs of local COVID regulations. This is where we can really help! We’re staying up-to-date on all the rules, and can keep you advised on the ever-changing local guidelines. We can also find you pod-friendly private tours or specialized events to enhance your trip!
Forming a conscientious vacation pod is becoming the future of travel. Finally getting out of the house and being able to enjoy a little company in a risk-minimal way is great for everyone’s mental health. Let us help you make it a reality, so all you need to do is enjoy the breath of fresh air and a change of scenery with your favorite people!