The pandemic isn’t stopping summer travelers, they’re just doing it differently

Even as the number of coronavirus cases has been rising in several states outside of the D.C. region, many are traveling over Fourth of July weekend and planning trips later this summer, too.

“In spite of the spiking cases, Americans don’t have much discipline and we need to get out,” said CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg.

If you choose to go to the National Mall Saturday to see the fireworks and flyovers, or to some other large weekend gathering, Greenberg advised people to plan ahead.

“July Fourth may be a salute to America — I would like to hope it would be a salute to common sense. And the common sense is wear a mask, practice social distancing, and you preserve your independence,” he said.

Most Americans traveling this month are doing so by car, likely staying within 100 miles of home, Greenberg said. He expects people to take longer car trips in August and September.

Many vacationers are loading the family into RVs, which can eliminate the need to stop for bathroom breaks, restaurants or hotels.

“Those sales are spiking. The rentals are tough to get,” Greenberg said.

If you’re considering flying, you should know that several airlines are once again trying to fill flights to capacity. The exceptions are Delta, JetBlue and Southwest.

“Anybody who thought that the airlines blocking the middle seat was going to be a practice that they were going to continue is somewhat delusional,” Greenberg said.

You won’t find cheap airfares this summer, but Greenberg said there are other deals to be had. “The real discounts? Thanksgiving and Christmas. Look for those fares now.”

Greenberg’s advice for the summer-vacation hungry as the pandemic goes on?

“Go somewhere where you can behave well, where you can practice social distancing, where you wear the mask, where you take nothing for granted. It’s not about going to bars; it’s not about going to restaurant; it’s not about going to large social gatherings in a confined space,” Greenberg said.

Find a beach where there are not that many people and do something unusual in this day and age: Bring a book; read it; enjoy your summer.

But if you’re looking to party like it’s spring break all over again, Greenberg said, “Count me out.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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