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Are you comfortable taking Airbnb vacations now?


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I have family members that have who are otherwise not seeing anyone. They also did not go to a major vacation destination, took their own food and it was a couple of hour drive.

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I'm sure it varies from place to place. 

We stayed at a place last summer.   They only have two rooms and we were they only guests.  (I don't count their adult sons, who stayed in the main part of the house. ).  Restaurants were distancing,  or take out.

They had stated cleaning policies in place, including guests use hand sanitizer as soon as they walked in the door. 

We're going back in June. But it's just us, not kids.   It's driving and a ferry.

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We used an AirBNB home for a stopover on a trip we took.  It was great aside from the terrible traffic noise!  We usually take a hotel suite but I wasn't interested in that at all.  The house had everything we needed to crash and get up early the next morning.  We will likely do that same again next month.

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I'm comfortable.  I look for a place that has excellent reviews for cleaning, but I've always done that.  If someone had vacated a property the morning of our check-in, I'd open windows and doors for a while, and I always take cleaning supplies (wipes or disinfectant spray and paper towels).

In an AirBNB or VRBO, you can easily be quite distanced from other groups.  

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I was comfortable with the concept, with certain risk-mitigating strategies, back in September, and had made plans.  Sadly, because my kids' return-to-school schedule got juggled at the last minute, we didn't end up doing it.

Between 1) much higher cases throughout New England; 2) increased evidence of airborne transmission; and 3) the emergence of the new much more easily transmissible strain, I'm no longer comfortable.

That said, these are the risk-mitigating strategies we'd sorted:

  • standalone properties (like a house) rather than shared HVAC (like an apartment)
  • planned interval between availability and taking the key (ie if the house is available as of 11a, plan on picking up the key at 2p)
  • planned aeration interval (ie if we pick up the key at 2p, run in open up every window dump bags and go for a hike until 5p)
  • bring all food for first 2 days and work out in advance how deliveries for subsequent days will be done

We did not plan on going out to restaurants (which we ordinarily love to do) or any indoor recreations, then.  So it basically amounted to a change in scenery, literal and metaphoric. When the weather was good and cases were low, the advantages of a change in scenery and different outdoor activities seemed "worth it."

At this point, between more risk and fewer hours of less pleasant weather for outdoor activities... the balance isn't there any more.  But if I were to do it, that's how I'd mitigate the risks.

 

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OP, are you concerned about traveling to get to a rental or staying at the rental itself?

I think renting a house somewhere at least allows your family a change in scenery.  It's helpful if the weather is mild and you have access to walking trails or similar, but many vacation rental owners build recreation into their properties with ping-pong tables, fire pits, swimming pools, and outdoor dining areas.  You can check out area grocery stores and eateries for curbside services or take most/all of your food with you.  Take board games and the Wii (or whatever) with you.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, YaelAldrich said:

We used an AirBNB home for a stopover on a trip we took.  It was great aside from the terrible traffic noise!  We usually take a hotel suite but I wasn't interested in that at all.  The house had everything we needed to crash and get up early the next morning.  We will likely do that same again next month.

... and you can get up and have your coffee in your pjs!

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9 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

 

  • standalone properties (like a house) rather than shared HVAC (like an apartment)
  • planned interval between availability and taking the key (ie if the house is available as of 11a, plan on picking up the key at 2p)
  • planned aeration interval (ie if we pick up the key at 2p, run in open up every window dump bags and go for a hike until 5p)
  • bring all food for first 2 days and work out in advance how deliveries for subsequent days will be done

 

So in that plan, we did almost those exact things.  The house was a standalone property, it was not rented the day before and we got there at 11pm anyways.  I didn't air out the place though. 

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4 minutes ago, DoraBora said:

OP, are you concerned about traveling to get to a rental or staying at the rental itself?

I think renting a house somewhere at least allows your family a change in scenery.  It's helpful if the weather is mild and you have access to walking trails or similar, but many vacation rental owners build recreation into their properties with ping-pong tables, fire pits, swimming pools, and outdoor dining areas.  You can check out area grocery stores and eateries for curbside services or take most/all of your food with you.  Take board games and the Wii (or whatever) with you.

 

 

Staying in the rental.  WE would go some place 1-2 hours away. 

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Not for a vacation, but we recently stayed in several different Airbnbs in the US.  We had no in-person interaction with the owners and no one stayed in them the night before.  We were booking during the off season so that cut down on how much the Airbnbs had been used.

You can ask your host about their cleaning procedures.  They have to at least comply with this. https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2809/what-is-airbnbs-5step-enhanced-cleaning-process

You can cancel without a penalty if your host doesn’t follow those steps, although it can be difficult to know what happened before you arrived.

I felt much, much safer at our Airbnb in a rural area than going to the grocery store there where many people weren’t masked.  Our grocery store trips were really quick (delivery wasn’t possible, at least not for all eight days).  We were tested during one of the stays and again three days after.  Both tests were negative for all of us. 

I’d definitely do it again if we needed a larger place to stay.  We stayed in hotels a few times too, and as long as we took the stairs and stayed out of the lobby where lots of people weren’t masking because they were snacking and drinking, I felt comfortable there.  I don’t know if it would have been worth it for a vacation though because traveling was stressful.

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I’m not up for it yet, but with lower infection rates it’s possible to do it safely with risk mitigation strategies.  Though I do feel iffy on the bedding, especially pillow cases.
 

My main question is getting there.  How will you get there?  And if driving, what’s the bathroom plan?  

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Staying in the rental.  WE would go some place 1-2 hours away. 

You could air the place out and go through it with cleaning wipes or disinfectant spray before your whole family moves inside.

My plan is to rent a place in the TX Hill Country (2-3 hour drive) this May or June so that we have a break from being in our house.  The long, hot Texas summer looms and I don't see a break in the virus situation on the horizon.  Staying in a vacation rental seems pretty safe to me, but my situation is probably different from yours. 

Edited by DoraBora
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 I have never stayed in an airbnb property. We did have one overnight stay in a hotel in November, when we were in my hometown for my mother's funeral, and I was uncomfortable the entire time that I was in the hotel, because I didn't know how well they had cleaned, and I was nervous about staying where strangers had been previously. DH arrived first and did spray everything with Lysol before anyone else went in the rooms, but that didn't make me feel comfortable enough to feel relaxed, while I was there.

I am just not comfortable staying anywhere but my own home, right now. If I HAD to, an airbnb might be better than a hotel, if I were able to open the windows.

But if I can't feel relaxed in the space, it won't feel like a vacation to me. And we are more of a visit museums type of family than one that likes hiking. If I spent the whole time either in the room (trying to relax but not really being able to) or being outside (when I am an indoors type of person), I would just not be having fun, so it would not be a vacation for me.

We had discussed renting an RV, so that we can take a summer vacation this year, but I'm not sure I am really comfortable with that, either.

 

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I’ve been almost nowhere except dr and dentist since last March, but we did this twice last fall using most of the mitigation strategies others have mentioned, except grocery delivery. We took some food with us and got take out for the rest, so no need for grocery store trips or delivery. We also stayed in state and our state is one of the best covid wise. I would probably not do it again until after the holiday/winter peak has died down and we known more about the spread of the more contagious variant. Or I’m fully vaccinated like my husband.

Edited by Frances
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Not right now.  Not so much because of the property itself - if it was empty for a couple of days on either end, I wouldn't be worried.  I don't want to be travelling though, having to deal with unfamiliar places and therefore having contact with more people.  For now, I stay home, see my immediate family (those I live with).  I don't even go for walks with friends.  I only get deliveries/click and collect.

The vaccine is coming and I don't want to screw up.  I don't want to get ill and I don't want to have possibly life-long side effects.  Nine more months without a holiday is fine.

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The staying doesnt bother me. I am no more worried about contracting Covid from surfaces than I would be of general cleanliness  of the place. 
I would be more concerned about the location, traveling to get there, and resources of the location.

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I stayed in one in November. The area did not have a high number of cases then, and the owner laid out specific cleaning measures they would do to help prevent it. I met my sisters there for our annual sister weekend. Both of them have limited exposure to others and are being careful. All our areas were not high then, either. 

Edited by mom31257
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We stayed at one during the summer and it was fine. They have upped their cleaning protocol and are taking care to make sure things are safe. We still wiped down surfaces but it wasn’t needed.

we also stayed in a Hilton hotel and the capacity was less than 40%. They were not renting out rooms back to back but leaving them in between guests and in between cleanings before renting. It was very clean and they had seals on the door, fridge, cabinet to let you know it has been cleaned before arrival. 

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We did for a college visit in the fall, doing pretty much everything outlined above (renting for a day before we actually arrived, bringing in food/getting delivery, and doing outdoor activities). It did let us at least visit the campus and get an idea of the feel, although it wasn't the same as a non-covid tour. And it was a nice change of pace. There are a couple of schools that it would be nice to visit before decisions have to be made in Spring, if numbers drop again. 

 

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No. We are being asked to stay at home, so we are.

Eta: my idea of a trip is to see and experience something different. I can go hiking from my front door and if I have to look at more trees I’m going to lose my mind. If we just wanted to sit around and play games, that’s what our living room is for. Being in someone else’s living room would not be relaxing to me.

I am definitely looking forward to traveling again, but here is not the place and now is not the time.

Edited by MEmama
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2 hours ago, Spryte said:

I’m not up for it yet, but with lower infection rates it’s possible to do it safely with risk mitigation strategies.  Though I do feel iffy on the bedding, especially pillow cases.
 

My main question is getting there.  How will you get there?  And if driving, what’s the bathroom plan?  

We were only thinking of a 1-2 hour drive from our house.  So no stops. 

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4 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

Are you comfortable taking Airbnb vacations now?  Can you talk me into or out of this?   What makes you ok with it?  Or not?  

YES! And we have - a few times in late fall/winter. Many air bnbs specifically state that they're doing additional cleaning. We did book it so that there was at least a full day between us and the people before us - but some air bnbs are scheduling that already, so you might ask before paying for additional days.

We just go in, unlock the place, with everyone having their own clorox wipes container. We just descend upon the place, wiping down every surface in sight that we are likely going to into contact with (including the inside of the fridge). lol We open any/all windows that we can. We crank the air conditioner. Then we start to bring in the luggage.

These little trips were exactly what our sanity needed. I vote GO and have FUN and RELAX. (taking responsible measures during travel, of course)

We brought our own initial groceries with us and arranged WalMart grocery pickup while we were staying in. Didn't go out to eat at all (we ordered takeout once). We - seriously - barely saw another human being except on the drives. We packed food for the trip, only stopping for gas and bathroom breaks, using plenty of hand sanitizer, hand wipes, etc. We also took Covid tests before we left. I felt good about our preparations and know that those little getaways were a huge mental help to several in our family. Zero regrets.

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I am a Paranoid with a P about COVID, but making the house a staycation paradise has not worked. We are going stir crazy. We used to travel a lot. Jump on a plane, stay in a hotel and see things. Take the train just because and come back the next day. Now while we wait for the vaccine for flying international, a short trip somewhere sounds like paradise. 

We usually don't like cooking during vacation, but DH and I are prepared to do so. Dear God, if this goes on much longer we might have to just for sanity. i don't know how long we can hold out. We shall just turbo clean like mad when we get there. 

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1 hour ago, Laura Corin said:

Not right now.  Not so much because of the property itself - if it was empty for a couple of days on either end, I wouldn't be worried.  I don't want to be travelling though, having to deal with unfamiliar places and therefore having contact with more people.  For now, I stay home, see my immediate family (those I live with).  I don't even go for walks with friends.  I only get deliveries/click and collect.

The vaccine is coming and I don't want to screw up.  I don't want to get ill and I don't want to have possibly life-long side effects.  Nine more months without a holiday is fine.

This is how I feel as well.

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35 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I am a Paranoid with a P about COVID, but making the house a staycation paradise has not worked. We are going stir crazy. We used to travel a lot. Jump on a plane, stay in a hotel and see things. Take the train just because and come back the next day. Now while we wait for the vaccine for flying international, a short trip somewhere sounds like paradise. 

We usually don't like cooking during vacation, but DH and I are prepared to do so. Dear God, if this goes on much longer we might have to just for sanity. i don't know how long we can hold out. We shall just turbo clean like mad when we get there. 

Agree completely with all of this.  We have stayed home the entire time, and usually we are jumping on trains and traveling to see and do things.  Traveling to see special traveling exhibits and shows is one reason we homeschool.  Staying home all this time is making us crazy, and we might be doing the Airbnb turbo clean soon, too.

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4 hours ago, Starr said:

I have family members that have who are otherwise not seeing anyone. They also did not go to a major vacation destination, took their own food and it was a couple of hour drive.

This is what we are doing for our 20th wedding anniversary.  We had originally planned a trip to the Florida Keys, but instead we will drive to an AirBNB about an hour away and self-isolate there in a house all to ourselves together for a long weekend.  They are doing extra deep cleaning in between visitors.  The place we chose is on 35 acres with trails, so we'll bring our snowshoes and nordic skis.  It has a full kitchen, so we'll pack groceries.

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We did it several times for short beach trips. It was a fabulous change of scenery- the beach! We also got takeout and ate at outdoor restaurants a few times. I loved walking on the beach and being served at a restaurant😂 

We did the mitigation procedures. And I feel good about outdoor recreation and dining being pretty safe. It was wonderful! I wouldn’t go to a city or do any indoor activities. But we live pretty landlocked and anywhere I can see water makes me happy. 

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Thanks guys.  I talk myself into and out of this idea daily.  

We are totally at home and haven't been in anything since March.  I am glad I am not alone feeling  worried doing this.  Makes me feel a little less crazy.   I know I am pretty paranoid about it. 

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We’ve done a VRBO and it was fine. I’ve stayed in a bed and breakfast and a hotel since covid started(included an extended stay in a hotel in June).  Honestly I felt everything was cleaner and safer than before Covid.  I am not concerned about Covid and surfaces though.

Our vrbo was on a small lake.  It was just DH and I and we didn’t go out except for groceries.  I’m hoping to do it again for our anniversary in March.

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2 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

We’ve done a VRBO and it was fine. I’ve stayed in a bed and breakfast and a hotel since covid started(included an extended stay in a hotel in June).  Honestly I felt everything was cleaner and safer than before Covid.  I am not concerned about Covid and surfaces though.

Our vrbo was on a small lake.  It was just DH and I and we didn’t go out except for groceries.  I’m hoping to do it again for our anniversary in March.

See, that is where I don't know if I need to be or not.   It sounds like in this thread that you should still be.  I still am, but I haven't followed studies or anything like that in months and months, because it was not a good thing for me to do everyday. 

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3 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

See, that is where I don't know if I need to be or not.   It sounds like in this thread that you should still be.  I still am, but I haven't followed studies or anything like that in months and months, because it was not a good thing for me to do everyday. 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/12/28/948936133/still-disinfecting-surfaces-it-might-not-be-worth-i

I am admittedly not nearly as Covid cautious as most of the people on this forum.  I’ve had it but my husband and kids have not as far as we know(husband had antibodies but they are gone now).  However I am much more cautious than most of the people I know IRL—my FB feed is filled with hotel pool gatherings and kids at trampoline parks this weekend.  That’s probably a little above my caution level.  All that to say my caution level is probably already below yours, but surfaces don’t seem to pose the threat they initially thought.

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I would feel totally comfortable. I would air it out and wipe crucial surfaces (even though surface transmission is not a major factor). I wouldn't eat out or visit indoor attractions.

FWIW, we are on the cautious end of the spectrum of people I know. But fewer people will have breathed in that Airbnb in a year than in my workplace in  day.
 

Edited by regentrude
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1 hour ago, Toocrazy!! said:

We did it several times for short beach trips. It was a fabulous change of scenery- the beach! We also got takeout and ate at outdoor restaurants a few times. I loved walking on the beach and being served at a restaurant😂 

We did the mitigation procedures. And I feel good about outdoor recreation and dining being pretty safe. It was wonderful! I wouldn’t go to a city or do any indoor activities. But we live pretty landlocked and anywhere I can see water makes me happy. 

Yeah, I might feel more tempted if we weren’t already surrounded by mountains, oceans, lakes and forests. What we don’t have is cities, and that’s what I can’t wait to visit again. Obviously urban holidays and COVID don’t make a reasonable combination, so I’ll just have to be content at home until it’s safe again. 

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

Yeah, I might feel more tempted if we weren’t already surrounded by mountains, oceans, lakes and forests. What we don’t have is cities, and that’s what I can’t wait to visit again. Obviously urban holidays and COVID don’t make a reasonable combination, so I’ll just have to be content at home until it’s safe again. 

Yes, we travel a lot because we’re landlocked, have terrible restaurants, live in a small town. It’s a great place in a lot of ways, but it’s really nice to get away. 
There is really no good reason to travel to a city right now unfortunately. I think nyc will be first on my list, because I love it and I want it to thrive. 
If you’re in Maine, I’d have a hard time wanting to travel too. What a fabulous state! Unless it was for warmth😀

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Yes, I would be.  We currently live in a high-rise inner-city apartment building where just riding an elevator to get our mail exposes me to people.  We stayed in a remote airbnb cabin over Christmas with our children who all tested (negative, of course!) before gathering (they're adults).  It was in a forest and no one had stayed there for a few weeks.  It felt perfectly safe, even safer than our day-to-day life.  No problem at all!

Edited by J-rap
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I’ve done it. VRBO. And Florida Rentals by Owner. Because we are so COVID cautious otherwise, this actually doesn’t seem that risky to me. Especially, if you can drive to the destination. We have done 2 beach trips and 1 trip to the mountains. The “big trip” we did in May 2020 was a 10 hour drive. I took our camping Porti Potty (Thetford) and a cheap pop up privacy tent for potty breaks. The other trips—I just made sure we all had our Happy Masks, and we used public restrooms. Unless you plan to hang out in a public restroom for more than 15 minutes, I don’t think it’s that risky. 

I will say that we were very grateful to have our Happy Masks on our last trip to FL in October. They had lifted the mask mandate. We stopped at one rest stop on I75. Not a SINGLE PERSON was wearing a mask except my fam. That was the only incident that gave me pause. But like I said...as long as you’re in and out...

As others have said, we had groceries delivered and mostly ate at the rental. Both beach trips we did one dining night out because the restaurants weren’t crowded and had outdoor seating. 

I think by this point, I highly recommend taking a trip if you haven’t. Your mental health is super important, too. I guess the travel was important to us because we homeschool, my dh works from home, we aren’t attending church in person, we don’t shop other than food...I would have gone mad w/out those trips. The risks of travel can minimized with good planning. Go for it!

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Yes, we are planning on it this coming weekend. I will air out the space when I get there and Lysol obvious places (counter, door knobs, toilet, light switches). We are taking our own food. Kids need to get away for a couple of days or we will all lose our minds. 

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I won't be comfortable taking an Airbnb until I am comfortable around my home town (which I anticipate won't be for several months as people have started abandoning protective measures in response to the latest laws), but that's because getting anywhere else requires me to go into town first due to a dependence on public transport. It does not sound like this is an issue for OP.

Given OP has a car, I'd cautiously accept it with the following caveats/precautions/advice:

- Don't do it if cases are very high in your area. There's a good chance of accidentally getting it between now and the holiday if so, if only because of Finagle's Law. This has happened to two friends who live abroad and thought they were being careful enough when organising a holiday elsewhere (different places for each) in the last fortnight. One fell ill and tested positive on Day 4 of their holiday. The other, got contacted by a track-and-trace team more or less as soon as the plane home landed and tested positive at that point. Both are recovering well but the point still stands...

- Don't go to a place where cases are spiking (at the time of going), especially if there's no obvious reason why that's happening. Monitor case loads in both your home area and the place you plan to go, if the statistics for them are collected separately (e.g. crossing a state line is involved). Plans you can cancel no-questions-asked with a 100% refund on 1-2 weeks' notice are good, because once surges start, it will take at least 3 weeks to clear it.

- Don't go if it breaks the law or a strong recommendation from responsible health sources - they're given out for a reason. (Where I live, in England, fines are issued to people who go to Airbnbs for holidays, although owners are still permitted to rent them out if people are travelling for what is deemed an "essential" purpose.  Renters are considered responsible for checking if they're allowed to travel).

- Go with somewhere you've been before (even if it was only once, decades ago) if feasible. Otherwise, go with somewhere someone you trust has been before if feasible. (Granted that often, neither is feasible...) In both cases, the advantage is that you have some idea what to expect. A little familiarity can help make one feel at ease.

- Make sure everyone's on the same page about how you intend to do the holiday.

- Consider a reduction in risky activities for everyone, for two weeks before and/or after. (If you're already not leaving the house except where essential and not admitting unnecessary visitors, skip this step). The advisability of this depends on what else is happening, how risky your start and end points are and how much your immune system is normally influenced by a change of location. Quarantine would be ideal but isn't realistic for most people.

- Use at least the same protective measures as you use at home. More if you believe that realistic. If you don't know a place you are going near, treat it with caution. Also, do not assume a place is handling COVID well simply because you have had a good experience there pre-COVID, even though that's a reasonable starting point if you've been to an area before (there is correlation but it is not 100%).

- Open windows on arrival, and again for at least a few minutes every 2 days. Good air circulation that is relatively low on cleaning solutions (and indeed any viruses/bacteria/gunk they cleaned off) makes for a more pleasant experience.

- Plan where you will buy food before arrival. If you know someone in the area, ask them for advice on where is handling the situation best (they'll be able to see things that are not on the brochures, especially things like customer management that aren't easily photographed). If in doubt, small places that other people are overlooking often.

- A takeaway, in some cases, is sometimes safer than going into a badly-managed supermarket to get shopping. Review on a case-by-case basis.

- Avoid narrow pavements on busy roads in urban areas, and narrow paths without passing places in beauty spots. (Paths with passing places are fine whatever their width, as it's possible to dodge out of other people's way).

- Pack carefully and clean things before you go. Consider taking your own kettle as an emergency measure if going for more than a few days (if the one in the Airbnb fails, you don't want to force the owner to appear or have to plan a trek to purchase a replacement). Most other things the Airbnbs provide could potentially be worked around, but consider portable non-consumables which cannot (in particular, spare charging cables for your electronics).

- Do at least a basic clean and open the windows for a while before leaving. (This is about extending the same courtesy to the cleaner as you would want the cleaner to extend to you).

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2 hours ago, ieta_cassiopeia said:

 

- Open windows on arrival, and again for at least a few minutes every 2 days. Good air circulation that is relatively low on cleaning solutions (and indeed any viruses/bacteria/gunk they cleaned off) makes for a more pleasant experience.

 

I am super Coronacasual, so I would never engage in any of the rest of the steps suggested in this post, but I will add my anecdotal experience in case it gives the OP some comfort: At his actual (not host) mom's request, I picked up an exchange student ("G," and G is not the one who lives with me, but one of my student's friends) from his host home to take him for a covid test because his host brother had had symptoms. He was sniffling when he got in the car, so I opened my car's sun roof for ventilation but did not otherwise take any precautions. We were in the car together, front seats, for over 2 hours; I picked up Chick-fil-A for him, and he ate it in my car; I did not disinfect my car when he got out. His test came back positive the next morning, so I picked him up again from his host home (who had a grandmother temporarily in residence) and drove him to my house, where I moved everyone around to give him his own bedroom and bathroom. We opened his windows some (it was cold; he's from Central America; I didn't have a lot of luck persuading him to keep them open all the time) and ran a HEPA filter once in a while. He finished his quarantine in my house, but because I had already been exposed, I was in and out taking him food, getting his laundry, removing his dishes, etc. (I referred to him as the Guest in Room 308 because I felt like a room service attendant.) I do not have so much as a sniffle, and no one else in my family does, either. When his quarantine was over, I Lysol'd the bathroom he had been using to open it up for general use, and I washed all of his towels on hot water. Long story short, I am not afraid of contracting covid, obviously, but I absolutely put my not doing so down to the ventilation.

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57 minutes ago, plansrme said:

I am super Coronacasual, so I would never engage in any of the rest of the steps suggested in this post, but I will add my anecdotal experience in case it gives the OP some comfort: At his actual (not host) mom's request, I picked up an exchange student ("G," and G is not the one who lives with me, but one of my student's friends) from his host home to take him for a covid test because his host brother had had symptoms. He was sniffling when he got in the car, so I opened my car's sun roof for ventilation but did not otherwise take any precautions. We were in the car together, front seats, for over 2 hours; I picked up Chick-fil-A for him, and he ate it in my car; I did not disinfect my car when he got out. His test came back positive the next morning, so I picked him up again from his host home (who had a grandmother temporarily in residence) and drove him to my house, where I moved everyone around to give him his own bedroom and bathroom. We opened his windows some (it was cold; he's from Central America; I didn't have a lot of luck persuading him to keep them open all the time) and ran a HEPA filter once in a while. He finished his quarantine in my house, but because I had already been exposed, I was in and out taking him food, getting his laundry, removing his dishes, etc. (I referred to him as the Guest in Room 308 because I felt like a room service attendant.) I do not have so much as a sniffle, and no one else in my family does, either. When his quarantine was over, I Lysol'd the bathroom he had been using to open it up for general use, and I washed all of his towels on hot water. Long story short, I am not afraid of contracting covid, obviously, but I absolutely put my not doing so down to the ventilation.

This is also just a tricky virus. You could have it but be asymptomatic.  And no one knows yet why some people with close contact don't catch it whilst others with the same contact do.  Ventilation is good for sure though.

Edited by Laura Corin
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We stayed at an Air BnB for 2 nights in October in a very small town near the Blueridge Parkway.  It was a small granny house and there were no other clients at any of the other houses.  There was a couple of day gap between visitors.  The host 2 houses away greeted us outside from a distance of at least 10 feet away unmasked while we were masked. We ate in two restaurants with social distancing and took the farthest table (we didn't dine during peak hours) in a corner with the nearest customers 6 tables away at the closest.  We were always masked when we interacted with the waitresses while we were at the far end of a deep booth away from one masked waitress and at least 6 feet from the other waitress (who wasn't masked in spite of a mask order in our state) at the other side of the table.  Any time we weren't actively putting food in our mouths we had our masks on. Everything else was masked while going through the drive through.

We toured arboretums, gardens, and hiking trails in the mountains. Anytime someone looked like they were going to be near us, we got off the trail and gave them at least 12 feet of room. The few times at  narrow points where it was unavoidable, we put our masks on and gave as much room as possible.

 

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We stayed in an airbnb in September.  It was a big house that was out from town and surrounded by trees and no one was staying there for 2 days before our arrival.  When we went the numbers were still fairly low.  We took our own food, but did do take-out at a couple places that were being good about safety.  We went to an outdoor museum, and were the only family there.  It was set-up to go one way and you had to wear masks.  We went to a large state park with plenty of space to spread out and had a picnic.  It was beautiful weather, and I am glad we got to go.  It really helped with my mental health and that of two of my kids.  I suffer from depression and it has been getting worse. I have had to increase my medication dosage for the first time in 15 years.  Two of my kids have anxiety disorders and this allowed them a chance to get away and have a change of scenery, which was a huge help for one, and a sort of help for the other.  The only downside was that it was a five hour drive (in state), and we did not want to stop for bathroom breaks.  We went before we left, and were very happy to see the home when we got there.

DH and I are discussing going to one closer to us for our anniversary in a few months, but I am not sure we will do it.  The numbers are high around here, and people are not being careful in my area, and seeing pictures from a few of the areas we are looking at, it doesn't look like people are being safe there either.  But it would be so nice to get away for just a night or two, but it would not be worth it if we ended up getting sick.

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