Photo courtesy Kristin Songy Diehl.

Break free: Travel agent Kristin Diehl talks how and where to travel in the age of COVID

If you haven’t taken one already, a vacation might be well overdue on last year’s list of dreams and aspirations. While COVID still poses significant public health concerns, many wonder if it is safe or even possible to travel during a pandemic. It’s no secret that travel increases the possibility of contracting and spreading the virus, and that the CDC recommends postponing travel as the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus—however, if you decide to catch a flight or take a road trip, there are precautions to keep in mind to ensure minimal spread of COVID-19.

For advice on how to safely travel in the midst of a pandemic, we spoke to travel advisor Kristin Diehl for her expertise on trip preparation, as well as her suggested destinations. Read on to discover Diehl’s tips and where she is sending her clients of all ages:

Tips for traveling during COVID times:

  • Stay informed on your home restrictions and travel regulations for your destination, even if just crossing state lines.
  • Get insured. From standard trip and post-departure insurance to medical evacuation to insurance specific to testing COVID-19 positive, there is something for everyone. Opting for insurance is always advised.
  • Understand your booking terms, from airlines to accommodations. Read the fine print for cancellations and postponed travel.
  • Book in advance your accommodations, flights, rental car, dinner reservations, spa, activities, cabanas, child care, etc.
  • Plan with and pack your patience due to fluid travel restrictions and regulations.
  • Don’t force it. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed over an upcoming trip, hit pause and rebook for a later date that makes you more comfortable.

Photo courtesy The Cloister at Sea Island.

Family-Friendly Resorts

The Cloister at Sea Island

Why: Action-packed itineraries include options for kids and teens, plus chartered private fishing expeditions and a family-friendly putting course at The Lodge (for those not up for the three championship courses).

Ritz Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico

Why: The Ritz Carlton’s “Ambassadors of the Environment” programs for kids ensures that they do more than laze about in the sun. When they’re not exploring wildlife, families can check out The Watermill (an aquatic playground), a “treehouse massage” at Spa Botanico for the kid in all of us, and so much more.

One&Only Mandarina*

Why: Adventure is right around the corner thanks to a 42,000-square-foot playground of jungle tree houses, hanging bridges, slides, climbing walls and nature trails (best for kids 4 to 11), the Jungle Course with high-altitude zip lines and rappel course, the Polo & Equestrian Club, and more.

Photo courtesy Triple Creek Ranch.

Adult Only, Fully Inclusive Resorts

Triple Creek Ranch

Why: For the views at this intimate, luxury ranch resort designed for adults on the southern side of Trapper Peak, the highest mountain in the Bitterroot Mountain Range of western Montana.

Miraval Austin, Arizona and Berkshires

Why: With three breathtaking settings to discover and explore through unique spa services and ample on-site activities for everyone’s adventure levels, one of these locations is bound to suit the relaxation-seeker.

Hermitage Bay*

Why: To revel in a luxury boutique resort nestled on the hillside of a hidden, sandy bay on Antigua offering all-inclusive, true five-star luxury.

Photo courtesy Blackberry Farm.

A Little Something for Everyone

Blackberry Farm

Why: Regardless of the season, Blackberry offers countless activities and adventures for those less inclined to spend their time eating and drinking their way through a vacation. Bonus: Camp Blackberry and Blackberry Youth Discovery are great options for ages four and older. Book with a local Virtuoso agent for 15% off online rates year-round.

Chatham Bars Inn

Why: At this quintessential Cape Cod experience from beach to boat, take part in whale watching and lobstering, all with a kids’ club, evening childcare and family activities.

*All resorts listed offer on-site COVID testing, if needed, for international travel.