You are planning a trip to Colorado this fall to visit some family and friends to do some autumn leaf peeping, Rocky Mountain National Park adventure, or any of the other fun activities the state has to offer. Whatever the reason for your visit to Colorado is, there is some planning you may have to do to accommodate for the changes in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips for traveling to Colorado this fall to make sure your trip goes smoothly and safely.
Before You Travel
Prior to traveling to Colorado, you should ask yourself three questions according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Do you live with someone who might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
If the answer to this question is “yes,” consider changing your travel plans. You can spread the virus even if you are not experiencing symptoms.
- Are you at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
Anyone can get extremely sick regardless of underlying health conditions but if you are in an “at-risk” category or have any underlying health conditions, then traveling right now should be kept close to home.
- Does your destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
Currently, Colorado does not have any restrictions for travelers but keep in mind this could change at any point. Additionally, if you become exposed to or sick from COVID-19, the state public health agency may order you to shelter-in-place or quarantine. You may also be required to stay in Colorado at your own expense. For more information on Colorado’s travel considerations, visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/prepare-protect-yourself/prevent-the-spread/travel.
If You Travel
After you have made all the considerations above, and still decide to travel to Colorado this fall, make sure you plan ahead to protect yourself and others from possible infection and spread. The CDC provides guidelines on what you should plan for if you do decide to travel.
- Wear a mask. Colorado has a statewide mandatory mask order in all public outdoor spaces and indoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Maintain six-feet of distance between people who are not in your group.
- Wash your hands often, or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
When planning for air travel, be aware you will have to spend time in security lines and airport terminals which means you might be in close contact with others or frequently touched surfaces. When on the plane, most viruses and other germs don’t spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered, but physical distancing may be hard to maintain due to crowded flights and close quarters for seating. Here are some tips to help you plan for air travel for your fall Colorado trip:
- Research. Find out what airlines are doing to maintain physical distancing by researching their health procedures.
- Bring some hand sanitizer. The TSA is allowing one 12-ounce container of hand sanitizer in carry-ons.
- Personal Hygiene. Wash your hands for 20 seconds directly before and after screening.
If you are traveling via car for your Colorado road trip this fall, you may have to make frequent stops for gas, food, or bathroom breaks. This means you will most likely come in close contact with others and frequently touched surfaces. If you are traveling in an RV, bathroom and food stops may be less frequent but you still may be at risk while staying at RV parks or getting gas. To help make sure you stay healthy, here are some tips for traveling on your roadtrip to Colorado:
- Plan your route. Planning your route includes making sure your car is in good condition so you don’t end up in the shop to get your car serviced as well as figuring out which states and roads you will be driving through. Be aware of any travel restrictions of states you may be passing through.
- Sanitization. When packing for your road trip, make sure to pack hand sanitizer and disposable non-latex gloves. When you’re filling up gas with the gas pump countless number of people have touched, you will be equipped to hopefully walk away germ free.
- Use cards, not cash. When making purchases, opt for using a credit or debit card over cash. This will help to decrease face-to-face interactions.
- Pack roadtrip snacks or opt for a drive-thru. To reduce your face-to-face interaction and number of stops you have to make, pack road trip snacks to keep your hunger satisfied. Restaurants are taking precautions to ensure physical distancing such as spacing out tables to maintain six-feet of distancing; however, to be more proactive about in-person interactions, consider going through the drive-thru instead of ordering inside.
Peak 1 Express has suspended shuttle services until November 15, 2020. This is not unique to Peak 1 Express as other private shuttle services have made the same decision in response to COVID-19. If you are traveling to Colorado and need transportation from the airport to your lodging location, a group shuttle, or private transportation make sure to check on shuttle availability prior to booking your trip so you can make the necessary accommodations. You can call Peak 1 Express to reserve your winter shuttle today at 855-GO-PEAK1. For more information on the transportation service suspension, visit Peak 1 Express’ COVID-19 Temporary Shutdown page. Some tips to make your trip to Colorado this fall in a shuttle safer include:
- Avoid touching surfaces. Handles, windows, and other door frames can be high contact areas. If possible, avoid contact with these. If contact is unavoidable, make sure to have some hand sanitizer on you. Our vehicles will be equipped with hand santizer and will be thoroughly cleaned between every trip.
- Increased ventilation. Peak 1 Express will not be recirculating air within the van, but this would be a good question to ask if booking with another company.
- Consider a private charter. Booking a private shuttle can ensure that you and your group will minimize exposure by riding exclusively with you and your party only. Peak 1 Express has the option to book a private shuttle for you and your group.
One big question that may arise during this pandemic is if renting a vehicle is safe. For the most part, yes. Most rental car companies have strict sanitation measures in place in response to COVID-19. Here are some measures you can take to make sure your fall travel plans to Colorado go smoothly:
- Research sanitation practices. Do some research to see what specific rental car companies are doing to sanitize their vehicles. Ask questions when booking your rental car.
- Modified workflow. Look for a rental company that has modified its workflow to reduce face-to-face contact. For example, Enterprise Rent-a-Car is offering curbside pick-up for their vehicles.
- Plan Ahead. Avoid waiting until the last minute to reserve your vehicle. You can plan ahead and reduce your face-to-face contact with rental car agents by reserving a rental vehicle over the phone or online. You may still need to sign paperwork in person, but by planning ahead and doing as much as you can online, you’ll be minimizing the time spent with an agent or company.
Other Travel Considerations
There are few other logistical items worth considering outside of transportation as you make travel plans to Colorado this fall: lodging and limited capacities.
If you plan on staying in a hotel overnight, make sure to call ahead to confirm your reservation or book online. Some hotels are limiting their capacity so planning ahead will ensure you have a cozy bed to sleep in during your fall trip to Colorado. If you are staying for multiple nights, consider opting out of housekeeping services to limit the number of strangers who are coming in and out of your room. When staying at an AirBnB or other vacation rental, there are a few other things to consider:
- Cleaning protocols. It is worth asking the host how much time passes between bookings. Additionally, opt for a rental that has contactless check-in and rentals that are not on a shared property.
- Cancellation policies. During these uncertain times, anything from travel restrictions to possible exposure can halt your travel plans. If you want your money back, make sure to check cancellation policies prior to booking or purchase travel insurance.
Restaurants are running at 50% capacity so choose times to eat that are not busy to avoid crowded spaces and long waits. Try to make any reservations far in advance.
Many public land areas such as Brainard Lake Recreation Area and Rocky Mountain National Park have implemented different systems to mitigate the influx of visitors. For example, if you are planning a trip to visit Rocky Mountain National Park this fall, you will need to plan ahead to make sure you can get into the park. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. In 2019, the park saw 4,670,054 visitors. Rocky Mountain National Park implemented a timed entry reservation system to reopen the park in accordance with CDC guidelines to reduce the number of people and vehicles in the park. A permit is required to enter the park between 6AM and 5PM. For more information on the timed entry reservation system, visit https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/300013. Make sure to check requirements for the area you are visiting.
While traveling might seem intimidating during these uncertain times, following our tips above will make sure you are prepared for traveling to Colorado this fall. You can also book your transportation today with Peak 1 Express and know that we’re taking many precautions as we can due to the pandemic alongside giving our guests top notch service.