Vacation Alternatives: Safest Vacation Ideas

As reported earlier this week, Chicago is under a travel advisory for all incoming flights from surging COVID-19 states. The city’s announcement caught many people off guard, causing people to rethink their travel plans. Since it is unlikely that most people can afford to take 14 days off work and stay quarantined, people had to make tough decisions.

Deciding between risking being fined, catching the virus, or losing out on their vacation seems simple enough. But when you factor in the restlessness many of us feel , it’s understandable that many people are having trouble deciding. So, as an alternative, people should look at other ways of spending their vacation. 

Making The Best Of It

If you had a vacation planned in July or in the near future, you are likely already planning to cancel them. Although the travel advisory list does not contain every state, many of the ones on there are popular tourist destinations.

And even if your vacation destination is a state not on the list right now, the city can add it if that states begins surging. Now, it’s important that people understand that the travel advisory is for flights only, and a layover does not count. So instead of cancelling your entire vacation, think about alternate ways of getting you there.

The Road Less Traveled

If you spent a lot of money and time planning a trip, only for it to be in jeopardy, you’d be rightfully frustrated. Well, if you’re determined to get to your destination without violating the travel advisory, a road trip is your best vacation alternative. If you don’t mind using some of those vacation hours/days for road travel, it might be worth it. 

Obviously, there are some drawbacks to this idea, such as not having a car or a car equipped for long journeys. Additionally, a road trip requires a different kind of planning as opposed to a flight. On top of that, if you have a limited amount of days for vacation, then you’d unlikely want to spend it driving. At that point, it might be better to pick a different destination instead.

The Locals

If your destination is too far and would eat up valuable time, consider choosing an alternate vacation destination. Yes, canceling your current destination plans might mean losing out on that money, but that is a small price to pay. Plus, if you were planning on going to a state with a high COVID-19 rate, you run multiple risks. However, choosing one of the states around Illinois may give you the benefit of still going on vacation and keeping your risks low.

Of course, there are plenty of places to see in Illinois itself. Regardless of where you pick, you should consider all your options for where you want to stay. Typically, people choose hotels, motels, or resorts for their stay, but in today’s climate that may not be an option. As an alternative for your vacation stay, you might want to consider a vacation rental, such as an Airbnb. 


Regardless of what you choose to do with your vacation time, do so cautiously. Although a road trip technically makes you exempt from the travel advisory, it doesn’t exempt you from the virus. Your vacation alternative should not put you back into a high risk situation, so think about where and how you will spend it.

There are plenty of places to see within Illinois and its surrounding states that won’t eat away at too much vacation time. So consider your options carefully so you can spend your time with some much needed relaxation. 

Editor’s Note (8/18/20): The Illinois Department of Public Health has just put out a list of states that carry a low to high risk of catching COVID-19 for travelers looking to vacation. The states in blue are low risk, and the ones in purple are high risk.