It’s safe to say that last summer was completely strange. We will surely remember the 2020 summer season for social distancing, lockdowns, and feelings of anxiety. Fortunately, this summer is completely different. As more and more people are getting vaccinated, more countries are beginning to open their borders to foreigners, coffee shops and restaurants are reopening, and it seems that life is slowly going back to normal. Whether you have caught the travel bug after a year spent at home or you just want to spend time with your family, go out with your friends and have some good, old fun, here are several ways you can spend this summer.
Atlantic City has long been a popular option for New York City residents seeking a different kind of night out, or even a weekend away. As you might expect, this sort of activity more or less came to a halt during the worst of the pandemic in 2020. Now, however, we’re seeing a little bit of a tourism push from Atlantic City — and it appears to be working. A May article on NorthJersey.com offered a number of positive indicators regarding tourists returning to Atlantic City, and activity returning to the area’s casino resorts specifically.
It’s a lot of fun to know that this option is back on the table, and we figured now as good a time as any to offer a few tips to New Yorkers who want to make the trip. Here are a few things to know if you’re eyeing a night out (or weekend away) in Atlantic City.
Thanks to the successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, we can finally start to think about the possibility of traveling during the pandemic. But while the numbers may be down, we still have to remain cautious and take the basic steps (masking up, washing hands frequently, and keeping socially distant) to ensure our health and safety while on vacation. With that in mind, one item you will want to toss into your carry-on is a travel-size bottle of Disinfect & Shield24 Hour Face Mask/Fabric Sanitizer.
Unlike traditional disinfectants on the market, Disinfect & Shield is non-toxic and completely safe for use around humans, animals, and plants. Disinfect & Shield has been tested to destroy viruses, bacteria, molds, and fungi, including strains of SARS, H1N1, E. Coli, EBOLA and harmful microbes including COVID-19 on contact.
We all miss traveling and hope that by the summer, with active vaccination, we’ll be able to take at least some shorter trips to select destinations. But even today, some people need to take flights for work or drive to visit relatives they care for. Whether you’re planning your vacation, or just want to feel safer on a business trip, there are a few precautions you can take in these difficult times.
Here’s how to travel during a pandemic.
The Basic Rules
When traveling, make sure you learn the destination’s safety requirements, but even if the place, e.g., doesn’t call for wearing a mask at all times, you might want to use common sense and put one on when in busy spots.
Maintaining social distance will remain a good idea for some time even with the pandemic situation getting better, so keep 6 feet apart when possible.
The same goes for avoiding sick people, washing and sanitizing hands, not touching your face, and covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
When choosing a hotel or other accommodation, make sure you check their website or call ahead to learn about their safety protocols.
Things to look for are wearing masks and using gloves for staff, advanced cleaning procedures, social distancing, set protocols if someone gets sick, contactless check-in and payment, and hand sanitizer available at all places. It’s also essential to have enough time between guests in the room to get it cleaned and aired properly.
It will not hurt if you disinfect the doorknobs, countertops, faucets, and other high-touch surfaces when you arrive yourself. Make sure you pack alcohol sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, gloves, and masks.
Also, pack enough changes of clothes to avoid bringing in germs from outside. High-quality v-neck shirts, like the ones from Fresh Clean Tees, will be perfect for any trip as they come in multiple colors and go with everything.
Flying can feel a little scary. Even if summer sees things getting much better, it’s smart to take extra precautions. Choose the airlines that are clear about their safety protocols and implement them throughout the entire process from check-in, boarding to the flight itself.
Wear a mask at all times and have a few of them to switch if your flight is longer. Minimize the interaction with other passengers, use hand sanitizers and bring your own food on the plane.
If you’re traveling by car, you might feel safer, and it’s highly recommended if there’s an option to do so. Depending on your location, you might need to be more or less vigilant about minimizing your stops and activities. However, pack all the proper supplies and some food for the road, so you don’t have to stop to eat too often.
If you choose to eat on the road, opt for restaurants that offer a drive-thru, curbside service, or have outdoor seating. We also recommend stocking up on water if you’re driving to remote locations and suggests investing in good quality water cans instead of plastic bottles.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You probably have your usual routines during holidays, but currently, you might need to reconsider some of them. Skip the indoor theme parks, big crowded squares, shops, bars, and clubs. Focus on outdoor activities, nature parks, drive-in movie theaters, outdoor dining, picnicking, and entertainment venues you know have taken all the needed safety measures.
There might be an app available in your destination that updates on the COVID-19 situation, so you can check which areas are safe and which to avoid.
We all want to return to making plans and enjoying our lives, but we still need to be flexible and cancel certain activities if needed. If you don’t feel comfortable, or you learn about health risks in certain destinations, cancel those plans and opt for another activity. Even in cases where you already paid for, e.g., a tour, you should still cancel if you don’t feel safe.
Lastly, if you or your family member feels unwell, just stay home. Don’t forget to check the recommendations of the U.S. CDC before traveling.
The original vacation plan for Summer 2020 called for me to fly from New York City to Barcelona on June 4th. There, I would meet up with my Los Angeles-based sister, and we’d spend two days site-seeing and recovering from jet lag before departing on an adventure-packed, seven-day cruise through the western Mediterranean. Sigh, I fucking love to cruise.
Obviously, those plans changed. In May, our sailing was predictably canceled by the cruise line due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While I was relieved to receive a full-refund on my paid fare — and overjoyed with the bonus of nearly $1,000 in onboard credit for a 2021 rebooking — I was also super bummed to know that I would likely not be getting out of Manhattan this summer. First world problems: they are a thing.
This Glass Holds The Remains of a Very Stiff Gin and Tonic
It cannot be overstated then that my summer was miraculously saved by friends who own a home the Berkshires, where they’d been quarantining since March. They generously offered to host me for a week of doing basically what I do in Manhattan — eating and going for walks — but with way better food and immeasurably more awe-inspiring scenery, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) air that smells like honey, and the absence of blaring sirens. It was the best week I’ve had in three months. Please enjoy a selection of photos from my many nature walks taken during the vacation that restored my sanity.
The Berkshires: Stunning Even When It’s Overcast
My friends live in a private community accessed from a narrow road set about a mile off of a rural thoroughfare. On summer evenings (during any normal year), you can sometimes hear faint music drifting over from Tanglewood, where I saw a fantastic concert by Squeeze with these same friends last August. Sadly, Tanglewood’s 2020 season has been canceled.
Instead, the soundtrack includes choruses of bullfrogs hiding among the marsh reeds, and a rush of wind through the endless trees that can make you look over your shoulder to confirm that no cars are coming.
This marsh and pond are just across the road from a private beach. There, you can take colorful kayaks out onto a lake, which is called the Stockbridge Bowl.
This past January, I made my first trip to the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center, because I am always game for new experiences to bring you on this rad blog. The show was amazing, and it inspired me to consider traveling to all sorts of exotic lands that I had previously never even considered visiting. But for reasons that should not need explaining, I had the most fun visiting the L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion. It was there that I met the men of Vacaya, which is the only large-scale travel company on earth serving the entire LGBTQIAPK community (IAPK = Intersex, Asexual, Polygamous / Polyamorous, Kink). Vacaya was giving away a Gay Cruise, and since I have the single best story ever about a Gay Cruise (which was told to me a decade ago by my friends Ross and Scott), I had to share the story with them. They all agreed that is was excellent.
Also known as The Vacayans, these handsome guys were so friendly and adorable that I was compelled to snap this fantastic photo of them, smiling and looking awesome in their Pink T Shirts, to capture the moment. I joked that I was going to make them my Pink Thing of the Day, but then I thought ‘why the fuck not, just do it!’ If you were gay, wouldn’t you want them to help you plan your next vacation? I sure would!
I realize that people may not be booking a lot of travel just at the moment, but, for all of my LGBTQ etc readers, when you are ready to venture out into the world again and want to plan your next adventure, please visit MyVacaya.com, and tell them the Worley Gig sent you.
Multi-platform French artist Aima Saint Hunon celebrated the New York City opening of The Human Jungle, a pop-up gallery displaying her art, which took place at a two-night event in early November. The fun and festive event was hosted by JetzyApp.com and Jarlsberg® Cheese.
Saint Hunon, whose work is known internationally, creates renowned sculptures, paintings, photos, jewelry, poems and videos. Her work, using multi-cultural characters, offers art lovers her perspective of a world where creation has no barriers or limits.