Fun Fall Vacations for the (COVID) Cautious

Early fall has always been an ideal vacation time. During the “shoulder season,” seniors enjoy discounts on food, lodging, transportation, and attractions. It’s also prime time for leisure activities like fishing, golfing, and leaf-peeping, and yet still warm enough for beach or lake. Plus, the drop in crowds is a perk that works for social distancing.

According to a newly released report from the Texas Medical Association, if you’re following safety protocols like mask-wearing and frequent hand washing, you can participate in low-risk travel activities include camping, tennis, outdoor dining, walking, biking, golfing, going to a museum, and walking through a downtown.

Below are some top affordable and fun vacation spots recommended by CBS News, Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and Liz Dahl, founder of BoomerTravelPatrol.com. These places are driving destinations, the favored socially-distant mode of travel. You can call ahead to book a spot in an Airbnb or a Vacation Rental by Owner (Vrbo). As of earlier this summer, Airbnb and Vrbo established an enhanced cleaning protocol based on recommendations from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a more flexible cancellation policy, and new rules about avoidance of people as you check-in. The new guidelines, coupled with the socially-distant comforts of a rental, bring peace of mind to travelers who want to eat at home or relax by the fire pit or hot tub. General safety for seniors is also now widely available; look for accessibility features and filters specifying shower seats and safety rails in bathrooms as well as wheelchair accessibility if needed.

Fall Vacation Destinations

Williamsburg, Virginia

The former capital of Virginia is more affordable than people think, and many of its living history attractions unfold outdoors in the form of historical reenactments. Highlights: golf, museums, historic buildings, outdoor dining, wine tasting tour, nature trails, kayaking, shopping, crafts, classic architecture, and Colonial history recapturing the lives of George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson.

Montauk, Long Island

Located on the tip of Long Island, this beach town is still very much a fishing village. It’s more affordable than the neighboring hipper Hampton towns like Sag Harbor and Southampton. Highlights: golf, horseback riding, lighthouse tour, bird watching, shopping, outdoor dining, and beautiful beaches.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Situated within the chain of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island is lesser-known than Sea Island but just as beautiful. Highlights: beaches, fishing, bird watching, biking through lush greenery, outdoor dining, tennis, golf, kayaking, and other water sports.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

This beautiful beach town features a spectacular blend of nautical adventure and history dating to the Mayflower. The Pilgrim Hall Museum, the country’s oldest museum, displays Mayflower artifacts and a piece of Plymouth Rock. Highlights: walking tours of 17thcentury homes and museums, outdoor dining, whale watching, and rides through the 100-year-old Cape Cod Canal.

Adirondack Mountains, Catskills, Finger Lakes – New York

Rural beauty and lakes define these secluded spots that make social distancing easy. Water sports equipment is also disinfected between each renter. Highlights: kayaking, paddleboards, paddleboats, outdoor festivals and wineries, leaf-peeping, and long walks and hikes.

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, IN; Badlands National Park, SD; Ozark National Scenic Riverways, MO; Yosemite, CA; Glacier National Park, MT

National parks are more desirable than ever, with their beautiful vastness that makes social distancing easy. Highlights: camping, fishing, natural trails, kayaking, canoeing, high-level hiking, stunning wilderness.

Stay Protected on the Road

Medical Alert’s On the Go system is GPS-enabled so you can be located wherever you are in an emergency. With the push of the alert button on your bracelet or pendant, you will immediately connect to our 24/7 monitoring service and an emergency response specialist will get you the help you need or contact a loved one. This small, lightweight mobile alert device is also available with automatic fall detection that can sense a fall even if you are unable to push your help button.