On January 31, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency and by March, COVID-19 was considered a global pandemic. Travel bans followed and as we kick-start the year 2021, it's safe to say that travel has shifted compared to pre-COVID times.

An analysis by Tourism Economics states that travel spending in 2020 declined by an unprecedented 42 percent annual decline from 2019 — and International travel spending dropped by 76 percent, even though there's a lengthy list of countries welcoming American tourists once again.

Although the world of jet-setting has been tipped on its head, that does not mean people aren't traveling, especially domestically. Based on a report released by Airbnb, people are searching for domestic getaways, often searching for locations close to nature. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway with your spouse or a weekend away with your family, here's where to travel and how to do so safely.

How to Travel Safely During COVID

Just as you would when you're in your hometown, it's important to practice all the COVID-19 recommendations: maintain a distance of six feet, wear a face mask and wash your hands often. Although there are many major cities across the country that still welcome visitors, a significant number of travelers are heading to America's more natural wonders—even those who weren't interested in such experiences before.

Scientists are calling it the COVID-19 effect, as new research shows that 26 percent of people who visited parks during COVID had rarely or never visited nature in the previous year. Although you can find luxury boutiques and hotels in major cities surrounding national parks, you can also get creative at a campsite. For example, do you love to cook? Why not plan some Instagram-worthy campfire meals? This is the perfect opportunity to distance yourself from others, reconnect with nature, and do something outside the box!

1. Northern California

For exploring areas of natural beauty, Northern California is the place to be. If you're in the mood to road trip, you'll be able to take in breathtaking views along the Pacific Coast Highway. Head to Redwood National Park to hike among soaring redwoods before stopping for a picnic at High Bluff Overlook. Find unique Airbnb stays in Northern California here.

2. Southern California

Here is where you'll find some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation and some of the most captivating night skies. To get away from it all and relax, Joshua Tree National Park is the place-to-be. There are nine campgrounds in the park and many lodging options nearby. Plan your visit here and browse a selection of Airbnb stays in Southern California here.

3. Oregon

Although Portland, Oregon is a funky and culture-rich city with plenty to do, these days, most people want to travel outside of major cities. That is why destinations outside of Oregon and Salem are being recommended. Oregon is FULL of forests, coastlines and mountains. If you're itching to camp, this is one of the best places. Rent an RV or pitch a tent in one of these parks.

4. Maine

If you're a fan of coastlines, Maine should definitely be on your shortlist and offers a completely different vibe than America's West Coast. Whether you're exploring the rocky shores of the Atlantic, hiking trails, or biking through the woodlands, there are plenty of ways to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. If you do head to Maine, don't miss out on Acadia National Park, a 47,000-acre destination that offers rocky beaches, granite peaks, and amazing wildlife. Stay in Bar Harbor to enjoy local shops and restaurants.

5. Hawaii

As long as you can adhere to Hawaii's 10-day quarantine or take part in their pre-travel testing program, Hawaii is an easy choice! For those who work from home, why not switch things up? Head to Hawaii and work during your quarantine, then explore for a week or two. Who knows, you may want to stay even longer! I mean, who wouldn't want to island hop in Hawaii?

6. Alaska

You can't get more secluded than Alaska, and if you're looking for the ultimate road trip, "the Last Frontier" will be a place you'll never forget. Although Alaska is America's largest state, it's also the least populated. Full of quaint small towns, there is so much to discover. Just remember, the weather can be harsh, so the best time to visit is from late April to mid-September. Be sure to go to Kenai Fjords National Park.

 

7. New Mexico

There's a reason New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. There is so much history and culture in the state, making it the ultimate place to stay and play. From unique sand dunes and colorful sunsets to sacred art and mouthwatering cuisine, this is a great place to get away from it all. The Bisti Badlands is a must!

 

8. Wyoming

When you think of Wyoming, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Yellowstone National Park, of course! There's no place quite like it. From mind-blowing geysers to stunning hot springs, lush forests to must-see canyons, there's a reason this park is so famous. Already been to Yellowstone? There are six other national parks in the state, including Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.

9. Utah

Again, Utah is one of America's great outdoor states. From top-rated ski resorts to once-in-a-lifetime lookout points, there's so much to see. If you have your eyes on Utah, then Park City is the ultimate getaway. It's an adventurer's paradise in the Wasatch Mountain range. Check out the Park City Mountain Resort here.

10. Montana

If you want to know why Montana is called the Big Sky Country, you're going to have to go check it out for yourself! This state is known for its breathtaking scenery, excellent hospitality, horseback riding opportunities, national parks, skiing, whitewater rafting, and so much more! If you're traveling with someone who enjoys fishing, it is here you'll be able to book a guided fly-fishing trip among the glacial mountains.

Regardless of where you travel, whether you're exploring the countryside or living it up at a five-star ski resort, do so in style! We have everything you need for your next trip, including activewear, lounge wear, outerwear and even swimwear!

We also encourage you to learn more about traveling domestically during CO

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