Is it safe to go on vacation? Here's what doctors say about traveling during the pandemic

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MARISSA TANSINO
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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) — As Memorial Day and summer get closer, the phones are still ringing off the hook at travel agencies, whether it's for cancellations or bookings.

"It’s about half and half. Fifty percent of the people, they’re ready to get out of the house. They are ready to go somewhere. They are ready to take vacation," said Imagine Travel agent Kaitlyn Nance.

Nance said not everyone is in that same boat. Some people have postponed their trips for a later date.

"A majority of our cancellations have just been from the resorts being closed until they open back up again," Nance said.

If you plan to go somewhere, Dr. Ashley Perrott, a physician with Novant Health, said there are steps you'll want to take to make sure you and your family are healthy.

"Most hotels and resorts and condos and things like that have a plan for cleaning and that would be a great question prior to making a reservation, is what type of cleaning are they doing," she said.

When you pack the bathing suit, make sure you put a mask and hand sanitizer in your bag too.

"I think really just a good focus on handwashing will help and using hand sanitizer so that we keep ourselves safe and if we cough or sneeze that we’re not spreading our germs to other people," she said.

If you have plans to go to the beach, is it safe?

One Triad doctor said it depends on how crowded the beach is and how possible social distancing is.

"Being on the beach significantly distanced from other people is safe. Being outdoors is safe. But, being outdoors in high-density situations isn't safe," said Dr. Bruce Swords, the Chief Physician Executive of Cone Health.

"It might even be good for you to be outdoors and clear your mind of everything else you've been thinking about related to COVID, just don't do it in large groups," he said.

Even with people itching to get out during the pandemic, AAA suggests fewer people will hit the road to travel this Memorial Day.

“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”

AAA said people are slowly becoming more confident with traveling again, expecting more people will start planning vacations again.