As in-person events and gatherings continue to make a comeback, the next question becomes finding destinations which offer the interesting atmosphere and activities of pre-pandemic events while still being able to accommodate those who cannot or have not been vaccinated as well as those who prefer to be cautious in social settings.
In deciding on such destinations, you’ll want to keep the see-saw effect in mind. Ideally, you want a destination that offers some sort of balance between crowds and safety controls. Too many crowds without any safety measures can leave people feeling uncomfortable or unwilling to attend. Likewise, empty spaces with heavy rules and controls can feel overwhelming to a point some people would rather stay home. The best choices are places that offer some degree of both. Some choices include:
- Orlando-area Theme Parks: Surprising as it may seem, Orlando-area theme parks are still taking precautions to prevent the spread of contagious illness. While masks are no longer mandated outdoors, company-hosted transportation such as buses, monorails, boats and ferries do require masks. As well, all unvaccinated employees are still required to wear masks and vaccinated employees are encouraged to do so as well. It is likely that all food-service employees will continue wearing masks regardless of vaccination status for some time. Attraction lines continue to encourage social distancing, and hand sanitizer is provided at various ride points and throughout the parks. It’s a great time to return to “The Parks” and there are many attractive offers and discounts for groups and events.
- Go Big-City Adjacent: If the idea of heavily populated cities seems daunting right now, consider the following: big cities have better access to high-level medical care and can more quickly source specialty items than remote locations. Even better, you don’t have to be in the core of a big city to enjoy the fullness of the experience.
- Adjacent to LA: Try Santa Barbara, just about 90 minutes outside of town for a more laid-back version of Pacific chic. Don’t miss the city’s Funk Zone – an outdoor district where art galleries, music, and restaurants can all be enjoyed (or rented) as part of your event.
- Adjacent to Miami: Just 45 minutes by boat, you’ll find the island of Bimini, Bahamas, where fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to take COVID tests upon reaching the island. Health Travel Visa forms must still be completed by all travelers, but then fishing, beaches, casinos and more all await. For those wishing to stay domestic, a similar island vibe can be found just a 40 minute drive from the Miami International Airport in Key Largo. The ample array of outdoor activities and open-air restaurants make being inclusive easy for virtually any size group.
- Adjacent to New York City: If you’ve never been to or heard of Finger Lakes, it’s likely the locals are trying to keep the spot a best-kept secret. Amazing local wines (mainly Rieslings), hiking, mountain biking, waterfalls, museums, and boat tours make for memorable retreats in an unexpected location.
- Chart Your Own Course: Now’s the time to look into the world of charter yachts and small-ship cruises. You can find a vessel that’s just-right for the size of your group, and allows you to have run of the entire ship to yourselves. You also get to select the travel itinerary if there are specific destinations near your departure port you’d like to visit. Or, you can sail at sea with included meal and bar service, watersports activities, and sight-seeing. Best of all, as the charter group, you can request masks at all times from the crew or look for a provider who offers this already.
One of the most important things to remember as travel evolves in the months to come, is that it’s okay to ask questions. This is where having an event planner like VIBE on your side comes in handy, because we know what should be the healthy standard by law, and we know how to negotiate special requests to make sure your guests are all equally comfortable. Want more recommendations you won’t find on travel sites? Just email@example.com
About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry. The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry. If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!