How To Travel Safely This Summer

Summer is here, and many Americans are itching for a vacation. But is it possible to photo album and camera being held by a gloved handtravel safely right now? Is an airplane really a flying Petri dish to be avoided until the pandemic blows over? Can you take a road trip if it means making rest stops in three different states?

So many questions — but we’ve got answers! Here’s how to enjoy your getaway this summer without compromising on your health and safety.

Check your health

Before heading out to any destination, give yourself a mental COVID-19 screening. Have you been running a fever above 100.4? Have you recently experienced shortness of breath or deep coughing? Do you have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to coronavirus in the last week? If you answer yes to any of these questions, the CDC recommends you stay home.

Check local laws at your destination

Even as some states are seeing a decline in new COVID-19 infections, the virus continues to rage across the country and many states are currently peaking. To help curb the spread, some local governments have enacted strict quarantine laws for visitors entering their state from places that are experiencing a surge in new infections. There are also discrepancies among individual states regarding general coronavirus laws, such as those related to face coverings and public gatherings.

Check the local laws at your destination before setting out on your trip. Also recheck them as you travel since the situation is fluid and laws are constantly changing. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules at rest stops you’ll visit along the way. You can look up COVID-19 regulations around the country here.

Air travel

At first glance, an airplane can seem like a flying tube of germs, but that’s not entirely true.

“Many people think they get sick on an airplane, but the reality is that the air quality on an airplane is actually really good — high amounts of clean outdoor air and all recirculated air pass through a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter,” says Joe Allen, an assistant professor and director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

HEPA filters refresh the circulated air every two to three minutes, and can effectively block more than 99% of airborne microbes.

That travelers are more likely to pick up the virus while waiting in line at airport security, at the boarding gate or in front of the luggage carousel, Allen says.

Airports and airlines are taking steps to minimize the risks of contagion with frequent intensive cleaning and sanitizing of common areas. Planes are fogged with electrostatic disinfectant that sticks to surfaces such as seatbelts, Many airlines are now distributing disinfectant wipes to boarding passengers, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has increased the size of hand sanitizer bottles permissible to bring aboard a plane from 3.4 ounces to 12.

Despite these extra measures, it’s best to continue following standard COVID-19 precautions. Face coverings should be worn at all times, as per CDC recommendations, and it’s a good idea to wipe down high-contact surfaces, like tray tables and armrests. As always, proper hand hygiene should be observed.

Hotel stays

Some states — but not all — have lifted restrictions on hotels and vacation rentals, thereby permitting them to welcome guests again; however, many travelers are understandably wary. To reassure them, several big-name hotel chains are rolling out new programs and procedures, such as Hilton Worldwide’s CleanStay   program which features frequent cleaning and contactless check-in. These extra precautions make a hotel stay safer.

If you’re still feeling unsure about spending a night in a hotel or a vacation rental, but your travel plans necessitate an overnight stay, come prepared. Pack a generous supply of cleaning wipes that have an EPA-approved disinfectant, and scrub all high-touch surfaces at the hotel room or rental. This includes all door knobs, faucets, remote controls, light switches, countertops and more.

Rest stops

Lots of vacationing Americans are choosing to travel by car this summer instead of taking to the skies, assuming this mode of transportation is safer than air travel. What many neglect to realize is that by stopping at rest stops in several states, a traveler may come in close contact with hundreds of other travelers while in a germ-infested area.

If you have plans to hit the road, travel safely. Pack lots of disinfectant wipes and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Mask up at all rest stops, and don’t forget to keep your distance from other travelers. Use toilet seat covers when available, and wipe down other high-touch areas, like sink faucets, before using. When purchasing takeout food, use contactless payment. Wash your hands vigorously when you’ve finished, and scrub them with sanitizer for an extra measure of protection.

Attractions

Once you’ve arrived at your vacation destination, continue to play it safe. The CDC recommends maintaining a 6-foot distance from other visitors while at an attraction, avoiding crowded parks, wearing a face covering at all times and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

The open road is calling! Before you head out on your summer getaway, though, don’t forget to pack the face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Play it safe for a truly memorable summer.  And, don’t forget to take Destinations Credit Union along with you!  Our Mobile App let’s you check balances, transfer money and get the closest surcharge-free ATM location.  It even allows you to temporarily block your cards if you misplace your Destinations debit card or credit card.

Your Turn: What measures are you taking for a safe summer getaway? Tell us about it in the comments.

Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-your-coronavirus-travel-questions-answered-11582980999
https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/2020/05/safety-tips-to-help-you-travel-again-during-covid-19-cvd/
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html

6 Ways You Can Use A Personal Loan this Summer

Summer is a time for fun and excitement, but it can also be super expensive. people at a picnicSummertime can be a season of major life changes like household moves and weddings; purchasing that boat you’ve been eyeing and let’s not forget those dream vacations!

Before you start swiping the plastic for everything under the sun, Destinations Credit Union recommends considering a personal loan to stay within your budget.

At, Destinations Credit Union, the application process is smooth and quick, and, as a member, you don’t need flawless credit to qualify for a great rate. We also offer fantastic terms, with low interest rates. When you use a personal loan instead of racking up credit card debt, you are making a responsible choice that can positively impact your finances for years to come.

To help you accomplish this, we have outlined seven ways to responsibly use a personal loan this summer.

1. Getting married

According to Brides.com, the average wedding in 2018 cost more than $44,000. That’s a whole lot of money you may not have sitting around.

If you’re tying the knot this summer, consider taking out a personal loan to help cover your wedding costs. Use your loan to fund the larger expenses, such as your rings, wedding dress and venue, or to cover the smaller costs like the flowers, travel arrangements and photographer.

2. Moving to new home

Since the kids are out of school, summer is the most popular time of year for household moves. Whether you’re moving a few blocks or a few states away, moving costs can be prohibitive. You’ll need to consider the expense of moving supplies; paying the mover; plus the cost of new furniture and other household items to help turn your new residence into a home. Taking out a personal loan to help you cover these expenses can make a household move a lot less stressful.

3. Consolidating debt

Summer is all about freedom and what better way to feel free than getting rid of that nagging credit card and student loan debt?

Paying off multiple loans and credit card bills each month can make you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle thanks to skyrocketing interest rates. Wouldn’t life be simpler if you only had one debt with a nominal interest rate? A personal loan can make that happen.

A personal loan can be used to pay off all your credit card and other outstanding debt, and with a single loan to pay off with a manageable interest rate, you’ll be able to make steady progress toward living a debt-free life.

4. Taking a dream vacation

Perhaps the road trip you take every summer is getting stale and you’re ready for something bigger, like a luxury cruise or trip abroad. You might be celebrating a milestone anniversary or college graduation, or maybe you want to cross something off your bucket list; however, your budget is not equipped for the tens of thousands of dollars you need for your dream getaway.

A personal loan can help you fund the trip of your dreams with a payment plan you can afford so you won’t need a vacation from debt when you return.

5. Renovating your home

When the weather warms up, homeowners want to upgrade their homes. Whether it’s installing a swimming pool, giving your kitchen a complete makeover or turning your garage into a guest suite this summer, a personal loan can make it possible. Personal loans may be a better option for homeowners who don’t have a great deal of equity in their homes and consequently would not be a good candidate for a fixed Home Equity Loan, or a HELOC.

6. Funding medical expenses

If there are medical procedures you’ve been putting off because they’re not covered by your health insurance plan, a personal loan can help you look and feel great this summer. A personal loan can help borrowers fund elective cosmetic surgery, dental work, fertility treatments and consulting with alternative practitioners about chronic health conditions.

Apply Online, stop by Destinations Credit Union or give us a call at 410-663-2500 to ask how you can get started. We’re always here to help make your summer dreams come true.

Your Turn: What are your summer plans and how are you going to pay for them? Share it with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-can-a-personal-loan-be-used-for/

https://www.thebalance.com/reasons-to-get-a-personal-loan-4684106
https://www.bankrate.com/loans/personal-loans/top-reasons-to-apply-for-personal-loan/amp/

12 Things To Do Before Your Summer Getaway

Your bags are packed, your itinerary is set and you’re counting down the minutes until vacation gearyou take off for your dream summer getaway. Before you head out to the airport, though, read through this checklist of important things people tend to forget before leaving for vacation.

1.) Let us know

Give us a call at 410-663-2500 before you set off on your vacay. Let us know your vacation destination so we know to honor any card transactions you make while in another state or abroad. If you’re traveling overseas, ask us about any foreign transaction fees and the best practices of using cash or debit/credit cards. We’ll help you make the best decisions for managing your money while you’re away. Plus, we’d love to hear all about your awesome travel plans!

2.) Check your auto insurance plan for coverage

If you plan on renting a car when you land, check with your auto insurance provider first to find out if rental cars are covered in your plan. If they’re not, you may want to purchase travel insurance, just in case.

3.) Pay all your bills

Before heading out on your trip, make sure all of your monthly bills are paid up. You don’t want to be busy paying bills when you’re sunning yourself on the beach or take a chance of getting hit with late fees.  Remember, with online bill payment, you can schedule your payments ahead of time.

4.) Set up an automatic email response

Your boss might know that you’ll be away this week, but potential and existing clients will not. Set up an automatic response that lets people know you’re out of the office to avoid appearing unprofessional or negligent.

5.) Put your mail on hold

An overflowing mailbox is an open invitation to thieves. If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, ask the USPS to put a hold on your mail. They’ll happily keep your mail at the post office until your return, at no cost to you. Alternatively, ask a neighbor to collect your mail and hold it until you return.

6.) Unplug your electronics

Don’t pay vampire charges for electronics you’re not using while you’re away. Pull the plug on all small appliances and electronics before you leave.

7.) Clean your home

Before your departure, give your house a thorough cleaning so you’ll be greeted by a spotless, clean-smelling house upon your return. Plus, you’ll avoid an invasion by ants and other critters. Here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • Scrub countertops and tables.
  • Wipe down the refrigerator and toss all perishables.
  • Sweep and mop, or vacuum all floors.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Scrub your bathrooms.
  • Seal any open food packages in airtight containers.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda down your drains and toilets to rid any lingering odors.
  • Change your bed sheets.

Yes, you’re busy with your packing and travel arrangements now, but your post-vacation self will thank you for any scrubbing you do now.

8.) Let your mobile service provider know about your travel plans

If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll want to check with your cellphone company about possible overseas service plans that allow you to use your smartphone for calls, texts and internet access when on vacation.

9.) Shut off your main water supply

Avoid coming home to a flood by turning off your water supply before leaving on your vacay. A small, unnoticed leak can easily turn into a huge problem when left unattended for days or weeks on end.

10.) Adjust your thermostats

If you have the AC blasting throughout the summer, you’ll want to adjust your thermostat before leaving. Turning it off completely is not a good idea, because you’ll want some air to circulate for keeping the humidity under control and to avoid mold. Instead, turn it a few degrees higher than you usually keep it. You can also program your AC to go on and off while you’re away. Also, set your hot water heater to its vacation setting so it’s heating the same water less often.

11.) Invest in a timer

Keep the prowlers out by setting your lights to go on and off in different rooms and at different times of the day throughout your vacation. It’s a small investment when weighed against the money and aggravation it can save you.

12.) Confirm your reservations

It’s a good idea to confirm your flight, hotel room, car rental and attractions before setting out on your trip. You may have booked some of these reservations months ago, and you don’t want any unpleasant surprises ruining your vacation.

Your Turn: Did we miss anything? Share your own pre-vacation to-do list with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.blog.esurance.com/10-essential-things-to-do-before-leaving-for-vacation/amp/

https://www.timeinc.net/travelandleisure/travel-tips/things-to-do-before-you-go-on-vacation
https://www.mintnotion.com/travel/20-things-we-forget-to-do-before-going-on-vacation/