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Monday, December 7, 2020

Driving To Florida- Covid and Hotels

Beach, Miami, Florida, Ocean, Sand

My husband and I are snowbirds and we spend the winter in Florida. My husband has health issues that are aggravated by the cold weather. For the past 10 years since we retired, we have been driving to Florida for the winter.The long drive necessitates that we sleep at least one night in a hotel and with Covid this is what we encountered and how we prepared for it.

Highway, Road, Truck, Vehicles, Mobility 

Under normal circumstances, staying in a hotel would not be a concern. However, 
during Covid we had many concerns. 
  • Would it be safe? 
  • Would the other guests be wearing masks in common areas? 
  • Could we get a first floor room to avoid using the elevators? 
  • Would the room be clean and safe?
Would It Be Safe? 
    We decided to take everything that we needed with us including food for the full two days in a cooler. We tried to make as few stops as possible- only to get gasoline and to go to the bathroom. I carried 
  • Lysol cleaning spray
  • Disposable gloves 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towel 

WOULD the room be clean? 

     I read many reviews before deciding on a  hotel. I decided on a 
     Hampton Inn Savannah in Richmond Hill area which was directly off of 95 and had gotten excellent reviews specifically related to Covid. It was 12 hours into our trip. I was not disappointed. The hotel was very clean. The hotel clerk was wearing a mask and checked us in very quickly.

Would other guests wear masks in common areas?
Face Mask, Covid-19, Epidemic
      There was a BIG sign in the glass door that said , masks must be worn! However, as we checked in, I noticed that a woman on line in back of me was not wearing a mask. 

After a few minutes of discomfort, I said to the clerk that we specifically chose Hampton Inn because masks were required and then pointed out that the woman was not wearing a mask. He immediately offered her a complimentary mask. She was older and graciously accepted the mask although she fiddled with it a long time before putting it on. 

However, the next morning a tough middle aged man walked through the lobby and hallway right past me without a mask, I mentioned it to the morning clerk and he was defensive. He said, " I told him he needed to wear a mask, I did my job and that's all I can do. I can't force him to wear one." - so obviously the "mask rule" is simply a "mask suggestion." I was more offended by the clerk's defensiveness to me. However I do find that is true in most places except nursing homes. 

Could we get a first floor room to avoid using elevators? 
Yes , we had to find out the availability upon checking in. They were able to accommodate us.

Two things I really liked: 
  • a seal on the front door - once the room was cleaned it was sealed and we broke the seal to enter.
  • a seal on the remote control - that said just cleaned and we had to remove it.
Breakfast was a boxed type lunch for the road - I couldn't eat it but my husband could and did. It contained a small carton of orange juice, a bagel and cream cheese, 2 hard boiled eggs, and a yogurt. There were fresh wrapped apples on the counter and hot coffee for the taking. 

I planned in advance and brought all my own food in a cooler.

All in all, I believe all went well and we were on our way by to Florida by 7:00 AM

Sunset In Florida, Fan Palm, Atmospheric


  1. Living in Arizona, I can definitely vouch for the all of the amazing benefits of warmer weather in the winter. I hope you have loads of fabulous and safe winter fun!

  2. Safe travels, hooe the nice weather helps your health.

  3. You were wise to have your own food and minimize interactions with others.
    I wish the hotel had been more strict about mask rules. However, I’ve read about how some people threaten staff when asked to wear a mask. It’s a shame.

    Glad you are safely in Florida now. Have fun! 😊

  4. Hope you enjoy the warmer weather. My SIL goes to FL from Jan-May as well. This year will be a challenge as she has an emotional support dog and rules have changed it seems.

  5. Thank you for sharing your account of traveling during these uncertain times. It sounds like your planning paid off. There will be people who won't wear a mask, even if it's the "rule" and the smart thing to do. As my neighbor used to say, "God takes care of fools and little children." You are wise to be aware of who is wearing masks and avoiding people who don't. I hope the rest of your trip was safe and that you are settled into your second home.


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