ST. LOUIS — Summer vacations are anything but normal this year. With people leery of shared spaces and crowds, renting a private vacation home may be more popular than ever.
But is that even safe these days? Consumer Reports reveals the important precautions you need to take to save your vacation while keeping your family safe.
If you’re planning to rent a vacation home this summer, here are some steps that will help you minimize your risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
If you’re traveling from a place with a high rate of COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself for at least two weeks before you go or after you arrive.
You should check the local rules about whether you’ll be required to quarantine when you arrive. And you can monitor the coronavirus situation at your destination by checking the state’s health department website.
It’s also a good idea to check the refund policy on your booking, particularly regarding the terms if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the area or new travel restrictions are put in place.
Ideally, the property should be disinfected before you arrive, but to be safe, you can also do a thorough wipe-down yourself, making sure to clean high-touch surfaces, such as counters, faucets, doorknobs, and refrigerator handles. If you want to be extra cautious, you could reclean all the dishes. And because a normal wash-and-dry cycle is generally enough to get rid of the coronavirus, clean sheets and towels provided in the rental should be safe to use.
Also, don’t travel if you are already sick. But if you or someone in your party develops COVID-19 symptoms during your stay, take the proper precautions. If someone in the house has a fever or respiratory symptoms, they should be kept isolated in a separate room. Call your doctor for advice and notify the local health department as well as the host.
And when you return home, Consumer Reports says, you should leave a review about your experience, particularly regarding cleanliness, to help future guests make informed decisions about renting the property.