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If you’ve been trying to come up with the perfect Ontario staycation, you’re not alone. But before you explore what this great province has to offer, there are a few things to consider.

Before you go

Booking ahead of time

In this “new normal,” it’s important to plan well in advance to make sure you and your family are fully prepared and don’t run into any snags along the way. Save yourself the heartache of missing out by reserving your spot at restaurants and even some attractions—before you hit the road.

Pack the new essentials

Remember the days when “the essentials” included your driver’s wallet, phone and keys? Now that masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizer are top of mind, be sure to pack multiples so you never find yourself without.

Safety and hygiene check

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has taken the guesswork out of trip planning by developing a green “Safe Travels” stamp that businesses can use to show they have adopted COVID-safe hygiene protocols. Look for it on their social media, websites and on signage IRL.

While you’re out

Wear a mask—it’s mandated

Early on in the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified mask wearing as one of the most effective ways to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

Keep your distance

Along with wearing a mask or face covering, physical distancing (maintaining a distance of six feet) from people outside of your social bubble is the best way to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.

Be kind

A little kindness goes a long way, especially when it comes to interacting with people serving you. Remember that service industry workers put their health and wellbeing on the line to make sure you can have the experiences you want.

Be “extra” with your hygiene

Going to a washroom? Pack some sanitizing supplies. Pumping gas? Wash or sanitize your hands right after. Eating a snack? Clean your hands and eating area before and after. The extra attention will go a long way toward protecting yourself—and others.

Keep it outdoors

Depending on where you live, there are likely some outdoor activities you can safely partake in, which can help give you a much-needed mental reset. Why not go for a hike and then enjoy a picnic or patio lunch? (As it gets cooler, many restaurants will be equipped with heaters to extend the use of their outdoor spaces.)

Consider isolating

Even if you didn’t travel outside your own province, being around larger groups of people and higher-contact areas still put you and others at risk, so it’s wise to consider self-isolating when you return home.

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