Photo by Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / Getty Images
Photo by Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Like it did with everything else this year, the pandemic is throwing a very 2020 wrinkle in traditional holiday plans. The family get-togethers that once felt unmissable now feel risky.

Families across the country are struggling to make responsible choices. In past years, travel expert Maryann Thompson has split the holiday season between time with her husband and kids and time with her extended family clan. This year the bigger gatherings are slipping off the calendar.

“My husband might realize his dream of spending Christmas morning in our living room,” says Thompson, editor in chief of Roam Family Travel. It would be a significant change from previous years. “We’ve road tripped through snowy Yellowstone, gone diving in Catalina, backpacked around Cambodia, and rung in oshogatsu [Japanese new year] with friends in Tokyo,” she says about past holidays.

COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high across the United States. Although vaccines with reportedly high efficacy rates are giving hope, widespread access to them is likely months away. Until then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising families to stay home for the holidays. But if family obligations necessitate travel, experts encourage minimizing the risk wherever possible. Here are 10 tips to help.

Read the full story at National Geographic Travel.


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