PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Fear of catching the coronavirus on vacation has many people afraid to fly. According to a recent survey of travelers by Destination Analysts, 60% are turning to staycations as a safer option.
Kim Hoss, Palm Beach Gardens business owner, has staycationed at the Palm Beach Singer Island many times, "You don't have the whole anticipation of packing everybody's suitcases, getting to the airport early on time, you just throw everything into the car. And if you forget something you can drive home.”
5 Benefits of a Staycation
- Save money on things like air travel or pet, baby or plant sitters
- Be a tourist in your own town
- Close to home in case of emergencies
- Your time off isn't wasted by travel
- Distance yourself from others because of the coronavirus pandemic
"Staycations are what we are relying on at this point. The fear of flying right now is still front of mind," Said Roger Amidon, General Manager for the resort.
Ashley Svarney, spokesperson for Discover the Palm Beaches said, "So much of our local economy does depend on tourism."
"[Hotels are] very very important to the Palm Beach County economy." She says right now many resorts are offering deals like $365/night at the Breakers Palm Beach (rates normally run in the thousands).
A survey by Destination Analysts found 34% would feel safe at in-town destinations, that's down from 42% just over three weeks ago.
COVID-19 is driving the downward trend.
"We're taking the CDC guidelines seriously," Said Amidon.
Svarney says hotels and resorts are working hard to stay open. "I think they are working so hard to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. They're ready to welcome guests who are ready to dip their toes into some kind of vacation with a staycation."
Svarney hopes the community will work together to follow health protocols. "But we can also keep our businesses up and running and that's vital and that's so important."
"I just think [staycations are] great because it's so much less stressful it can be cheaper. Just go, enjoy where we live, we live in paradise. Why do you have to fly away someplace else?
Amidon agreed, "Once you get onto Singer Island people feel like they are in a different area completely. And when you look at our waters right off our beach I mean it's like Bahamas water; the pure blue water because of the Gulfstream."
"We're the only resort in Palm Beach County with a three-story waterslide," Amidon said the slide occupies kid's time for hours.
"We're not a typical Marriott hotel room. This is a one-bedroom or two-bedroom condominium-style room. It has a full kitchen, full-sized refrigerator, dishwasher and even comes with a washer and dryer."
"Typically when you go to a hotel, you don't want to stay in the hotel because it's just a little tight. Here, this is almost like something you may choose to live in."
"It saves time, it saves money and aggravation," Said Hoss.
Things you should pack for a staycation
- Reading material
- Laundry detergent
- First aid kit
- Beach gear
- Device chargers
- Gear you own like snorkels, wakeboard, etc...
Svarney said there are plenty of attractions near and around Singer Island, "The ultimate gem of Singer Island and the Riviera Beach area [is] Phil Foster Park. She said there is even an underwater snorkel trail.
"Walk in from the water, just from the beach itself with your goggles on with your snorkel and you can see such a beautiful diversity of tropical marine life."
Interactive Singer Island Staycation Map
Now 42% of people surveyed say they don't feel safe going out into the community because people aren't wearing masks, some of them are turning to RV vacations so they can reduce contact with others. RV Share says rentals are up 81% year-over-year. 1600% since April.