Planning A Covid 19 Vacation In The Midwest

Several years ago, I discovered Put-In-Bay, Ohio, while I was visiting nearby Cedar Point on Lake Erie. A safe Covid 19 Vacation was in order, and it seemed like a really great place to go for the entire family. With all the warnings and dire predictions, we decided that taking a flight anywhere was a no go and that any vacation would have to be one that we could drive to.

Our trip in 2018 was just a day trip but was enough to pique the family’s interest in returning for a more extended visit. To this day, I still recall my afternoon at Put-in-Bay, one of my favorite vacations ever. One of the kid’s most memorable events was tooling around the island roads on a Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Rental. Yes, you read that right; they actually drive golf carts as cars on the island, complete with license plates. You truly feel you have departed mainstream America for a Caribbean island without a single stoplight on the island.

Our “Safe” Covid 19 Vacation Journey

When I was challenged to plan a vacation this summer, I knew that I wanted to revisit the island but, to be honest, I didn’t know if I was ready to go anywhere. I am at high-risk health-wise, so our family pretty much has been staying in the house since April.

 I wasn’t really positive. I wanted to journey to another part of the state for a vacation. Then I started considering all the things that were outdoors that Put-in-Bay offered and that it would actually be pretty easy to social distance there. I started my planning process by looking at the various Put-in-Bay Hotels. We selected the Put-in-Bay resort and later learned it was a great choice! The villa we rented was four bedrooms, and the three bathrooms were perfect for our size group. The grounds were lushly landscaped, clean, and the pool was crystal clear. You could tell the resort was making an effort to social distance as you entered the lobby.

While it was still busy, it was a comfortable number of people, and several corporate groups were meeting at the resort. 

There are so many things to do with kids at Put-in-Bay, but I really wanted to focus on the outdoor activities and how we were able to social distance from others. In general, I think pretty much everyone is tired of being cooped up in their home and ready to get out, so I am thrilled to share these details with you and hopefully help others enjoy a safe, socially responsible vacation as well.

Timing Is Everything

We decided to go to Put-in-Bay on a Monday to steer clear of the busy weekend crowd. The ride over on the Jet Express was comfortable, and plenty of seating was available. I checked out the website and was happy to see several safety guidelines in place, including those 6 and up being required to wear masks, 6-foot social distancing reminders, and limited capacity on the boats.

 Put-In-Bay is likely not quite as crowded on weekends as it was a year or so ago, with some opting out of vacations, but I still felt like our choice of the day was the right one.

Once we arrived on the island, we found the Put-In-Bay Golf Carts just south of the dock where the ferry dropped us off. We parked in the lot next to the ferry on the mainland and rented a 6-person golf cart. 

I was happy to see that they were wiping down the carts as each previous renter returned the cart with cleaning wipes. I think the kids enjoyed riding in the golf cart as much as they did the entire vacation!

There are numerous hiking and biking trails where you might not even see another person for hours, and most of the restaurants on the island offered outdoor patio dining or food to go where we ate at picnic tables in the park.

In summary, I think that if you are located in the Midwest, and you are looking for a COVID 19 vacation spot that allows social distancing, Put-In-Bay is a wonderful choice. There are so many things to do outdoors for both families, couples, and kids, and all the residents and employees we encountered were very respectful, helpful, and patient.