The states of Virginia & West Virginia have set Policies and each county within the state have set Policies for their jurisdictions. Be sure to check with the local tourism board or Chamber of Commerce for updates. Also, broad Guidelines for your visit are as follows.
1. Bring commodities such as groceries & paper products
Many of our favorites spots to getaway are going to be smaller, local towns and rural areas. While the locals love the tourists, they may not have all the commodities needed (such as groceries, paper products, etc.) So they are asking visitors to bring these items with them. The beauty of renting a Vacation Rental Home is that they usually have fully stocked kitchens, full size refrigerators and freezers which can accommodate whatever groceries you bring. Be mindful, also that because these are smaller towns, they may not have the toilet paper or napkins or paper towels you might need. And because many of these homes are on septic systems, one cannot use paper towels or heavier napkins as a substitute. Perhaps think of bringing an extra box or two light tissue as well as they will be easier on the septic systems.
Also, don't forget to bring your sun block and bug spray for when you will be hiking or sitting on the beach. And bring some cleaning products for when you feel it's necessary to wipe down surfaces. Homeowners and Managers are going out of their way to make sure everything is clean and safe for your visit. Feel free to ask them questions about any procedures if you have concerns.
2. Some local governments are putting restrictions on house occupancy
Check with the owner or property manager to determine if there are any restrictions on homes or cabins. Most restrictions we've seen are a "do not exceed" house capacity. And some places are saying that even if the house holds 15, they are restricting occupancy to 10. Others are restricting "multi-family" groups. So check with the owner or property manager what the restrictions may or may not be.
3. All state and local governments require face masks and social distancing in public places or for walk in businesses. We are not aware this applies to beaches or to mountain trails, but check with the local government or Chamber of Commerce.
Again, check with the homeowners or property managers what the restrictions in the local area might be. The local governments have to follow the state guidelines, but some local governments have actually added additional restrictions, so Know Before You Go.
4. Local services may be limited
Be sure to bring any medications you might need as local pharmacies may not have what you need in stock. Any and all health supplies should be brought with you. The owner or property manager usually will post where to get emergency medical care, but ask the owner or property manager to provide you that information in advance of your trip.
5. At this time, rest areas are not open to the public
Virginia and West Virginia's rest areas are among the finest in the nation. However, they are not yet open at this time, so plan accordingly.
We are in unprecedented times and understand you may have hesitations or there may be complications to travel in light of COVID-19. Situations are evolving on a daily basis and there is a lot of uncertainty that may affect your vacation plans. We want you to make the best decisions for your family’s safety and well-being, but we also understand how this affects homeowners who list on VA Vacation Rentals.
Here are some tips for handling current or future reservations:
Tips for updating vacations you've already booked
1. Review your rental agreement and travel insurance policies
Please review your rental agreement to determine what the cancellation / re-booking policy is for the home you booked. If you purchased travel insurance (which we always recommend), review the conditions in which a cancellation may be covered. Not all insurance policies are the same so it is important for you to understand what coverage you have.
2. Reach out to the owner
Homeowners and property managers who list their homes on VA Vacation Rentals each have their own cancellation policies. We have never required any of them to adopt a cookie cutter policy and do not regulate what their policies are. We encourage you to try to work out exceptions to their policies with them, but please keep in mind that they may not be able to have the flexibility due to financial or other concerns.
Tips for booking an upcoming vacation
1. Look out for flexible cancellation policies
Homeowners and property managers each have their own polices for cancellations and refunds. You can find the owner's refund policy on their property page.
2. Consider adding trip insurance
Adding travel insurance to your reservation may cover your non-refundable trip costs if you have to cancel because you or a companion gets sick or injured before your trip. There are many companies offering travel insurance. Please review their policies so you fully understand what is covered before purchasing.
As you evaluate future stays, we encourage you to review local travel recommendations and restrictions, in addition to following guidance from the CDC.
Everyone deserves something to look forward to, and will need a break to reconnect with one another when this situation resolves itself. There are vacation options throughout Virginia & West Virginia, and we hope VA Vacation Rentals can play a role in your family’s next great vacation, whenever that may be.